October 23, 2007
The HISD District 2 trustee overview

I guess I better stop saying things like "this is the last campaign overview story for this cycle", because I keep being wrong about that, as today's piece on the HISD District 2 trustee race demonstrates.

Northeast Houston is home to several schools whose enrollment has declined sharply over the past decade as students transfer to other campuses and families move out of the area.

The pool of candidates for the District II seat who hope to reverse that trend includes two political veterans: Michael Yarbrough, who served on the City Council from 1994 to 1999, and Carol Mims Galloway, who held the District II seat for most of the 1990s and then served six years on the City Council.

Also in the Nov. 6 race are Larry Williams, a pastor who lost prior bids for the school board and City Council, and two political neophytes: Reginald Adams, who runs a nonprofit community arts organization, and Charles McCloud, marketing director for Criterion Catalysts & Technologies, a Shell company.

The winner will replace Kevin Hoffman, who is not seeking re-election after eight years on the board.

Much of the criticism of the district's $805 million bond proposal, which also will be on the November ballot, has come from northeast Houston. The proposal would merge several schools in District II, and most of the candidates have blasted Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra and the board for not seeking community input before the plan was unveiled.

Only Adams, 35, has said he supports the bond plan, and he worries that this might be his downfall. Yarbrough did not return phone calls seeking comment, but he has spoken publicly against the proposal.

With a son in first grade at Cornelius Elementary, Adams said he particularly likes the $90 million slated for security upgrades across the city.

"Why are we waiting for that -- because you didn't ask me for permission?" he asked. "OK, I'm upset. But I'm over that. The bigger issue at hand is, 'Do we really need this bond?' Absolutely."

I like Reginald (here's my interview with him), and I'm rooting for him in this race. I don't know how well his stance on the bond referendum will serve him. He's certainly a clear alternative for those who do favor the bonds, but District 2 is also the epicenter of discontent with them. I'm glad he's sticking to his guns, whatever the result is.

Anyway. Whether it's the last such article or not, it's a decent review of HISD #2, so give it a look. We'll see if there's any more races I've forgotten about that will get covered tomorrow.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 23, 2007 to Election 2007