With the battle cry "clean up city hall," businessman, columnist and former FOX 26 News contributor Bill King officially launched his bid to be Houston's next mayor, lashing out at the incumbent to whom he lost in the last election by less than 4,000 votes.
"I want you to imagine a city where the garbage is picked up on time, all the time," asked King toward a crowd of supporters. "Are you telling me that the city that put men on the Moon can't fix the damn streets? Come on! Are you telling me a city that dug a ship channel fifty miles inland can't solve its drainage problems?"
Promising a balanced budget and a "back-to-basics" agenda of municipal service, King hammered away at the current mayor's performance, claiming street repairs are down 26 percent and the number of miles repaved lanes at a five-year low.
King also said Houston has fewer police officers manning a force which is solving only 6 percent of burglaries.
"I want you to imagine a city where the mayor is not blaming his failures on the fact that you are not paying enough property taxes," added King.
Speaking one-on-one with FOX 26 News, King called Mayor Sylvester Turner's crippling, unresolved dispute with the city's firefighters "a complete failure of leadership."
"No general has ever won a war by shooting their own troops," said King. "You cannot be at war with the employees that you are leading. That doesn't work. We've got a show pony for a mayor. We need a workhorse."
The Turner re-election campaign offered FOX 26 the following response:
Bill King has been running again for mayor since December 12, 2015, and everything he says about the city is negative. It’s the same old rhetoric: no vision, no ideas, no solutions.