White and Lee oppose ending sports authority

Nearly two weeks ago, Jack Rains appeared on the Dan Patrick show on KSEV-700 to talk about disbanding the Houston Sports Authority, then Billy Burge called in, and finally all sorts of hilarity ensued, as described on various blogs.

Last week, the Chronicle's Rick Casey commented on part of the conversation that took place, although he didn't bother to interview Rains.

This week, Rich Connelly also comments on the Patrick/Rains/Burge exchange for the Houston Press.

It's good to see all the print publications are finally up to speed now on a two-week old story.

Mayor Bill White
Today, the Chronicle's Kristen Mack reports that Mayor White and Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee have both come out against the legislative proposal to disband the Houston Sports Authority. Indeed, as Mack reports, El Franco Lee has even retained the Sports Authority to oversee construction of a swimming pool and a youth center!

In the last election, Bill White ran as a fiscally sensible businessman who would be mindful of the city's purse strings. In office, however, he's overseen a significant expansion of long-term municipal debt, he's opposed Proposition 2's effort to control the growth of municipal revenues (to the tune of being forced by a court to report the outcome of the election), and now we find him in alliance with perennial tax-and-spender El Franco Lee, who seems to support transforming a sports authority that's served its purpose into a perpetual boondoogle authority.

Interestingly, Mack reports that Mayor White claimed to be speaking for council, even though council has not taken a position on dissolving the Sports Authority. Perhaps it's time for Jared Woodfill to encourage certain members of council to express their opinions on the matter.

ANNE ADDS: The story also points out that Oliver Luck is busy trying to secure new sports teams for Houston and specifically mentions Major League Soccer. Well, take a look at what is going on in San Antonio:

The proposal to bring Major League Soccer to San Antonio continues to balloon, with the price tag of the proposal San Antonio City Council is set to vote on today in excess of $22 million, 1200 WOAI news reported today.

That's three times higher than the $6.2 million dollar price tag which was placed on the deal just one week ago.

ONE WEEK! The price of a MLS team went from $6 million to $22 million in ONE WEEK! This is what happens when these governmental authorities get their grimy mitts on taxpayer dollars.

The Aeros need to buy their own ice, Les Alexander needs to pay for his own parking garage (or give up the money he's currently pocketing), El Franco Lee needs to find a Parks and Rec Department to build his pool and youth center, and the Sports Authority needs to close up shop. No more endless boondoggles!

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 04/21/05 06:10 PM | Print |

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