By Marc Campos

Power To The Meters

By Marc Campos

Our Houston City Hall leaders are beginning to look at the possibility or feasibility of a grand and all encompassing parking entity that would oversee parking meters, city owned parking garages and lots, and other related street parking issues, including the folks that slap parking citations on your windshields. If an entity is created, presumably it will be called, drum roll please, "The Houston Parking Authority".

It is time to get a little creative. We already have too many public or governmental "authorities". There is the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the Houston Harris County Sports Authority, and the Port of Houston Authority. Let's try "The Houston Parking Command", "The Houston Parking Control Center", or "The We Make Parking EZ For Houston Bunch."

How about getting to the point and calling it "The Parking Gods"? The head of this entity would be titled "The Godfather" or "The Godmother". It they happen to be Latino - "Padrino or Madrina". Employees would be "godchildren".

Critics of this "parking authority" idea, and we stress idea, will be quick to point out that this is just another City Hall scheme to generate revenue. The way it is structured today, parking meters are stuck somewhere in the City's Municipal Courts Department and parking garages fall under the Convention and Entertainment Facilities Department. As you can see, parking issues do not get priority treatment from either department. Let's hope that a new parking entity will at least make some sense of meters - are they working, signage, and congestion problems at some of the city's downtown underground garages - like Bayou Place on a Saturday night.

Regarding the parking meter raiders - the folks that hand out citations, how about dressing them in hot pink glo-brite attire, including floppy hats, so when you get a citation, you can at least have a good laugh.

The local GOP can't handle its Houston city council members. Yuk, yuk, yuk!

In today's Chron, there is a front page story about how the Repub city council members are not listening to Harris County GOP Chair Jared Woodfill. Woodfill has attempted to make the Safe Clear freeway towing program a partisan issue and he is striking out. Commentary still can't figure this one out. On the original Safe Clear vote, three council Dems voted against along with one council Repub.

Apparently Woodfill still hasn't gotten over the fact that his 2003 mayoral candidate, Orlando Sanchez, was whipped soundly by Mayor Bill White. Woodfill also hasn't realized that he's not much of a player with major GOP donors because many of them were big White contributors. Plus White received a big chunk of the vote in traditional GOP precincts despite the fact that the local GOP spent around two hundred thousand dollars on Bill White attack mailers and radio ads. Now Woodfill is making a very lame attempt to try to make this city council a partisan one. 8 of the 15 council members are Repubs and Jared is obviously frustrated that they aren't paying attention to him.

Wait til next year pal, when 8 of the 15 are Dems.

Oscar nominees never have parking problems. One of TV's most watched programs, the Academy Awards, will be broadcast this Sunday evening. Here are some past Oscar tidbits. At the 1965 awards ceremony, The Beatles movie "A Hard Days Night" was nominated in two categories - Original Screenplay and Adapted Score. "A Hard Days" lost out to "Father Goose" (which starred Cary Grant) in writing and "My Fair Lady" in adapted scoring.

Paul McCartney has been nominated twice for Best Song. Sir Paul's "Live and Let Die" lost to "The Way We Were" in 1973. In 2001, Sir Paul's "Vanilla Sky" lost out to Randy Newman's "If I Didn't Have You" from "Monster's, Inc." Paul could have used some "Help" - arrrgh!

February 24, 2005, 9:00AM

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