We have our first contested race for a non-city of Houston office as former Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Jew Don Boney has announced his candidacy for the HCC Trustee District IV seat. You can see his press release here. This is the seat currently held by Michael P. Williams, who is as far as we know still running for At Large #2, for which Carroll Robinson had previously announced his candidacy. Interestingly, a day before this press release was sent out to Carl Whitmarsh’s mailing list, a parody version of it that was nearly identical in wording was sent out announcing that Boney would not run for HCC Trustee. I don’t know if that was someone’s idea of a joke or something else, but it was weird to see. Anyway, we now have a contested race for an open seat, which is how it should be. This Chron story has more on what ought to be an interesting race.
One item to add to this: Last week, I took another crack at getting my hands on campaign finance reports for HCC Trustee candidates. I had originally been advised to send an email to the HCCS General Counsel requesting them, but she was on vacation when I did that, and she never responded. This time, after a couple of calls to the General Counsel’s office, I was directed to the HCCS webpage and told to do a search for “Public information”, which yielded this link, and from there this public information request form. Which, being a scanned document, I could not edit. As I did not want to print it and mail or fax it into the General Counsel’s office, I just borrowed the language and sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, asking for all of the July finance reports. I subsequently received a reply saying I “will receive notice regarding the status of the document(s) you’ve requested within 10 business days after the date you filed your request”. All this for documents that are easily findable for other government entities on their websites. I will update you when I hear back from them. The good news is that I also had some correspondence with HCC Trustee Richard Schechter, who told me that he has asked the appropriate board committee to approve putting these reports on the Trustees’ webpage. He hopes to have this done for the next reporting deadline. That would be great if it can happen. My thanks to Schechter for taking up this long overdue issue.