Mayor Admits Drainage Fee Estimates Were Wrong

It turns out some Houstonians will have to pay more for drainage fees than they were led to believe from supporters of Proposition One. This mistake was the topic of a heated debate at today's City Council meeting. Bill Stamps reports.

"It was a condescending tone.  I don’t appreciate it and I will say that what I’m concerned about is the process and the facts."

Councilmember Mike Sullivan wasn’t the only one unhappy with some of the things that were said at city council.

Mayor Parker has admitted the five dollars many people thought they’d be paying for proposition One’s drainage fee could be a lot more than that.

Many council members say had concerns and questions about that number from the beginning. This is councilmember Brenda Stardig:

"The public needs to understand and have predictability in what they’re spending their money on and this is not our money it’s their money and I’m very concerned about the process."

Mayor Parker says during the campaign the public was told their fee would be about five dollars. That number was calculated based the average Houston lot being about 5,000 sq ft. Parker says they’ve now learned the average lot is closer to 7,000 sq ft.

"I understand that it doesn’t matter how many times we said this is an example, do your own calculations but what voters heard was its going to be five dollars. I believe voters should get what they thought they were voting for but that may be difficult to accomplish."

Councilman CO Bradford wants to know how that mistake was made.

"It’s unconscionable now to say, 'oh our people made a mistake.' Well who got fired? Who’s being held accountable for misleading the mayor, council and citizens of Houston, Texas. Who’s being held accountable for that?"

So far the answer to that question is no one.

Parker says they used the wrong example  during the campaign and believes the public may be entitle to paying five dollars since that’s what they expected, but whether it’s possible for the city to make that happen is unknown.