The year 2011 is nearly over; however, the politics of the City of Houston is not. Mayor Annise Parker is doing her best to make sure that her administration remains intact by putting the full weight of her office behind the re-election of City Councilwoman Brenda Stardig during this run-off period. Stardig has been a key ally to the Mayor and her ability to pass programs that have made her administration unique. Stardig had poor results in the November election resulting in a run-off with Elena Brown. The result of the election was a complete surprise to Stardig and Mayor Parker. Now Stardig has a campaign with new life with the hope of turning around her re-election team.
Mayor Parker has a full schedule of programs for her second term and is determined to see them through to their conclusion. The Mayor is very proud of her accomplishments and wants to make sure that her programs will go forward and be successful. Prop 1, a program that was voted on and passed by the voters, is facing new opposition and may have a problem of being fully implemented. The Red Light Camera controversy is still not over because the cameras are still up and the Mayor or David Feldman (City Attorney) has not stated when they will be coming down. Michael Kubah has stated that he would be willing to take them down himself if the Mayor won’t. There is now a movement that is getting traction to reverse a number of the fee increases that the Mayor put in place during her first term. The pushback is coming in from every sector of the City of Houston. The Mayor increased these fees to help to balance the budget, so that the lay-offs would be minimal. There are those who believe that some of those increases were unfair and should have been voted on by the citizens of Houston. The Mayor has her hands full trying to maintain the program in their original form and needs the full complement of a new City Council (17 City Council members) to help her.
There is another heated run-off race that has been attracting a lot of attention and controversy. The run-off between City Councilwoman Jolanda Jones and businessman Jack Christy has taken some nasty turns and Councilwoman Jolanda Jones is fighting to stay alive. Councilwoman Jones has come out clean with all of the accusations that have been leveled against her. She has been vindicated and has a renewed political life. She is fighting with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to win the runoff. She has rededicated her political career to finishing her last term for her constituents whom she worked so hard for.
The new City Council will consist of 17 members and represent a whole new set of challenges for the Mayor as well as the rest of City Council. This is the beginning of a whole new chapter in government for the City of Houston.