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The downside to unelected officials

I happened to come across this story and thought it would be a useful data point given the recent discussion about maybe having an appointed elections administrator for Harris County.

Medina County Elections Administrator Brodie Koch was a no-show at a recent meeting where critics sought her firing on grounds she’s rude and unprofessional.

Koch, who’s held the $31,000-a-year job about three years, declined comment Tuesday pending a follow-up meeting — yet to be set — by the local election commission.

The push to oust Koch is being led by Olga Sharer, chairwoman of the Medina County Democratic Party, who holds a seat on the five-member election commission.

“She is an equal-opportunity rude, uncooperative, unprofessional person,” Sharer said Tuesday.

She lined up other critics of Koch for the June 3 meeting of the panel which, by a four-fifths vote, can recommend the election administrator’s firing to county commissioners.

I don’t know anything about the particulars of this case, but that’s not important. What is important to me is that four-fifths vote requirement to oust her; actually, it’s just to recommend that the County Commissioners fire her, which I presume they can then decline to do if they so choose. I will stipulate that the setup we have in Harris County right now does not make a whole lot of sense, and that there are a number of advantages to trying to shield the person who runs our elections from electoral politics. But I am uncomfortable with the idea that a minority, especially an unelected minority, could stand in the way of removing an incompetent elections administrator. I think that’s just asking for trouble. Commissioners Court will be discussing Emmett’s proposal today, so I hope there will be some discussion of this.

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  1. […] know my concerns about this. I just hope that if this goes forward in September, there will be some real […]