A petition to put a measure on the ballot giving firefighters and police officers equal pay saw the deadline to get on the ballot come and go without a stamp of approval from the city.
Firefighters are blaming the mayor’s office for the failure of the 52,000 signature petition, something the mayor’s office officially denied, according to the Houston Press.
With the Firefighters’ Union going a back and forth on the matter with City Hall for weeks, it says Mayor Sylvester Turner let the deadline for the petition’s approval purposefully expire.
Regardless of the reason for the expiration, the initiative will not be on November’s ballot, but the union remains determined:
“As our fight goes on and we regroup on the ballot fight, we also will ensure that Houston voters learn the truth about the looming threats to public safety caused by the mayor’s neglect of HFD and its people,” Houston Pro Firefighters Association President Marty Lancton wrote in an open letter released Monday.
Lancton added he offered to help the city pay for verifying the petition’s signatures if it needed more money to pay overtime wages.
City Secretary Anna Russell said her office couldn’t verify the signatures by the deadline because they were working on an earlier petition addressing pension reform.
The mayor’s spokesman Alan Bernstein backed her up, saying petitions are always verified in the order received.