HOUSTON — A proposal to charge Houston homeowners a monthly garbage fee to pay for voter-mandated firefighter raises failed Wednesday morning.
Houston City Council members overwhelmingly voted against three proposals by Council Member Dwight Boykins of District D to implement either a $19, $24 or $27 monthly fee, with exceptions for seniors age 70 and over and disabled veterans. Council Members Boykins cast the only ‘yes’ vote.
The garbage fee was one solution proposed to the ongoing implementation battle over Proposition B. The measure, which voters approved in November 2018, requires the city to pay firefighters the same as police based on rank and experience.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says hundreds of firefighters will be laid off and some city services will be cut because of Prop B.
But Turner said last week he opposed the garbage fee.
“Let me be very clear: I don’t support it, and I won’t vote for any one of those amendments,” Turner said. “I think they’re regressive, and I’m not going to vote to impose a (fee) on people in the city of Houston in this manner.”
Turner has offered to phase in a 29 percent pay raise over five years but the firefighters union said no.