Houston City Controller Chris Hollins announced during a June 5 Houston City Council meeting that his office will not certify a pending agreement between the city and the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association until the document is further reviewed.

Two-minute impact

The city of Houston announced the details of the approximately $650 million settlement in March, and the financial implications of the contract quickly became a topic of debate among City Council members.

Hollins said his office did not receive the entire 150-page document until June 3.

“It’s very common for our office when we receive agenda items, if we don’t have a clear understanding, to go and ask questions of the city departments," he said. "But here, before we even ask those questions, it’s our responsibility to simply read the document. We need to understand it before we move forward with it, and we haven’t had enough time to complete our review.”

Hollins said certifying the agreement is ultimately about detecting the availability of funds.

“To understand the availability of funds, we have to understand the financial impact,” he said. “To understand the financial impact, we have to read the document. We’re in the process of doing that. At this point, it’s simply about review and then inputting some of the financial terms and so on into our model.”

Houston Mayor John Whitmire said the agenda item was likely to be tagged by a council member even if it was certified by the controller’s office. A tag is an action a council member can take to delay voting on an agenda item until the following council meeting.

Also on the agenda

City Council was also slated to vote June 5 on the fiscal year 2024-25 budget. The item was tagged and will return to council for a vote during the next meeting June 12.