Controller’s Office Proposes Policy Change to Compressed Workweek
May 3, 2010

 Houston, TX – The City Controller’s Office released a proposed change to the Compressed Workweek benefit that could save the City approximately $650,000 per year. This benefit provides exempt employees the opportunity to utilize a compressed work schedule of 80 hours per pay period to be performed in nine days over two weeks, or four ten-hour work days per week.

This option then allows the employee to take the remaining time in a pay period as a “Compressed Day Off” (CDO). Currently, if the scheduled CDO falls on a City paid holiday, the employee gets compensated for both the holiday and the CDO, in essence, paying the employee for 88 hours instead of 80. In calendar year 2009, the City paid these additional funds to approximately 1,100 employees totaling a little over $612,000.

The proposed change would allow the employee to substitute an alternative CDO within the same pay period as the holiday, while being compensated for the scheduled 80 hours, thus eliminating the additional cash payment.

“Our Audit team did a terrific job of quickly identifying a cost-savings measure that can be immediately implemented,” said Controller Ronald Green. “By working with the Administration, I am confident we will continue to close the budget gap for this fiscal year.”

The Audit Division and the Operations and Technical Services Division of the Office of the City Controller, along with members of the City’s Payroll function contributed to the analysis.

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Another Political First For Houston
December 17, 2009

We all know that Saturday’s runoff  ushered in a new era of Houston  politics with the election of  Annise Parker as the city’s first openly gay Mayor.

Almost no attention has been paid  to the fact, except by some in the African-American community,  that Houston also made history in the runoff race for city of  Houston controller.

Ronald Green will be the first African America to hold the title of  Controller in the one hundred six-year history of  the office. 

When he is sworn in on January 1, 2010,  Green will become Houston’s 15th controller, and according to the city’s website,  Houston has elected two Hispanics and three women to serve as controller since the office was created in 1903.

When I asked Green about it  after Wednesday’s city council meeting he told me that while he didn’t make it a campaign issue he does believe that being first is significant.  

Green, who is currently wrapping up a six-year term on council, says he feels it will be even more important for him to do a good job as the city’s Chief  Financial Officer, considering the state of the economy.

Green says he hopes to have a strong working relationship with Mayor-Elect Parker, but also plans to act independently as the taxpayer’s watchdog.

 The Controller’s main job is to produce a comprehensive annual financial report and conduct performance reviews of all city departments and programs.

While It’s not the sexiest or most recognizable  position,  one could argue that Green is about to take the reigns of  one of the most important jobs at city hall.

And at least two controllers, Annise Parker and Kathy Whitmire, eventually became Houston Mayors.

The Race For City of Houston Controller
September 2, 2009

Three current Houston City Council Members have filed to get on the November  3rd ballot as candidates for city of  Houston Controller.

Ronald Green, Pam Holm, and M.J. Khan

       

( I don’t know how to edit the size of pictures, so you’re going to have to trust me that I did not intentionally insert a bigger photo of   council member Green)

According to the city’s website , the job of  controller is to balance the fiscal needs of Houston with the politics of popular elections and act as a check-and-balance to the Mayor and City Council.

As we’ve seen recently, that means the Controller and Mayor are sometimes at odds over the budget. 

Houston, like much of the country, is facing some tough economic times ahead. Sales and Property tax revenues are down, and the city needs to hold the line on how it spends tax payer dollars, as well as possibly trimming staff and services.

You can learn more about the candidates for controller by visiting their websites.

http://pamholm.com/

http://ronaldgreen.com/

http://www.mjkhan.com/

As we get closer to the election, 2 On The Beat, and KPRC Local 2 will give your more in-depth information about each of  the candidates qualifications to hold the office, and ideas that each hopes to implement if elected.