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Mayoral forum filled with rhetorical fireworks

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Less than three months out from the election in the largely African American community of Sunnyside, the Mayor of Houston and those who wish to replace her gathered to field question questions, and in the case of candidate Ben Hall, launch attacks.

"Houston has the number one highest rate of burglaries in the United States. I don't say that because I'm proud of it.

I say that it's something that we address," said Hall.

It was a criticism Mayor Annise Parker was eager to rebut.

"We have the lowest rate of violent crime in this city since the 1970's. The fact is one crime is too many if it happens to you. We have more police officers on the street than when I took office. Crime is down from when I first took office," said Parker.

As a measure of crime control Hall told voters Houston needs a massive expansion of surveillance cameras.

"We have technologies that we can exploit in order to let criminals know that if you come into this neighborhood your presence is detected both coming and going," said Hall.

In the Sunnyside community jobs and affordable housing are big concerns. Hall claimed Parker is to blame for more than a half billion dollars in federal development money never reaching needy neighborhoods.

"Under the present administration because of HUD violations they have frozen over $600 million of public funds from coming into Houston," said Hall.

Parker fired back.

"There have been no HUD violations on my watch. They occurred under previous administrations and I've done my best to clean them up. Women are good at cleaning up other people's messes," said Parker who is seeking a third term.

Hall, a former City Attorney, promised voters that if he's elected potholes would be repaired within 72 hours of being reported.

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