Archive for the ‘Harris County Tejano Democrats’ Category

No More Stipends For Bilingual City of Houston Employees?
June 19, 2010


(updates with reaction from Mayor Pro-Tem Clutterbuck)

The Harris County Tejano Democrats have scheduled a news conference on Monday, June 21, to talk about a controversial budget amendment proposed by Mayor Pro-Tem Anne Clutterbuck.

The group says its members are outraged that Clutterbuck has proposed eliminating  bilingual pay for all non classified city of Houston employees.

Harris County Tejano Democrats (HCTD) is demanding that Clutterbuck rescind her amendment. 

“In an attempt to score political points in an anti-immigrant climate, Council Member Clutterbuck’s misguided amendment will lead to a reduction of basic city services to taxpayers with limited English proficiency,” said Frumencio Reyes, Jr., HCTD Legal Advisor.  “We ask Mayor Parker to join us in opposing this amendment.  It’s a bad idea and Council Member Clutterbuck should pull it immediately.”

2 On the Beat couldn’t reach Clutterbuck over the weekend, but she recently defended her proposal in the media.

She told KUHF reporter Laurie Johnson that the $75 per month stipend given to city employees who claim they are bilingual, costs taxpayers $1 Million a year.

UPDATE: I spoke with Mayor Pro-Tem Clutterbuck Sunday Afternoon. She says no one from the Tejano Democrats group has contacted her directly about their opposition to her amendment.  Clutterbuck told 2 on The Beat that she is concerned about the city’s budget and that is why she is looking at every possible expenditure to save the taxpayers money. Clutterbuck says she was surprised to learn that the city’s bilingual stipend policy, which covers all foreign languages including sign language,  doesn’t require employees to prove their proficiency.  There is also no procedure in place to verify that the employees receiving the $75 monthly stipend are actually using their foreign language skills on the job.  Her amendment would not apply to police officers or firefighters. We should hear more from her on Monday after the news conference.