Ordinance Calling For $13.8 Million Bond Election Passes 4-1
The West U. City Council passed by another 4-1 vote the $13.8 million parks bond proposal at Monday night’s meeting. Councilman Michael Talianchich was again the dissenting vote.
The bond, which will be on the Nov. 4 election ballot, is for renovations to the West U. Recreation Center, Community Center, Senior Services and the Colonial Park Pool.
Talianchich said he thought the city should be “conservative” during what he described as “difficult economic times.” Talianchich has traditionally opposed the plan, asking for a $5 million option instead, and using the Rec. Center as green space.
“I think it’s a shame we should burden our citizens with more debt,” said Talianchich. “I think we need to be considering spending less, figuring out ways and means of using what we have.”
“We don’t make these decisions based on shirt-term economic policy, but on a long-term benefit to the community,” responded Councilman Bob Fry.
Mayor Bob Kelly disagreed with Talianchich’s assessment of the future economic strength of the city.
“I think we are betting on the City of West University Place,” said Kelly, who called the parks plan a very reasonable, basic plan. “Where the city is headed…I think we are sitting on two square miles of a very desirable place to live in Houston…you can’t make a decision going out 40-something years based on what’s happening right bow. I think, regardless f how your opinion is, (that) 70-something dollars a year for the average home in West U. is a very reasonable plan to pursue.”
Kelly asked West U.’s Financial Director Walter Thomas to explain wording on the ballot that would allow for a 40-year bond.
‘The 40 years is what the law will allow us to do, and gives us maximum flexibility,” said Thomas, who added that he has never seen more than a 22-year bond issued in his time with the city. “Normally (our bonds are) 18 to 20 years, and I can’t imagine we would change that.”