Houston Fire Chief Steps Down – Is Praised For His Work
January 19, 2010

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says she accepted “with regret” the resignation of Houston Fire Chief Phil Boriskie.

In a news conference this morning Mayor Parker named 30 year HFD veteran and executive chief Rick Flanagan as the departments Acting Chief while she launches a nationwide search for a new leader.

Chief   Flanagan told reporters he is interested in the top job, but stressed that he is more concerned with addressing the issues plaguing the department. Flanagan praised the hardworking men and women of HFD and promised to work on their behalf.

After this morning’s stunning announcement that Houston Fire Chief Phil Boriskie  has stepped down, the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association has released a statement praising him for his work.
Statement of Jeffrey Caynon

President of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association (HPFFA)

January 19, 2010

“The men and women of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association wish Phil Boriskie well. He is rightly regarded by most Houston firefighters as one of the best chiefs in department history. Under his leadership, the department has improved training, response times and the delivery of emergency medical services (EMS).

“We had our professional differences, but Houston firefighters generally respect his character and his good intentions. He strived to balance the needs of the city with those of his firefighters. The truth is, Chief Boriskie was a victim of his good nature and management style, both of which left him vulnerable to political attack. For the past year, the opportunist politicians, extremist activists and disgruntled city employees who recklessly stereotyped local firefighters also treated the chief despicably.

“HFD is a model fire department in many respects and Chief Boriskie deserves his share of the credit. According to the 2009 citywide Citizens Survey, ‘the top three services in which phone respondents reported the highest satisfaction rating were all related to the HFD.’ Citizens and business owners benefit from lower insurance rates because we are the largest fire department in the United States with the top insurance industry fire protection rating. We have one of the nation’s highest cardiac arrest survival rates. Our respected EMS system has been a partner in numerous leading-edge medical studies. Our arson division has a case closure rate above the national average. And Houston firefighters are regularly recognized for raising more money for charity than any other department in the nation.

“We look forward to advising the city administration during the process of selecting the chief’s successor. As we have for decades, the HPFFA remains committed to improving workplace and labor conditions for local firefighters. We hope the mayor’s choice for fire chief maintains this commitment as well.”

 

Mayor Parker’s Pre-Inaugural Media Reception
January 3, 2010

On the night before her historic public swearing-in, Houston’s new Mayor hosted a reception for members of  the local and national media covering the inaugural festivities.

Mayor Annise Parker chatted with television, newspaper, and radio reporters, along with a host of  local bloggers who helped raise social media to a new level during the mayoral campaign. 

The reception was held on the 51st floor of the Fulbright & Jaworski law firm in downtown Houston. 

In addition to the media, attorneys, campaign staffers and members of  the inaugural committee attended the reception, which was paid for with donated funds.

Faces in the Crowd included: Cindy Clifford of The Clifford Group, Jason Fuller, Adrian Patterson and Neil Thomas of Fulbright and Jaworski, David Arpin, Nancy Sims of Pierpont Communications, Sue Davis of  Sue Davis Communications, Bradley Olson of  The Houston Chronicle, local well-known bloggers Charles Kuffner, Stace Medellin and Erik Vidor.

Mayor Parker Sworn In At Houston City Hall
January 2, 2010

 

picture taken by photographer Jenny Antill. 

Congratulations to Mayor Annise Parker and City of  Houston Controller Ronald Green. 

Both were sworn in on Saturday, January 2, 2010 during a private ceremony at city hall. 

With her partner Kathy Hubbard standing beside her, Parker was sworn in as Houston’s 61st Mayor and first openly gay person elected to lead the nation’s fourth largest city. 

The event was historic for another reason: Parker was sworn in by her close friend and former campaign manager Steven Kirkland, who is the first openly gay person elected as a state district judge in Harris County. 

Mayor Parker and City Controller sworn in  

This is the official news release   

With her hand on her grandparents’ Bible, Annise D. Parker was sworn in as Mayor of Houston in a private ceremony held at Houston City Hall today.  State District Judge Steven Kirkland administered the oath to Mayor Parker.  City Controller Ronald C. Green also took the oath of office.  Green’s wife, Harris County Justice of the Peace Hilary Green, had the honor of administering the oath to her husband.  A small gathering of family and friends was present. 

 The private ceremony was held to meet the legal requirements of the City Charter, which mandate the transfer of power occur on January 2.  The official public inauguration of Mayor Parker, City Controller Green and Houston City Council is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Wortham Theater Center. 

Mayor Parker chose the private Saturday morning ceremony followed by a formal public inaugural on Monday to avoid the overtime costs the city would have incurred from having to call in police and other city employees for a weekend inauguration.  She also did not want to interrupt the holiday weekend for city employees.  “At a time when the city is facing budget shortfalls, we will be continually looking for ways to cut expenses,” said Mayor Parker.  

The inaugural celebration will end Monday evening with a free concert from 6 to 9 p.m. at Discovery Green.

How You Can Join The Annise Parker Team
December 20, 2009

Now that Mayor-elect Annise Parker has chosen  the leaders of  her transition team  she is asking regular Houstonians to help make a difference at city hall.

State Representative Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), Socialite/Republican fundraiser Nancy Kinder and Gilbert Garcia, who served as Parker’s campaign manager, will lead the transition but will not join her administration.

 By going to www.anniseparker.com , or sending an email to transition@anniseparker.com,  you can volunteer to join one of  the eight committees that will be selected to review city operations in eight departments:

The committees will review everything from Metro to Minority and Women business enterprise contracting, and then report back to Parker by mid-February.

“This process will set the tone for my administration,” said Parker. “I’m proud that such a diverse representation of  Houston business, government and community interest has stepped forward to lead the effort.”