Offical drink of the Task Force on Building & Standards

It's Not Just A Committee To Study City Building Standards, It's A Blue-Ribbon Committee

Mayor Annise Parker announced today an effort to reorganize the often chaotic mess that is the city of Houston's enforcement of building codes.

Have no doubt the problem will be solved: The announcement proclaims that the committee appointed to tackle the problem will be a "blue-ribbon" one. Who awarded the ribbon was not made immediately clear. Also unanswered is whether committee members must wear their blue ribbon at every public meeting, or just use them to pick up chicks or dudes at bars.

Beatrice Link, who got involved in the city's fight with apartment complexes, will head the group.

Other members are state reps Dwayne Bohac, a Republican, and Jessica Farrar, a Democrat; Terry Cheng of TSC Engineering and the Parks Board; municipal judge Maria Casanova and Tom Allen of the city's legal department and Jenifer Rene Pool of the city's Building & Standards Commission.

"Houston needs to have a strong Building and Standards Commission to protect homes, businesses and, most importantly, the people who live or work in these buildings,"  Parker said. "This Blue Ribbon Task Force is made up of experts such as architects, engineers and lawyers. I am also especially grateful that both State Representatives Farrar and Bohac will take an active role in advising this group in the improvement of multifamily housing standards and strengthening of neighborhoods."

Here's their mandate:

• Review (and revise, if necessary) the proposed reorganization of responsibilities for enforcement of article IX of Chapter 10 of the Code of Ordinances. In particular, consider revised, more targeted duties for the Building and Standards Commission
• Review (and revise, if necessary) the draft of the ordinance to implement the reorganization
• Develop recommendations for operational, personnel, and budgetary changes required to implement the reorganization.

No timeline was annnounced for completing the job.

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