Mayor Annise Parker has named the members of City Council who will lead the council’s six subcommittees.
This biennial announcement is eagerly awaited mainly by City Hall insiders, but the assignments do help indicate which council members are more likely to get a sympathetic ear from the mayor over the next two years.
Councilman Stephen Costello (who has announced his own mayoral aspirations in two years) was reappointed chair of the key Budget & Fiscal Affairs committee. Councilman Dave Martin will chair the budget committee’s subgroup focusing on pensions and health benefits.
“Our challenge now is to address the city’s long-term financial obligations including pensions, post-employment benefits and deferred maintenance of city facilities, fleet and technology,” Costello said. “A good economy alone cannot solve these long-term challenges. I’m committed to working with my colleagues to find real solutions so Houston is on strong financial footing for years to come.”
Councilman Ed Gonzalez remains chair of Public Safety & Homeland Security, Councilwoman Ellen Cohenwill chair Quality of Life, Councilman Oliver Pennington will chair Ethics, Elections & Council Governance, Councilman Mike Laster will chair Housing & Community Affairs and Councilman Larry Green will chair Transportation, Technology & Infrastructure.
“I’m looking forward to spearheading this Committee and moving the City’s transportation, technology, and infrastructure needs forward,” Green said. “Through the collaborative efforts of my council colleagues, I’m confident this Committee will find solid solutions to Houston’s infrastructure needs.”
Other items of note include that two freshmen council members were named vice chairs (David Robinson in Quality of Life and Robert Gallegos in Housing & Community Affairs) and that, as expected, CouncilmanC.O. Bradford was left out. Bradford, who supported Parker’s top opponent Ben Hall in last November’s election, was replaced as vice mayor pro-tem and as vice chair of the budget committee by CouncilmanJerry Davis, and also formerly led the ethics committee. Bradford, however, said he’s happy with his role; Parker’s memo notes that he will chair a committee (to be formed later) that will review the city’s charter and recommend changes. Here is a recent op-ed Bradford co-authored on that topic.
For Parker’s full memo, including the members appointed to vice chair all the committees, click here.