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Bond Election– Victory

Bond Election– Victory

Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Newsletter

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

On Tuesday night, November 7 we crossed the finish line of a grueling marathon. One that was filled with roadblocks, detours and mountains, but we ran over the finish line together. Those who voted for the Pension Bonds should go out and take another victory lap!

For the first time in decades, Houston is no longer shackled by unsustainable pension debts in the billions of dollars. Now the city can pay its bills on time. Now employees will know their pension benefits are more stable. Now city finances — for all of its functions — are in much better shape. Now Houston has found a solution while other cities must deal with their own crushing pension debts — and stave off bankruptcy.

The cost savings in the most recent city budget is already over $200 million. This vote protects those savings going forward. The most recent city budget is the first budget in many years to fully fund our pension obligation. Let me remind you how we got here.

For many years, my predecessors struggled to broker a compromise on the ballooning pension debts. But that money monster kept biting back.

I am humbled that my legislative experience positioned me to defeat the beast by working with Republicans and Democrats in Austin to come up with this solution. The measure received 2/3rd support of the Texas House & 2/3rds support of the Texas Senate. I am proud that independents, Democrats and Republicans supported these bonds. I thank so many who worked to get us to the finish line. Voters. Lawmakers, organizations that spurred their members to vote yes. The Lift Up Houston campaign. My government relations team. And so many others.

Now we move on to the next financial challenges – the ones delivered by the floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey. But first. I am also overjoyed that voters approved the improvement bonds, too. Like a family that takes out a mortgage to put a roof over their heads, cities borrow money at low interest to pay for some essentials. Fire trucks, police cars, library roofs that don’t leak due to age, park equipment, and more. With the approval of the bonds, we will be in a better shape to tackle the challenges of recovery and rejuvenation after the flood.

Thank you for believing in a brighter future for our city.

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