HOUSTON (FOX 26) - After months of bitter public battle, the City of Houston and its firefighter's union are again heading back to the bargaining table.
For the second time this year, a court has ordered the warring parties into mediation - an effort to find an elusive compromise over the controversial issue of pay parity with Houston Police.
"This is a new day. Anything that was yesterday is gone. We are looking forward," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Turner says he's willing to deal, but insists any offer will not exceed what he believes the City can afford.
"I am going to be positive and optimistic and I am going to walk in with the intent of resolving it and hopefully we will," said Turner.
On the other side of the table, the Mayor will likely meet an equal measure of resolve.
"It's very easy, respect democracy. Respect the will of the 300,000 voters," said Marty Lancton, President of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association.
Lancton says voters approved pay parity for his members and the Mayor should honor that demand, regardless of whether Proposition B survives the ongoing court challenge.
Lancton predicts this round of talks will crumble like those before it if the Mayor fails to adequately reveal the City's finances.
"We cannot bring a contract to our firefighters if we cannot verify the numbers, it's that simple. I am prohibited by law from doing so," said Lancton.