January 09, 2008
Why Ewing and not Garcia

Matt Stiles, who received the same email from a local crank insisting that Adrian Garcia was in the same boat as Laura Ewing, clears up the matter:

The provision cited by Ewing, which is Article 16, Article 65, on first read appears only to apply to specific county officials. It appears she made a mistake if you only read this.


But another provision, in Article 11, Section 11, makes it applicable for cities with elected terms of more than two years [emphasis added]:

(a) A Home Rule City may provide by charter or charter amendment, and a city, town or village operating under the general laws may provide by majority vote of the qualified voters voting at an election called for that purpose, for a longer term of office than two (2) years for its officers, either elective or appointive, or both, but not to exceed four (4) years; provided, however, that tenure under Civil Service shall not be affected hereby; provided, however, that such officers, elective or appointive, are subject to Section 65(b), Article XVI, of this Constitution, providing for automatic resignation in certain circumstances, in the same manner as a county or district officer to which that section applies.

City Council terms in Houston last two years. In Friendswood, they last three.

So, Ewing goes -- and Garcia stays.

Makes sense. I knew I had to be missing something, and that seems to be it.

Now there's still a question about whether Garcia should step down from his Council job. So far, he is not inclined to do that.

The council met briefly on Wednesday so Mayor Bill White could name Adrian Garcia as mayor pro tem and Sue Lovell as vice-mayor pro tem.

Garcia's position is largely ceremonial but is high profile as he prepares to run for Harris County sheriff. He said he does not see a conflict between his city council position and his campaign for higher office.

"I don't believe there will be a conflict in terms of the balance," he said. "I think you know me to be a hard worker. I spend a lot of time in my office, I spend a lot of time in my community and so it is just going to be really challenging myself to do more of that."

I think at some point he will need to resign. It may be that he can handle the job plus run a countywide race - it's early days in the race, so it's too soon to say how hard this juggling act will be for him - but it's tough to serve two masters, and the demands of the campaign will need to be met as much as the demands of Council. One thing he could do (which was something Shelley Sekula Gibbs could have done as well, but chose note to do) is time his departure so that the special election to replace him takes place in November along with the regular election. That would minimize the cost to the city for the special election, especially given the extreme likelihood of a runoff. I don't know what he has in mind, I'm just throwing this out there. In the meantime, as Council Member Garcia's constituent, I have every expectation that he'll do what's best for his district.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 09, 2008 to Election 2008

Interesting post.

Posted by: Kevin Whited on January 9, 2008 8:17 AM