Mayor Turner says chaotic special city council session was ‘wrong on so many levels’

HOUSTON - While the mayor is away, the city council will play, or tried to anyway.  When a special session of Houston City Council didn't make quorum and had to be dismissed, members took things outside into the hallway.

With Mayor Sylvester Turner out of town on a trade mission in South America, five city council members tried to call a special council meeting this week.

The meeting was an attempt to try and get a petition about firefighter pay on the city council agenda in time to be on the 2018 November ballot.

The petition at hand is pushing to get firefighters pay parity with Houston police.

The way the city council works in Houston, the mayor generally sets the agenda for what will make it on the agenda for city council meetings.

“What happens on the flip side, when it's something that you are passionate about that you were trying to, when you have a mayor that not only decides to bump it out and bump it out and there's all this uncertainty it's very unsettling.  We need to make sure that there's certainty in the process and that we continue to support Houstonians,” Councilwoman Brenda Stardig said.

A committee meeting is scheduled for next week to discuss the issue of pay parity

In an official statement from the mayor, he calls Friday's special session attempt "wrong on so many levels."  He adds that estimates show this petition would cost $236 million over three years at a minimum and, "council members have a responsibility to their constituents and people in the city to justify these costs and explain how it will be paid for.”

We're sure Turner will have plenty more to say once he returns to the Bayou City.