Posted by Johnnymac 10:49 PM
I don't normally post political type stuff here, and this isn't really very political, but this afternoon I was delivering Baby Johnnymac to church to meet his mom for some class that they are in together, and on my way there I had to drive through this protest over a proposed high rise that may or may not be getting built off of Bissonet near Rice. It was a pretty wild scene - people in costumes, traffic slowed to a crawl (actually stopped due to an accident going the opposite direction from me), and mostly just a bunch of rich people lining the streets and making noise because they want to keep their idyllic neighborhood unchanged. Generally, I would be on the side of the developers here, but really, I don't care. This thing will sort itself out.
Anyway I am posting this because of a funny quote in the Chron article I linked to above. The article starts like this:
This reversal of the city's position [approving the project], the mayor's personal involvement and the announcement that prominent attorney Rusty Hardin would represent the opponents have reinforced concerns that affluent, politically connected neighborhoods enjoy an advantage over others in Houston's frequent land-use battles...
[Mayor] White and other city officials denied that the Southampton and Boulevard Oaks neighborhoods near the site at 1717 Bissonnet had received any special treatment. And neighborhood leaders said they hope the attention focused on their struggle will lead to policies that will benefit all of Houston's neighborhoods.
Not such an unusual story for Houston, but here's the money quote that made me laugh out loud:
"Sometimes it takes a project affecting folks who can get things done to actually get things done," said James Reeder, a Southampton resident and a partner in the Vinson & Elkins law firm, who said he was surprised and grateful when the mayor returned his recent call to talk about the high-rise. "We are fortunate that we have residents who do have the ear of influential people."
Well no shit.
Surely no one can be this callous or this stupid, so I am thinking Mr Reeder meant that in a good way and was focusing on what he sees as the neighborhood's good fortune to have access to the corridors of power, but how it came out sounds like something one might read in the Onion or National Lampoon.