Comment of the Day: That Ship Won’t Sail

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THAT SHIP WON’T SAIL “May we have a Comment of the Day that isn’t from a Swamplot reader? This has to be it: ‘”We can’t allow the once-proud Astrodome to sit like a rusting ship in the middle of a parking lot. This was the best effort (to revamp the stadium), and voters have turned it down,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.’ I mean seriously, Judge Emmett? The County has mishandled the Dome from the beginning, and NOW you have a sense of urgency? And THIS was the County’s best effort?” [JD, commenting on Headlines: Astrodome Bonds Voted Down; Bayport Cruise Terminal’s First Ship Comes In]

15 Comment

  • Tomorrow, there is a competition for potential projects for the Astrodome being held in Fort Worth. (some pretty esteemed judges on the panel too).

    I think we easily could conduct a fundraising campaign to pay for this process.

  • I see. Instead of accepting the voter’s verdict and moving on, we blame a single official or cite a vast conspiracy to justify continued whining.

  • Waste your time and submit your proposals to competitions, sign petitions, raise funds for powerwashing the dome. It won’t make a difference. Dozens of private proposals have already been pitched and failed to gain any ground. A public proposal was put to the voters and failed too. In the end, it’s a freaking stadium. Yes the first of it’s kind but that’s it.

  • @Gisgo, it’s hardly whining or a conspriacy theory. As someone who voted *against* the proposition, I lay a GREAT DEAL of blame at the feet of the Harris County Commissioners, each one of them. From a financial standpoint and transparency standpoint, it was pure BS. I’ll vote to spend money where it makes sense, and I love historical preservation, but I couldn’t stomach this package of financial smoke and mirrors.

  • Socki – good point. This was an intentionally uninspired effort. Let the dome sit for another 10 years until there is a good plan and funding to implement it.

    Or we can spend a huge amount of money creating some new parking spaces.

    The voter’s verdict wasn’t to tear it down. Just a vote to not turn it into another convention space.

  • They always wanted to tear it down, rodeo wants a parking lot and so does the the foot ball team. They will kiss the ass of the rodeo and Texans for fear of another Oiler’s type fiasco where they leave town.

    This town has no sense of physical history, boy it’s a good thing the Alamo is not in houston, there would be a Walmart in it’s place years ago.

  • In all honesty you cannot blame Judge Emmett for this. The Rodeo and the Texans have veto power over what happens to the dome. That meant that many good and viable projects were nixed from the beginning.

    Instead we got a crappy, unneeded, convention center idea that was rightfully voted down.

    If you want to blame someone blame the Rodeo and the Texans for their narrow mindedness.

  • People don’t seem to understand that taxpayers are BANKRUPT.

  • So THAT’S how you get chosen Comment of the Day–I always wondered, now I know your Calculus

  • The County’s process was really shady. I would imagine that there are a lot of protest votes that were filed.

    I still really like the idea of turning it into a permanent medical mall, exposition, and hotel. Tie it into the TMC, give it another feather in its cap.

  • Well I’m sure the 281’ers and transplants are happy! Dirk Turk Ar Dome!!!!

  • There has never been a plan to re-purpose the Astrodome that did not include taxpayer subsidies. The taxpaying public is already supporting the stadiums for baseball, football, soccer and basketball. It is a good thing the voters rejected this plan that required another snout in the public trough.

  • I voted against not because I want it torn down (I don’t), but because of the bait-and-switch tactics done by Emmett when he asked for public ideas, then threw them all out and whipped out his own obviously already-planned idea.

    Plus, I was miffed after I heard him on NPR talking about how all the festivals that go on around town (like Greek festival, art festivals in local parks) could be held in the Dome – which is BS. The whole point of many of those is to celebrate a particular community or public space, without having to pay $20 to park and sit in traffic getting in and out of the lot.

    Then after the issue failed, he blamed the loss on the fact that the public is anti-bond and will vote against any bond issues. Also not true – we did not vote to tear down the dome – we voted against a crappy idea that we didn’t like and that was not proferred by the citizenry, but rather by the politicians in charge.

  • Looking at the bigger picture, Houston and Texas voters are very willing to open up their wallets for projects that have benefits that are far and wide. The 2 billion dollar water initiative passed easily. In Houston, ballot measures for drainage, parks, schools and even a new inmate processing center have all passed. These are all projects that benefit most everyone in some way or another. By contrast, the Astrodome project would really only be for people coming to Houston for conventions and the Katy stadium would just benefit high school football fans. The takeaway for the Astrodome, if there is ever a second shot at saving it, is that voters may be willing to put money behind something that will be an amenity for everyone (museum, botanical garden, etc.) but will not support something that will only benefit a small group or for visitors to the city.

  • I voted for because despite my misgivings about the whole handling of the dome I felt like this was the only option.

    At the end of the day Emmett has only himself and his cronies to blame for this fiasco. They have had years to come up with a credible plan for the dome and instead procrastinated until they ran out of time. At the end of the day they are either incredibly inept …. or they were angling to demolish it from the get go and were trying to figure out how to do it without having to take responsibility for the decision. This way they can point the finger and say “The voters decided” when really they gave the voters very little choice.