City of Houston Announces Inauguration Plans
December 29, 2011

Seven new faces will join city of Houston government next week when they are sworn in as city council members.  Council members-elect Larry Green, Andrew Burks, Jack Christie, Helena Brown, Ellen Cohen,  Jerry Davis and Mike Laster  will join Mayor Annise Parker and other city leaders at the inaugural festivities, which are open to the public.

Houston city council member elect

The State of Texas
CITY OF HOUSTON
You are cordially invited to the inauguration and swearing in of the Mayor of the City of Houston, the City Controller and the City Council
on
Tuesday morning, January 3, 2012
commencing at 9:30 a.m. sharp
at the
HOBBY CENTER for the Performing Arts
800 Bagby – Downtown Houston
The Honorable Annise D Parker
Mayor
The Honorable Ronald Green
City Controller
The Honorable Helena Brown
City Council District A
The Honorable Jerry Davis
City Council District B
The Honorable Ellen Cohen
City Council District C
The Honorable Wanda Adams
City Council District D
The Honorable Michael Sullivan
City Council District E
The Honorable Al Hoang
City Council District F
The Honorable Oliver Pennington
City Council District G
The Honorable Ed Gonzalez
City Council District H
The Honorable James Rodriguez
District I
The Honorable Mike Laster

District J

The Honorable Larry Green
District K
The Honorable Stephen Costello
At Large Position 1
The Honorable Andrew Burks Jr
At Large Position 2
The Honorable Melissa Noriega
At Large Position 3
The Honorable C.O. Bradford
At Large Position 4
The Honorable Jack Christie
At Large Position 5
Immediately following the Inaugural ceremony, the Mayor, Controller and City Council will retire to Council Chambers located across Bagby on the 2nd Floor of City Hall for the 1st official meeting of the new council for 2012 beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Will Prominent Attorney Influence Council Runoff Race?
December 4, 2011

On Saturday, December 10, Houston Voters will decide the outcome of the city council at-large position 5 race between incumbent Jolanda Jones and chiropractor Jack Chrstie.

As early voting got underway, some targeted households received a mail piece from the Christie campaign touting an endorsement from prominent Houston attorney Rusty Hardin.

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Hardin, the father of a Houston police officer, says he’s endorsing Christie because of “incredibly irresponsible” comments Jones made earlier this year about police. Hardin says Jones “further endangered” officers when she handed out cards advertising her law firm which instructed people to never talk to police.

Those cards triggered an investigation by the city’s Office of Inspector General, because phone numbers for Jones’ private law practice and her taxpayer funded council office were printed on the cards. She was cleared of any wrongdoing, but was chastised in the report for showing poor judgment.

Hardin, who has represented such high profile criminal defendants as former baseball player Roger Clemens, former basketball star Calvin Murphy and former Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole, is well respected by many Houstonians.
Considering his son’s occupation as a Houston police officer, it’s not surprising that he would take a stand on this issue.

Jones certainly has many personal and political friends sticking by her.
Congressman Al Green recently hosted a fundraiser for her runoff race and Jones has her own mail piece targeting voters.

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A Rematch In The Race For City Council At-Large Position 5
July 19, 2011

While embattled Houston city council member Jolanda Jones fights ethics allegations, she is drawing a familiar opponent.

 

Jack Christie, who lost to Jones in a 2009 runoff ,  has announced he will run for Houston City Council, At-Large Position 5, the seat Jones currently holds.

 “After receiving a tremendous amount of encouragement from both past and new supporters to go for it, I have decided to run,” said Christie. “I have heard a lot lately from folks who are ashamed of what is going on in city government. I said 2 years ago that I would do 3 times the job than the current Council Member, I now know I can do ten times better. I will serve with integrity, as I did when I was Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, but most importantly I will be a leader that Houston can be proud of. “Our city is thriving and growing, despite the national economic climate.”

In 2009, Jones defeated Christie by less than 1% of the vote. 

Some political insiders believe Jones is vulnerable because of the allegations she used her political office resources and staff to run her law practice.

The case has been refered to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office by the city’s Office of Inspector General.

However, Jones also has a lot opponents throughout the city.  She may be down, but it’s too early to say she’s out.

One thing is for certain – this will be an interesting rematch.

 

Council Member Jolanda Jones Vows To Cooperate With Investigation
June 13, 2011

On Sunday evening Houston City Council Member Jolanda “Jo” Jones released a new statement about the ongoing ethics investigation she is facing

“After having been out of the city for an annual conference, I have had the opportunity to read the OIG report. I will fully cooperate and am committed to working within the city’s new process. I am confident that when the facts come to light I will have acted within the acceptable standards of conduct,” said Jones.

Last week, the city’s office of inspector general released the findings of an investigation surrounding Jones. It concluded she used city resources to conduct her private criminal defense attorney practice.

On Friday, Council Member Mike Sullivan filed an official letter of complaint against Jones.

It would be the first step toward possible punishment which could include a reprimand, censure or impeachment.

Council Member Costello Named Chair of Budget & Fiscal Affairs
April 5, 2011

(NEWS RELEASE) Monday, April 4, 2011 – Council Member Stephen C. Costello, the At-Large Position 1 representative, has been named chair of City Council’s Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee. 

Costello, who has served as the committee’s vice chair since December, will take over the chairmanship at the April 5th committee meeting.  The Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee, comprised of all fourteen council members, oversees expenditures totaling more than $4 billion dollars annually in the City’s General Fund, Enterprise Funds, Capital Improvement Fund and Equipment Acquisition Fund.  Costello will succeed Council Member Anne Clutterbuck, who has served as chair since January of 2008. 

“I thank Mayor Parker for the confidence she has placed in me with this appointment,” said Costello.   “I also thank Council Member Clutterbuck for her service over the past three years and her intelligent and insightful leadership. 

“I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration to tackle the City’s current budget situation,” Costello added.  “With the new budget year beginning July 1, we have a real challenge balancing services with the funds available.  My colleagues and I have spent the past two months sitting down with department directors in a series of work sessions going over each and every program and service currently offered by the City.   We have examined services both in terms of their cost and their impact to the community.  The projected budget gap will force some tough decisions and I will work hard as chair of the committee to seek consensus in determining the future direction of our City’s spending. “ 

Costello also serves as chair of City Council’s Flooding and Drainage Committee.

From The State Capitol to City Hall – Ellen Cohen Announces Plan to Run For Council
February 21, 2011

Former State Rep. Ellen Cohen was a casualty of the  republican voter  surge  in last November’s election.

After serving two terms in the Texas House, Cohen was  narrowly defeated by Republican and Tea Party favorite Sarah Davis.

Regardless of your politics you probably know that Cohen has a long history of serving the community.

She’s anxious to get back to work and has announced plans to run for Houston City Council, District C.

(News Release)

(Houston) – Ellen Cohen announced that she is running for Houston City Council, District C.  She will officially launch her campaign on Wednesday, March 23 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Sonoma’s located at 2720 Richmond.

“For 33 years Houston has been home and my recent experience as a State Legislator ignited in me a deep commitment and passion for public service,” said Cohen.  “In keeping with that spirit, I am excited to announce my candidacy for Houston City Council, District C.  It would be and honor and a privilege to serve on Houston City Council.”

Cohen previously served in the Texas Legislator as the State Representative for House District 134.  She was the President & CEO of the Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC) for 18 years.  Prior to her role at HAWC, she was the Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for 10 years.

“The City of Houston faces many challenges such as the budget shortfall and aging infrastructure,” said Cohen.  “We can address these issues and others with reasoned solutions that will contribute to the strength of our great city.  Now is the time for us to work together for the city that we all believe in.”

District C includes much of the constituency Cohen served in her previous role as State Representative.  District C, like other council districts, will undergo redistricting as mandated by the City of Houston Charter.    For more information about the City of Houston redistricting process, visit www.houstontx.gov/planning/2011/.    

To learn more about Ellen, visit www.ellencohen.org

From Former Police Chief to Houston City Council?
July 27, 2009

bradford city

Former Houston Police Chief  C.O. “Brad” Bradford will soon make his bid for city council official.

Next month  Bradford is scheduled to hold his campaign kickoff  for the Houston city council At-Large Position 4 seat.

In November,  Bradford lost a tough election battle  for Harris County District Attorney to republican Pat Lykos.

The former chief looks like he is serious about running for city council.

He has a facebook page (of course, who doesn’t these days?)  a website (http://cobradford.com/) and he is busy raising money. 

If you are interested in attending the campaign rally, here is the information:

It’s going to be held on Wednesday,  August 12, 2009 from 5:30pm – 7:30 pm

Location: Lounge Next Door at Ibiza

Street:  2450 Louisiana Street in downtown.