in Houston, Texas
No Commissioners Court vote on PR contract, $150K deal for Harris County flood district withdrawn
Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012, 06:18PM CST
By Mike Cronin
watershed

Harris County officials yanked a $150,000 contract with no specified work start or end dates prior to the commissioners’ vote at their meeting Tuesday.

The move was at the request of County Commissioner Jack Morman, according to his chief of staff, who wanted more information about the proposed Flood Control District contract with public information consultant Glenda L. Callaway.

 

“My boss thought it would be better to sit down and talk with Ms. Callaway about what she may or may not be doing for the Flood Control District” before the commissioners approved the contract, Dave Walden said during a phone interview after the meeting.

 

County public records show that Callaway has earned a total of $906,000 from the Flood Control District since 2001.

 

That Callaway would earn $150,000 and $150 an hour for public-relations “is sometimes a red flag,” Walden said.

 

“We simply didn’t know anything about the contract until we saw it on the agenda” on Monday, he said. “Maybe she does a great job. I don’t know. Flood control is very important. And it’s very important that people know about it. That’s what we’ve been trying to do for a year-and-a-half.”

 

Morman was sworn in January 2011.

 

A Texas Watchdog story Monday reported that the contract also did not identify the length of the agreement between Callaway and the county Flood Control District.

 

Heather Saucier, the Flood Control District spokeswoman, said yesterday that Callaway has worked on the county taxpayers’ dime for about 11 years educating the public about Flood Control District projects and studies. She also said that the commissioners court typically renews Gallaway’s contract every 12 to 18 months.

 

Saucier said she understood that the contract would come up when the Commissioners Court meets in two weeks.

 

***

Contact Mike Cronin at mike@texaswatchdog.org or 713-228-2850. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelccronin or@texaswatchdog.


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Photo of Cypress Creek Watershed via Harris County Flood Control District website.

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