plan

Harris County to consider plan for downtown park renovation, lynching memorial

Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday is expected to approve a plan to transform a one-block park in downtown Houston into a memorial to four African-American men who were lynched during the Jim Crow era.

The proposal by Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis would use the entire block that contains Quebedeaux Park — between Fannin, Congress, San Jacinto and Franklin streets — into a place where he said visitors can remember racial terror of the past and reflect on the continued effects of discrimination.

“As the divides between us appear to grow wider due to many foundational biases — including structural racism, systemic discrimination and political polarization — creating a healing place that is dedicated to recognizing our shared past while finding paths to unity and community is needed to build a stronger future for Harris County,” Ellis said in a statement.

A major focal point of the site will be four lynching markers donated by the Equal Justice Initiative, which also runs a museum in Montgomery, Ala., that showcases the history of enslavement and oppression of African-Americans. The Legacy Museum depicts 4,400 racially motivated killings between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 to 1950.

Commissioners Court unanimously approved the installation of the markers in 2018.

Along with the four markers, Ellis said the site design includes art installations, a water feature, space for public education and

Continue Reading

Monument trustees approve $22 million financing plan to fund water system improvements | Thetribune

MONUMENT • The Monument Board of Trustees has authorized a major move to fund water improvement projects over the next three years.

At the board’s Sept. 21 meeting, they heard recommendations from town staff and special legal counsel regarding the potential for using the sale of revenue bonds to fund major improvements to its water system over the coming years.

However, instead of revenue bonds, it was recommended Monument create an ordinance to enter a site lease agreement and lease purchase agreement to market Certificates of Participation (COPs) — an alternate form of financing.

Town attorney Andrew Richey presented the finer details of the agreement, with bond counsel provided by Nate Eckloff of Piper Sandler and Kimberly Crawford of Butler Snow Law Firm. Both counsels recommended the certificates to help maximize the town’s budgetary flexibility in financing the water projects.

Presently, the town has a 2A water fund and an enterprise water fund for its improvements. Formal revenue bonds would have the town fund improvements from just one fund, Richey said. Using Certificates of Participation is a way many municipalities, counties and school districts fund projects without having to raise taxes and is a financial structure approved by the Colorado Supreme Court, Richey said. The collateral for the agreement would be town-owned property, infrastructure and improvements.

With the agreement, Monument would lease its collateral property to BOK Financial in Denver, which would act as the financial trustee in exchange for an anticipated $22 million. BOK Financial then leases back the property to the town, and Monument pays “base rents” to pay off the $22 million over time, Richey said.

Richey said Certificates of Participation also carry added protection for the town since they involve leases over a particular term and not transfer of title. Monument would not lose title to

Continue Reading

Brexit news: Labour leader blasted for siding with EU over Boris’ Brexit plan | Politics | News

The controversial Internal Market Bill passed its first Commons hurdle on Monday as MPs voted it through with a majority of 77. The Bill also completed the first day of committee stage without being changed, with an SNP amendment and Labour amendment both being defeated by the Government. But the Labour Party’s scrutiny of the Bill has been heavily criticised for “undermining the democratic choices of the British people”.

Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, told Express.co.uk: “Sir Keir Starmer wrote the key part of Labour’s 2019 manifesto on demanding a second referendum on the EU.

“He’s not just someone who wanted Remain, he wants to undermine the democratic choices of the British people.

“Furthermore, with the EU currently refusing to give Britain a Canada-style free trade deal, and instead bind us into EU law on state aid, keep control of our fishing and put a customs border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland – they’re treating us with contempt.”

Mr Holden added that Sir Keir is appearing to be on the side of the EU over the Withdrawal Agreement.

He said: “As such, we need to have the option of a ‘break glass moment’ to save the Union if, and only if, the EU refuses to give us the right deal by the end of the year.

“The fact that Labour would rather break up the UK than push back against the EU shows that under Starmer they’re the same as under Corbyn – which shouldn’t be a surprise because Starmer wrote Corbyn’s Europe policy.

“We need strong leadership on this and that’s what’s being provided by the Government.

“The question the British people need to ask themselves is ‘what side is Sir Keir Starmer on?'”

READ MORE: Piers Morgan clashes with Labour’s Green after Starmer COVID probe

Continue Reading