Gene Locke Responds To City’s Budget Problems

Houston Mayoral candidate Gene Locke has issued a second statement regarding the budget concerns at  Houston city hall.

This comes after days of  a war of words between Controller Annise Parker , who says the city is facing  a  $103 million shortfall,  Mayor White and some other city leaders.

Some members of  city council say they were stunned to hear about the  large deficit in the city’s 2010 fiscal budget.

Meanwhile,  Mayor White told reporters that Parker is wrong to say the city  has a $103 million shortfall.  The Mayor says his estimate is closer to $25 Million, and that he has  already ordered department directors to cut spending by 1% ,  and he is looking for  other ways to trim the budget.

Statement by Gene Locke regarding the FY2010 city of  Houston operating budget:

“In approximately  100 days time, using the same budget figures,  Ms. Parker told us the budget was  ‘balanced’  and now she says there’s a ‘shortfall.’  As a business leader who considers  stability and consistency the keys to economic confidence and growth,  I don’t think the people of  Houston need erratic budget projections.  What they deserve is consistent and reliable information from the City Controller.”


Response From Parker’s Campaign:

“Once again, we see that Gene Locke is not up to the job of  being mayor.  In his statement,  he is apparently confused about discussion of last year’s budget and the current budget’s shortfall. Had he bothered to pay attention to city council meetings or monitored media clips during the budget process in June, he would have known his statement is entirely inaccurate.  Locke’s promise of  new city departments, new museums and increased government spending to his insider friends would lead to tax increases or cuts in vital services, such as public safety.  With crime on the rise and jobs disappearing, Houston cannot afford another politician who is stuck in the past and can’t understand when one fiscal year ends and a new one begins.

Perhaps Mr. Locke should consult Mayor Bill White who today praised Controller Parker for her professionalism and her role in dealing with tough budget issues.”


 In fairness, Mayor White did praise Parker, along with Council  member Peter Brown, and others dealing with the budget crises.



3 Responses

  1. ** What they deserve are consistent and reliable information from the City Controller.” **

    If Locke’s staff can’t manage basic subject-verb agreement, why should we expect them to be able to manage complicated municipal finances?

  2. Further, according to the Houston Chronicle ( “the city has actually run deficits, albeit much smaller ones, since 2004” – the year after Annise Parker was elected City Controller. How is it that Parker was unable to continue balancing the budget as Houston City Controller? She was on City Council until she was term-limited out of office – if she was privy to city dealings during then, as she proudly claims, then shouldn’t she have learned how to keep the budget balanced before becoming Controller?

    When it comes to the hard numbers, SOMEONE is obviously confused.

  3. […] that Houston is facing a budget shortfall for FY2010. Houston Mayor Bill White, “told reporters that Parker is wrong to say the city  has a $103 million shortfall.  The Mayor says his estimate is closer to $25 […]

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