This Week at City Hall

May. 17, 2013Office of Council Member Ellen Cohen

Downtown Parking Signs Receive Makeover

In the coming months, you can expect changes which will make parking downtown easier. Currently, there are about 120 different types of signs that make determining when and where you can park confusing and frustrating. Council has approved a contract that will streamline them down to as few as 16 types of signs. The nearly 6,000 signs that will be removed as part of the process will be used for a public art project. Look for this standardization to be enacted across the city in the future.

Memorial Park Gets a Master Plan

Council approved the expansion of the boundaries of the Uptown TIRZ to include Memorial Park. This partnership will provide funding for the creation and implementation of an updated master plan for the park, although control of the park will remain with the City of Houston.  Several public meetings will be scheduled to solicit input on what should be included in the master plan.  Council Member Cohen looks forward to working closely with the Memorial Park Conservancy throughout this process to ensure that Memorial Park remains the green heart of our city for generations to come.

On the Agenda

The ordinance that governs layoffs of City employees has received an upgrade. Though some civilian workers were unfortunately laid off due to the economic downturn two years ago, the City of Houston is re-hiring some of these employees.  To ease their transition back into City service, Council approved an amendment that would allow an employee affected by the 2011 layoffs who returned to work within one year to have their previously accrued sick leave and vacation time restored.

What’s Happening in the Annex

Based out of the University of Houston’s College of Education, All Kids Alliance seeks to improve academic outcomes for children by bringing together business, education, non-profit, parent, faith and other stakeholders, creating a greater civic infrastructure to support students across our city. Council Member Cohen met with All Kids Alliance Executive Director Bob Wimpelberg to discuss engaging the District C community in their initiatives for 2013.