Since the beginning of time and right after Columbus discovered Rosenberg, there have been zany, serious, hilarious and puzzling adventures at city hall.
We’re glad to report that current city council members (they call themselves councilors) are no exception.
And don’t for one minute think we’re picking on Rosenberg and the council. We love ‘em and appreciate them, and happy to cover such a diverse and entertaining group.
These people should be applauded for putting their names on the line and volunteering to run this community.
It’s easy to sit on the sideline and complain, but to actually run for office and be elected takes a lot of gumption and dedication, even though only a tiny percentage of qualified voters elect them.
The pay stinks and the criticisms sting, but they trod on, rarely in unison but always with their hearts in the right place.
This council is not unlike so many before it. There are split votes and usually the outcome is predicted before it reaches the aye-nay counting.
They are not immune to changing their minds. In fact, they’re famous for it and nothing is final — ever.
If they can’t whip a topic, they’ll talk it to death. Here are a few examples:
1. Louise Street at Avenue N two-way stop. It was a good idea, then a bad idea, then realigning the intersection was a good idea, and council finally decided not to install stop signs.
We think that was the result, but don’t bet on it.
2. A council code of conduct was a great concept, then it was a bad idea, then a good plan was approved but later rescinded. Evidently they trust each other to act nice and no longer bring armed guards because they don’t like each other.
3. The Travis Park splash pad was a wonderful plan as was a Seaborne Creek nature center. That was in 2018, but it was defunded this year.
Go figure. Plan on seeing those two again and again.
4. A helicopter agreement with Fort Bend County was a great plan once, then a bad plan and axed last month during budget planning.
Whoops. They backtracked and approved it because it made sense. Meanwhile, out of the blue comes a drone proposal. We never figured if they wanted to bomb someone, or just nose around.
5. A hectic plan was the annexation of MUD 66 (municipal utility district). That idea was slammed around like a badminton birdie two or three times with council having to rescind a letter of intent to annex.
6. The hotel occupancy tax was called socialistic by Mayor Bill Benton, who wanted to do away with it. But in January council voted to keep it, and this week Benton bragged on its production of $600,000 for the city’s budget.
7. Police officer Scott Hooper was fired by the police chief in May 2018, but re-hired by an act of the council in June. The council insisted it had the authority to review all hirings and firings. Months later, the council discussed changing the city charter to allow the chief of police do all the hirings and firings without the council’s overview. Hooper was asked to resign by the end of the year.
8. There was this doozy: public input at council meetings. In July councilors considered limiting public input to only at the top of the agenda.
Then, after revising and re-revising, council this week approved citizen input at the start of the meeting and on agenda items as they came up.
9. The lollapalooza was the one-way pairs controversy in 2014. Only Benton was around for that one when Avenue H and Avenue I were proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation as one-way thoroughfares.
All sorts of heaven and hell broke loose until it was determined the city had no say on the issue, and TxDOT and the county resolved it.
There are and will be other projects where minds will be changed, then re-changed, then changed again. Oops, then rescinded.
And by no stretch is Rosenberg the only place where stutter steps are taken, then re-taken. It’s just that Rosenberg is so good at it.
Reach BH at firstname.lastname@example.org.