8 thoughts on “Longtime Charleston Mayor to Nirenberg: Prioritize People, Beauty

  1. Why can’t the city directly fund affordable housing? The answer is out there somewhere. I would have recast as “XXXXX prevents the city from directly funding affordable housing” or something like that.

    My guess is it’s a state law pushed by the very busy developer’s lobbyists.

    • It can through the general fund but there isn’t much money to work with. 2/3 of it is consumed by public safety. Our city charter needs a tweak to allow us to fund affordable housing through revenue bonds like all the other major metros in Texas. The language currently only allows us to bond public facilities such as streets and libraries.

      • I see. I think I mingled this issue with the prohibition by state law that the city can’t force developers to include affordable housing in a project when considering zoning, permits, etc.

  2. Think how much money the city could save if the mayor did take on the city manager position!!! Give him a huge raise and use the rest to build affordable nice housing! “Charleston has what is called a mayor-council or “strong mayor” form of government – which places the mayor in a position of overseeing the Council and the day-to-day operations of the city. In San Antonio’s council-manager form of government, the city manager takes on more daily operation responsibilities.” There are so many small homes in need of saving that could be rehabilitated, think Habitat for Humanity. New Orleans post-Katrina had so many great ideas used for replacing the homes lost in low-income neighborhoods. San Antonio has a great deal in common with New Orleans in terms of economics, etc. Large public housing projects have been deemed unsuccessful for years. Placing families in individual homes is for the good of the community and those families who need care from the community at large.

    • The city would save a paltry few hundred thousand dollars. Not a drop in the bucket of the City’s budget. In return, the City would lose the amazing stewardship that the City Manager has brought to our finances. That’s a swap I’m not willing to make.

        • I agree with the above. A good city manager.. .and no one argues with ours being a step above “good” has made good decision after good decision, looking ahead for our better future.

          Why change something that works so well !

    • you need a city manager whether it is a strong mayor form of government or not. And, she only makes enough to build a few units per year…not exactly going to add to the affordable housing demand.

      no one is saying large public housing projects should be built…most affordable housing developments in the 21st century are mixed-income.
      rehabbing small homes is great and can be done, but it’s not going to get you very many homes for families. multi-family developments can create a larger number of homes for people for less money than rehabbing dilapidated buildings.
      Single family homes aren’t always what is best for families or communities – they can be expensive to upkeep and expensive with property tax payments. denser communities create walkable places, jobs near where you live, transit opportunities, eyes on the street, and, when done well, also creates a community within the developments themselves.

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