In two terms on the five-member Harris County Commissioners Court, 60-year-old Sylvia Garcia has been an energetic and innovative representative for Precinct 2. The Chronicle strongly urges voters to return her to office.
Garcia is an experienced fiscal manager, having been elected Houston city controller twice before winning her current post in 2002. She was also city municipal courts director and presiding judge for a decade.
Garcia has worked hard to improve infrastructure and health care services in the precinct. During her tenure, six parks, two park-and-rides and eight school-based health clinics have been created, as well as the new John Phelps Courthouse Annex 4 in Pasadena. It will house offices for the tax assessor-collector, the juvenile probation department and the county’s environmental services division of public health.
The project came in under budget and ahead of schedule. According to the commissioner, “The residents of Precinct 2 deserve the best in customer service, and the Phelps Courthouse Annex addresses that need directly.”
The commissioner has stretched her budget by partnering with local, state and federal agencies to bring in approximately $111 million for projects to be completed over the next two to five years. She cites improvements to Fairmont Parkway in Pasadena and Space Center Boulevard, as well as repairs and renovations to the Washburn Tunnel and historic Lynchburg Ferry.
Garcia supports a new jail booking center to help alleviate overcrowding in the county jail and improved services to get mentally ill inmates the treatment they need. She has pressed for better air quality monitoring of industrial facilities and hired a full-time precinct director to focus on environmental issues and work on security concerns for the region’s petrochemical complex and Ship Channel.
In most Chron endorsements, the endorsee’s opponent is not mentioned. In this case, the Chron spends a paragraph noting that Commissioner Garcia’s opponent is a know-nothing lightweight. Of course, in this season, that’s considered a qualification for some. You can listen to my interview with Commissioner Garcia here.