Houston City Council voted 16-1, with Jerry Davis opposed, to approve a memorandum of agreement with Southwest Airlines for expansion of William P. Hobby Airport for international service. Listen
Davis said that his vote was based on the wishes of constituents in his city council district.
"I hope no one is offended by my fight for my district," Davis said. "There are people in my district who need their jobs and right now they're scared."
The vote in favor of Southwest Airlines brought loud cheers from employees and other supporters of Southwest in the audience.
"We are very humbled by the overwhelming support," said Southwest Airlines Chair Gary Kelly. "It is very gratifying to have the support of the community on this proposal."
There also were supporters of United Airlines in the audience.
"While we are going to be deeply disappointed in your decision, we will respect it and we will continue to work as your partner," said Nene Foxhall, executive vice president for communications and government affairs for United Airlines.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm Mayor Annise Parker’s promotion of Neal Rackleff to the position of Director of the Housing and Community Development Department from the position of interim director.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm the mayor’s promotion of Katherine “Katye” Tipton to the position of Director of the Department of Neighborhoods.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm Parker’s reappointment of Barbara E. Hartle as Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm the mayor’s reappointment of Franklin D. R. Jones to the Old Spanish Trail/Almeda Corridors Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm the mayor’s appointment of Candice Alexander to the Board of Directors of Redevelopment Zone Number 20, the Southwest Houston Redevelopment Authority.
Several agenda items were delayed for one week by use of the “tag rule” by individual members of the city council.
Michael Sullivan tagged:
- A proposed economic development agreement with Eastgroup Properties, LP for the development, construction and operation of a commercial and industrial development; and
- A proposed ordinance appropriating $3,445,200 for a contract with Industrial X Crop. For improvements to the Northeast Water Purification Plant.
Larry Green tagged an ordinance appropriating funds for the Professional Environmental Consulting Services Task Order Program.
All other agenda items were approved, but there were some negative votes. Agenda
Sullivan cast the only vote against designation of the R. Kingsley and Alma McHenry House at 3660 Chevy Chase and the Duke/Shapiro House at 3441N, Parkwood Drive as historic landmarks.
Helena Brown cast the only vote against:
- Approval of a final contract amount of $4,704,955.52 and acceptance of work on a contract with Boyer, Inc. for storm water improvements;
- An $881,000 loan agreement between the city and Village at Hickory Glen Apartment Homes, Inc. to assist with the construction of a 15 unit housing complex for low to moderate income persons with disabilities, to be located in Kingwood;
- A master contractor agreement with Altura Homes DFW, LP for the reconstruction of up to 28 single family homes;
- Two contracts with Bread of Life, Inc. for the provision of homeless services;
- Two contracts with Search Homeless Services for the provision of homeless services;
- A $2 million contract with HoustonCenter for Literacy;
- A contract with Milam Street Auto Storage, Inc. doing business as Fast Tow;
- The purchase of equipment for the Fleet Management Department;
- A contract with JH.E. Dunn Construction Company for Bethel Park;
- Award of a construction contract to Progressive Commercial Aquatics, Inc. for swimming pool improvements; and
- An ordinance relating to monitoring wells and environmental test boring facilities.
Brown and Sullivan voted against:
- A $106,000 loan agreement between the city and the Harris County Hospital District for HIV health education, risk reduction and testing services; and
- A license agreement with SMG as manager of Reliant Park for use of the park’s facilities by the Parks and Recreation Department for the Sixth Annual Hip Hop for HIV Awareness Campaign.
At her news conference following the city council meeting, Mayor Parker said that she and Harris County officials are considering the replacement of Jim Edmonds as chair of the Port of Houston Authority. Listen
“I appreciate Mr. Edmonds' service,” Parker said. “I think he’s done yeoman’s work at the port. But, I also believe that it’s a new day and a new opportunity. There is a new director in Len Waterworth and I would certainly like to explore options in who the chairman should be.”
Mayor Parker issued a news release about the city council approval of Southwest Airlines expansion into international service. Release