Houston City Hall

The City of Houston Controller

Why is the Controller such a critical position?

About the City Controller

Council Member Kubosh believes the city should be good stewards of the money it brings in from Houston’s hard-working taxpaying citizens.   He also believes that there must be accountability and restraint on spending and taxing. He feels strongly that the City should not spend more money than it brings in, and that it should create a rainy day fund for its future. As Controller, Council Member Kubosh will be a budget watchdog, not a political lapdog.

The Controller of the nation’s fourth largest city oversees a $5 billion budget, manages the city’s $4 billion investment portfolio, as well as its $13 billion debt portfolio. In addition, the Controller processes payments, audits city departments, conducts the sale of municipal bonds, and produces an annual report of the city’s finances. Looking ahead to the 2023 budget, the proposed general fund budget of $2.74 billion reflects an increase in spending of $102 million dollars. The nonprofit organization Truth in Accounting released a report in February 2023 that gave Houston a financial grade of “D” for its fiscal health. Houston ranked 57 out of 75 cities studied. They have determined that Houston taxpayers would need to pay $8,900 each to cover all of the city’s financial obligations1.

Houston’s 665 square miles – one of the most expansive cities in the United States – and years of differed infrastructure maintenance has put the city on a precipice of disaster. Most recently in November 2022, the entire City was put under a boil water notice after a power outage at a water purification plant. Infrastructure isn’t just about fixing potholes. This incident alone caused millions of dollars in City and private sector resources, school closures, and delays of medical procedures (just to name just a few consequences).

Councilmember Kubosh believes Houston’s infrastructure is under duress. Too much money has gone down the tubes and “33 million dollars of it is going to pay salaries at public works. The citizens voted, believing that the money that was going to go into this fund was in a lock box and that it wasn’t going to be used for anything other than dedicated drainage and sewer. . . . don’t tell the taxpayers to vote one thing and then you do something else with the money.”

As serious as the infrastructure situation has become, it must be emphasized that this is not the city’s sole responsibility. Municipalities are also responsible for overseeing the police and fire departments, municipal courts, trash and sewage management, parks and recreation services, to name a few. The University of Houston surveyed Houston residents and asked what issues most concerned them about the city. Flooding and violent crime were top issues for many respondents, closely followed by concerns about poor condition of streets, the homeless population, and traffic2.  

As the City’s fiscal watchdog, Councilmember Kubosh will ensure the City gets back to paying for its basic responsibilities and stops differing expenses. He will stop the practice of taking one-time revenue to fund ongoing expenses, as the use of temporary money as a permanent solution is untenable. Preshttp://www.darktable.org/ident Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (Act made funds available to the City to help close its budget gap for FY 2021-20223.  The City administration promised to provide transparency on how the $607.6 million dollars would be spent. But this money was used a bandaid to coverup the City’s years of poor fiscal policy.

Council Member Kubosh is committed to steering the city toward a structurally balanced budget. His political acumen and respect for the will of the taxpayers makes him the right choice for Houston’s next Controller to steer the city back on track toward financial health.


[1] https://www.truthinaccounting.org/library/doclib/HOU-2021-2pager.pdf

2 https://uh.edu/news-events/stories/2021/february-2021/02102021-hobby-harris-county.php

3 https://www.houstontx.gov/arpa/

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