Houston City Hall

With no breakthroughs Monday on next year’s city budget, the Houston City Council will hold a special closed meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12,  to tackle the spending document.

The decision came during a 90-minute session that was filled with accusations.

The council meeting came two weeks after a contentious gathering of the six-member council and mayor that fell apart over the 2023 city budget and an unexecuted contract for the recently hired city administrator, Mark Campbell.

Four of the council — Angie Gettys, Sheila Walker, Don Romines and Kevin Stilley — turned back a reading of the document again this Monday and explained they wanted a full discussion of pay issues in the budget, including a proposed 8.3 percent across-the-board cost of living adjustment (COLA) and global review of wage issues in the city, including on a new state minimum wage on Jan. 1. Several city employees looked on.

As with the last meeting, Sam Kelley, personnel committee chair, said he would not call a meeting, and others in the minority said they were unaware that the council majority was unhappy with the budget until the last council meeting.

Without a decision for 2023, city attorney Brad Eidson said the 2022 document would remain in place.

In an attempt to move forward on the city administrator’s contract issue, Eidson walked the board through a draft document and edited it before the mayor and council for its finalization.

More in next week’s newspaper and online.

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