Thursday, October 29, 2009

Unclear on the concept...

If there's a public agency less clear on the "open government" concept then Metro I've yet to find them....

[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!

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.
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.

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?


  1. Hi Cory,

    I'm Michelle. You seem to be interested in what I post, and I'm appreciative of that. I'm sorry that my writing is painful for you to read at times and that you find my relating of my personal experiences bizarre. I would love to tell you that I will cater my writing my to your writing, but sadly, I have been writing this way for a while and, old dogs, all that.

    Being an old dog, this new twitter thing is not my bag, so go ahead and bash away. You see, I don't care much -- just enough to take a few moments to post this comment -- which you haven't even attempted as far as I can tell. Perhaps your comment is stuck in moderation?

    I looked, and the answer is no.

    I poke Kathleen all the time. She is a bored housewife with a mean streak. And she's paranoid. She sees me everywhere on the intertubes, mostly when I am not there.

    Nice blog, all that.


  2. Uh...OK?

    You get me all wrong however, I don't want you to change a THING!! Keep on keeping on and all of that.

  3. "I don't care much -- just enough to take a few moments to post this comment"

    ...and author an entire blog post projecting on my reasons for blogging and other issues that you're way wrong about, and create a twitter account, follow me, and then delete the account. Just sayin'

    (although I still don't know what you're talking about, I never called you unreadable, just good for a laugh or three *The number of times I diigo-linked to your blog*)

  4. Oh, no. Now you are seeing things.


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