Another Political First For Houston

We all know that Saturday’s runoff  ushered in a new era of Houston  politics with the election of  Annise Parker as the city’s first openly gay Mayor.

Almost no attention has been paid  to the fact, except by some in the African-American community,  that Houston also made history in the runoff race for city of  Houston controller.

Ronald Green will be the first African America to hold the title of  Controller in the one hundred six-year history of  the office. 

When he is sworn in on January 1, 2010,  Green will become Houston’s 15th controller, and according to the city’s website,  Houston has elected two Hispanics and three women to serve as controller since the office was created in 1903.

When I asked Green about it  after Wednesday’s city council meeting he told me that while he didn’t make it a campaign issue he does believe that being first is significant.  

Green, who is currently wrapping up a six-year term on council, says he feels it will be even more important for him to do a good job as the city’s Chief  Financial Officer, considering the state of the economy.

Green says he hopes to have a strong working relationship with Mayor-Elect Parker, but also plans to act independently as the taxpayer’s watchdog.

 The Controller’s main job is to produce a comprehensive annual financial report and conduct performance reviews of all city departments and programs.

While It’s not the sexiest or most recognizable  position,  one could argue that Green is about to take the reigns of  one of the most important jobs at city hall.

And at least two controllers, Annise Parker and Kathy Whitmire, eventually became Houston Mayors.

4 Responses

  1. Who was the third woman who served as Controller? Besides Kathy Whitmire and Annise Parker?

    • Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia is a former City of Houston Controller.
      When elected, Garcia became the first woman and first Hispanic to serve on the court.

  2. What about the elephant in the living room–the troubles Mr Green has had with the Internal Revenue Service. He is licensed as a lawyer by the State of Texas. He has been self employed.

    Did he never have a second thought about hiring a professional to work with in preparing federal income taxes?

    Does this strike anyone as a problem in judgment?

  3. […] due to the historic nature of the race – as Parker is our first gay Mayor, and Green is our first African American Controller, Hoang is our first Vietnamese American to serve on […]

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