Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.
Allen Parkway Anti-Improvement Plan

Allen Parkway Anti-Improvement Plan

For Houstonians commuting between River Oaks and Downtown, Allen Parkway has traditionally been most convenient. The three-lane highway’s lack of congestion compared to other regional roadways has made it a blessing for commuters. Unfortunately, Houston City Council...

Montgomery County’s $350 Million Road Bond

Montgomery County’s $350 Million Road Bond

The Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously agreed to ignore the concerns of many of their constituents in a recent bond proposal on the upcoming May ballot. The Commissioners Court approved a project presented to the court by the Montgomery County Road Bond...

Is HISD’s $4 Million Facility Study A Precursor to Another Bond?

Is HISD’s $4 Million Facility Study A Precursor to Another Bond?

It appears another HISD bond proposal looms on the horizon, according to district superintendent, Terry Grier. Although he wouldn’t commit to a timeline, the $4 million facility study recently approved by the HISD school board signals it’s coming in the very near...

Harris County’s Houston Problem

Harris County’s Houston Problem

With the legislative session underway, Harris County is looking forward to legislation that will help them recoup much needed funds that are currently being collected by the City of Houston. A favorable bill would require Houston to spend more of the tax revenue...

HISD Comes Up Short Again

HISD Comes Up Short Again

At a Special Meeting on January 22nd, Houston ISD Board Members were delivered an unpromising update from the bond department on the status of their 2012 bond program and ongoing projects. The report notified board members that after asking Houston voters to approve...

Houston Feeding Ordinance

Houston Feeding Ordinance

In a time when we should encourage charitable giving, Houston’s Feeding Ordinance does exactly the opposite.  In classic political-doublespeak fashion, the adversely named ordinance increases the level of government dependency and actively punishes those trying to...

Houston: Behind The Veil

Houston: Behind The Veil

From the outside, Houston appears to be a model metropolis, with commercial growth throughout the city, relatively inexpensive housing (for a large city), and a young population taking advantage of the rapid job creation. But behind the veil lies a different Houston,...

Mayor Parker’s Immigration Action

Mayor Parker’s Immigration Action

Continuing in her trend of being the antagonist of Houstonians, Mayor Annise Parker has joined a coalition of big-city Mayors from across the country to express their support for President Obama’s unilateral immigration reforms. New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio,...