Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A wake-up call for our elected officials

I don't always agree with former mayoral candidate Bill King, but sometimes he is absolutely right. In suggesting that the State of Texas use some of its $10 billion "Rainy Day Fund" to pay for a least a portion of flood control projects in the Houston region, he writes:
If we fail to address these risks there will be long-term, adverse economic consequences for our region, the State and indeed the entire nation.  The Houston region accounts for almost 30% of the State's total GDP.  As goes Houston so goes the State.
After a week of nonstop national news coverage about how vulnerable Houston is to flooding, what corporation is going to relocate here?  Would you schedule a convention in Houston during hurricane season?  How many companies are going to build a new plant in a place where it could be inundated by a 25-foot storm surge?
Now is the time for bold leadership, not Republican primary posturing.  There is nothing conservative about failing to make investments that we know are needed to avoid future losses.  In fact, it is grossly irresponsible not to do so.
A hundred years from now no one is going to remember anything about bathroom bills or even know what that the hell a sanctuary city was.  But, as we remember the construction of the Galveston Seawall over a century after it was built, our grandchildren will remember whether we, as a generation, stepped up and ended the threat of devastating flooding to our region and the State's largest economic engine.
King believes that rainy day funds could be used to leverage federal dollars to construct flood and storm surge infrastructure such as the "Ike Dike" and a third reservoir to supplement the beleaguered Addicks and Barker Dams.

Unfortunately, I think King is going to discover that the folks who currently run this state (and, for that matter, country) are more concerned about pandering to their wingnut base than they are to protecting the people and economy of the Houston region. Especially when that protection is going to require new revenues to fund it. However, I'd love to be proven wrong.

Harvey was, indeed, a wake-up call. But then again, so were the Memorial Day floods. And the Tax Day floods. And Ike. And Allison...

No comments: