[Jennifer Peebles, Texas Watchdog]
Want to know what the state of Houston’s Metro system is? It’ll only cost you $65 to find out!Silliness. That'd be like President Obama giving the State of the Union Address in a $100/plate Democratic fundraiser. Like Rick Perry giving the State of the State speech in front of a paying audience w/restricted entry. Anytime a public agency gives an important "State of" speech, that speech should be conducted in the most open manner possible.
Yep, kids, that’s right — Metro Chairman David Wolff, who may not have a job for much longer, is going to give a “State of Metro” speech next Thursday, Nov. 5, and it’ll cost you $65 to get in to hear it.
As is usual, Metro misses the point:
Actually, our chairman and president/ceo give multiple speechs to all kinds of groups that often don’t charge any admission. They also address current issues at our board meetings which are not only free to attend, but televised on the municipal channel. The heads of many other organizations speak to the GHP including the mayor, the judge of Harris County and the Port of Houston. I assume you will send similar safe advice to these govt. entities as well.Of course they do, every politician does. But since Roberts and Metro don't seem to get it: This is the STATE OF METRO SPEECH that we're talking about, not some back-slapping luncheon attended by movers and shakers. This is Metro's big "How're we doin'?" speech to ensure Houstonians that all of their tax money isn't being thrown down some big hole and left to rot while David Wolfe eats canapes.
And, you can hear it if you care to shell out $65 for an audience with the King.
What Metro doesn't understand is that there's no problem with them speaking to the Greater Houston Partnership. There's no problem with the GHP charging admission to their luncheon. Where there is a problem is having a psuedo-government entity with unelected leadership and direct control of large amounts of tax dollars offer up a "State of Metro" speech in a venue that's not free to the public.
How is that hard?