02/06/18 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: UNINCORPORATED HARRIS COUNTY OUGHT TO START INCORPORATING “Since the population is booming in unincorporated Harris County, it may approach a tipping point where the representation may need to be increased on the Commissioners Court. As it stands now, there are 4 Commissioners plus the County Judge, a total of 5 elected officials for this burgeoning population. Conceivably, we could have 8 Commissioners plus the judge so that each ‘slice’ of the county could be fewer people and theoretically, there would be more responsiveness from the county office to a given resident. That being said, I don’t mind more townships or small cities being created to mop up the unincorporated areas so that each burg could work to benefit its taxpayers. Basically, a divide and conquer approach (or ‘zone defense’ if you want another metaphor), but to provide responsive, efficient service to its own residents. There is only so much that the county can do when it has to cover the whole of Harris County.” [Wolf Brand Chili, commenting on The Astonishing Rise of Unincorporated Harris County] Illustration: Lulu  

06/30/16 2:45pm

WHAT MONTGOMERY COUNTY’S ROAD BOND REFERENDUM SCANDAL COULD COST Alan Sadler County Commissioners Court Building, 501 North Thompson, Fourth Floor, Conroe, Texas 77301In the wake of last week’s indictment of 2 Montgomery County commissioners, a county judge, and a political consultant married to the county treasurer, Judge Craig Doyal has been suspended without pay this week, though the involved commissioners are allowed to keep serving for now. If the group is convicted of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act (having allegedly held closed-door sessions about a $280 million county road bond referendum that voters approved last year), the commissioners may be removed as well, writes Andrew Schneider this morning. University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus tells Schneider that the case, convictions or no, could also have broader implications for the county: “If the perception is that the government can’t handle it, then the voters may lose faith in the individuals involved, and [in the future] decide to simply not vote in favor of [these kinds of] bonds.” Schneider reports that upcoming funding needs for Montgomery county road projects are estimated at around $6 billion. [Houston Public Media] Photo of Alan B. Sadler Commissioners’ Court Building at 501 N. Thompson St. in Conroe: Montgomery County Attorney’s Office