I think I missed an opportunity by not going to the abortion resolution debate at City Hall recently.
In case you don’t know, it was little more than a statement made by the city council after the U.S. Supreme Court returned the issue to the states, to be democratically-decided, by overturning Roe vs. Wade. The occasion packed the house nonetheless.
There are few issues that entrench more people on both sides. The hard right barely acknowledges the bodily autonomy of the mother, while the hard left hardly ever uses the word “baby” in the debate.
To their credit, the Libertarian Party recently dropped it from their platform altogether, and understandably so: it’s an intractable tug-of-war between two humans.
Besides, it’s not like the council doesn’t have better things to do (or undo), and that’s the problem. I could have looked around from the podium and asked “why are we here?”
Was it to take our attention away from CPS reaching deeper into our pockets? Sure, a record-string of 100-degree days will cause more demand for air-conditioning, but a doubling of electricity bills?
That could partially be the result of replacing more reliable sources of power with those that only work when the wind is blowing, for example. Also, the effectiveness of solar panels apparently decreases when it’s too hot. In other words, when it’s summer in Texas.
Speaking of CPS, have they found that independent auditor yet?
As a condition of their vote for a rate increase in February, a couple on the council, including our Councilwoman Melissa Cabello-Havrda, demanded that one be hired by July 1st. A search of the CPS and CoSA websites, and Google, indicates they haven’t. An email inquiry a month ago is still unanswered.
Or, was the abortion extravaganza meant to distract us from the ongoing property tax headache?
Certainly the council knew the influx of new Texans would push up demand for housing, and subsequently valuations. A few might even have known that Uncle Sam’s poor monetary policy would drive them higher. Councilwoman Havrda even got her real estate license during council’s shutdowns.
The city offered us peanuts when they increased the general homestead exemption to half where other big Texas cities are. And, because the state mandates it, they’re about to cut the rate a bit.
Meanwhile, property tax protesters are getting the runaround, a fact confirmed to me firsthand, and by expert Anne Englert.
Considering nearly-empty VIA buses rolling through some parts of town during rush hour, exorbitant per-student spending by PreK4SA, and the city looking to expand its payroll, there is plenty of room to show homeowners more respect by seizing much less of their savings.
Or was the abortion circus meant to obscure the slow, plodding progress of the “Ready to Work” (RtW) program (despite its own gusher of tax revenue)? Nevermind the cronyism I witnessed at a RtW meeting when a councilman proposed using incentives given to businesses to “get them on-board.”
Maybe it was to avert our eyes from the routine tax breaks they give to developers, et al.
Oh wait; the show’s back on!