Structurally imbalanced budget
The most pressing financial issue facing the city of Houston is the $6.2 billion structurally imbalanced budget. Few candidates for City Controller discuss the issue, but as your next City Controller, I will take it on with a full head of steam.
Structural budget imbalances occur when a city’s recurring expenses consistently exceed its recurring revenues. While federal relief funds can provide temporary relief programs like American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), they do not address the underlying structural issues in a city’s budget. Cities need to address these imbalances through long-term financial planning, cost management, and revenue generation strategies. If left unresolved, it will have disastrous impacts to Houstonians. Layoffs of up to 3000 city employees in some estimates, reduction in police and fire services, or increases in taxes are just a few consequences awaiting the city if this issue is not addressed. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
The City of Houston operates under a strong Mayor form of government. In this form of government, the mayor holds significant executive authority, including control over the city’s budget and administration. However, the city also has an elected City Controller who serves as an independent and separately elected official.
The independence of the City Controller from the mayor and city council is intended to promote fiscal responsibility and provide a check and balance within the city’s government structure. This independence allows the City Controller to provide impartial assessments of the city’s financial practices and expenditure.
If elected your next City Controller, I will be beholden to the citizens of Houston Texas who elect me.