HOUSTON A Houston city councilwoman made waves on Wednesday by recusing herself from voting to approve thousands of dollars in improvements to a park in her district.

I m a strong advocate of being responsible with city funds, said Helena Brown, the councilwoman for District A. The constituents in Houston are suffering because we are not responsible with city tax dollars.

The measure, which called for improvements at Schwartz Park in Spring Branch, was approved by city council moments after Brown stepped out of the chamber.

The measure uses money from a federal grant earmarked specifically for parks. It calls for spending about $130,000 to build a new playground, replace the screen around the swimming pool and construct new sidewalks at Schwartz.

Brown is a Tea Party backed councilwoman who holds firm against what she calls government waste.

We ve got to prioritize and focus on our essential services for Houston, she added.

Some park goers called making improvements to Schwartz very essential.

It s maintenance and It needs that, said Migdalia Rodriguez. This park needs maintenance very much.

The families come and take the kids here after work, said Carlos Mariscal. So it s very important for the community.

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