Houston Mayor Bill White’s wife, Andrea, served the visiting ambassadors sandwiches in the living room of their spacious memorial-area home as several hours of discussion set the stage for Monday’s announcement that White is considering switching from a run for the U.S. Senate to a bid for Democratic nomination for governor.
As a result of that Sunday afternoon meeting, Democratic candidate Tom Schieffer — who was a Bush administration ambassador to Australia and Japan — announced Monday that he will withdraw from the race for governor to clear the path for White. Schieffer urged other Democrats in the race to drop out and join him in support of White.
“We simply must get behind one candidate who can unite the Democratic Party and offer a credible alternative to the Republicans,” Schieffer said. “Bill White is that candidate.”
Get this – yes we are talking about Houston Mayor Bill White – the same Bill White that has bankrupted the City of Houston.
The City of Houston is financially broke and it appears that the mayor who takes office in January 2010 may have to captain the City through bankruptcy procedures.
The City’s unrestricted assets were $1.2 billion short of the already recorded corresponding liabilities these assets were needed to pay as of fiscal year end June 30, 2008, according to the City’s latest publicly available audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The $1.2 billion shortfall was a result of operating losses totaling $1.5 billion for fiscal years 2004-2008, applying the full accrual basis of accounting used in the private sector.
Thus the City’s problems are a result of greatly overspending and not a result of insufficient revenues.
All of this occurred before the current severe recession. Now the City has the added burden of the recession.
The City is in a real financial dilemma, because now its two principal sources of general fund revenues are in trouble—sales taxes and property taxes. Sales tax revenues already are dropping significantly and property tax revenues will commence dropping at an even more rapid rate after the next annual appraisal and assessment process. And the City will have to go to the voters for any contemplated rate increases in either the sales tax rate or the portion of the property tax rate allocable to operations.
It appears to us that there may be no viable alternative to bankruptcy proceedings and thereby positioning the City to regain control over its overspending, through addressing structural spending problems such as overstaffing and overly generous employee benefits.
Heh!! And this guy will try to win the democratic nomination to run against Rick Perry?
Bill White is doing his best impression of a politician from California or New York.
The people of Texas might have fallen for this sham last year – but not anymore.
Maybe Bill White will ask Barack Obama for help in campaigning next year!!!!