Texas Liberal

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Houston Councilwoman Sue Lovell Thinks Dead City Worker Jerry Hines Deserved Low Pay

Houston City Councilwoman Sue Lovell, a so-called Democrat, seems to be of the view that dead Houston city worker Jerry Hines Jr., deserved low pay.

Mr. Hines was killed on January 17, 2007, while helping a motorist during bad weather. 

The Houston Chronicle reported that Mr. Hines made only $17,000 a year. That comes out to $8.17 an hour.  I wrote a letter to my Houston City Councilmembers asking if they thought $17,000 a year was adequate pay for city employees.

Here is the response I got from Ms. Lovell’s office—  Mr. Aquino—The council member wants to let you know that a lot of new hires start in entry level positions depending on their qualifications and work experience and then apply for other positions within the city once an opportunity becomes available. It is unfortunate that Mr. Hines was unable to take advantage of the many opportunities the city has to offer. I hope this helps you better understand this situation. Thank you for bring your concern to this office.

My take on this response is that Ms. Lovell believes that Mr. Hines was earning all the money he deserved. It also seems to be the case that Ms. Lovell thinks it is okay for entry-level city workers to receive low pay.

I voted for Ms. Lovell once. I won’t make that mistake again. 

February 14, 2007 - Posted by | Houston, Politics


  1. Hi,

    Virtually all city employess starting at entry level positions, based on work history and experience, receive low wages and the opportunity to advance.

    Her respose was appropriate.

    Your seeing what you want to in her letter to you.

    Asking for an award for the gentleman wasn’t part of your query.

    Seems like an unspoken personal problem between you and her to me.

    Comment by icanplainlysee | February 14, 2007

  2. Thank you for your comment.

    I can’t see how $8.17 an hour is a fair wage for city work. Or really for any work. Nor do I think it should be suggested that Mr. Hines was not able to be promoted when he was clearly able to go beyond the call of duty on the day he was killed.

    I have never met Ms. Lovell. My only interaction with her before this was voting for her.

    Comment by neilaquino | February 14, 2007

  3. Neil:

    Are you sure you’re a liberal?

    Because your postings lately call it into question. Sue Lovell is a long-time friend to organized labor. She simply does not believe what you think she does.

    Comment by PDiddie | February 14, 2007

  4. I sent a reply to Ms. Lovell’s response a week ago and never heard back from her office. I waited that week to make this post so her office would have a fair chance to reply. Should I read her mind?

    In my first letter to her I asked if $17K was a decent wage. That question was never addressed.

    It’s great that Ms. Lovell supports organized labor. I was once a AFL-CIO, SEIU and UAW endorsed candidate for the Cincinnati Board of Education. I look forward to seeing Ms. Lovell taking a more vocal role in supporting workers in Houston.

    I even voted for Ms. Lovell despite the lousy nasty campaign between her and Jay Aiyer that left me not wanting to vote for either of them.

    I’m pretty sure I’m a liberal. If you know otherwise please don’t tell my mom. She would be disappointed to find out that I had moved to the right.

    I’m not sure what posts you are talking about that make you think I’m not a liberal–But I do know that you are nice to read my blog and to leave a comment.

    Comment by neilaquino | February 14, 2007

  5. $8.17/hr is pretty low, does it include benefits?

    Comment by Laz | February 14, 2007

  6. I looked around the City of Houston web site and it would seem that benefits are in addition to salary. Still—the electric company and the phone company won’t take your benefit package as payment.

    Comment by neilaquino | February 14, 2007

  7. What do you think an entry level City of Houston laborer should earn? And don’t say “a living wage” because a living wage means different things to different people with different socio-economic backgrounds. And why stop with city employees? Why not make sure every entry level worker in every industry in Houston makes, oh I don’t know, say $20,000. Would that be okay with you? What about their supervisors? Should they make more than the entry level workers? And what about the managers? Should they make more than the supervisors?

    Comment by Myron | February 14, 2007

  8. I don’t have a set wage that I think people should be paid. I don’t know where you get the idea that I think workers should be paid more than the people who supervise them. (Though that does indeed happen in some workplaces.) I’m just saying people should be paid a fair wage and that $17k a year is not enough to live on. I think government especially should pay decent wages. Thank you for your comment.

    Comment by neilaquino | February 14, 2007

  9. Having worked with Sue Lovell in politics, I can say:
    Sue Lovell is a Democrat, if it benefits Sue Lovell.
    Sue Lovell is a liberal, if it benefits Sue Lovell.
    Sue Lovell is a supporter of organized labor, if it benefits Sue Lovell.
    Now that Sue Lovell has won election, she will glory in Sue Lovell.
    Notice that not very many gays came out to support Lovell when she was in the run-off with Jay –only about 15,000–in contrast to the beloved Anise Parker, who would of course have generated a greater turn-out because of her integrity and honesty. Sue is nothing but a self-aggrandizing politician. Hopefully no one will make the same mistake next time she runs. Throw the rascal out!!!

    Comment by pete riley | June 25, 2007

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