March 07, 2007
Possibly the last thing I'll say about Ed Emmett for awhile

Two notes from today's story about the beginning of the Ed Era:

Commissioners Court voted 4-1 to appoint Emmett. Commissioner Sylvia Garcia cast the only "no" vote, saying she preferred a caretaker who wouldn't seek election to the office. She later changed her vote to make the appointment unanimous.

I'd like to know why Commissioner Garcia changed her vote. Not that it mattered in practice, but I think she was right on the principle, and I'd have preferred for her to stick with that. If I get the chance, I'll ask her for her reason behind this.

In a related matter Tuesday, state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, filed a bill that would require a county to hold an election more quickly when a member of a Commissioners Court resigns or dies.

Under state law, those vacancies don't go to voters until the next even-year election.

Patrick's bill would require an election to be held at the next "uniform" election date. Had such a law been in effect, a special election to fill Eckels' post would have been May 12.

Patrick assailed Eckels for leaving office so soon after his re-election and for recommending Emmett over better-known Republicans. "If the will of the voters is supplanted by the will of an elected official," Patrick said, "then we should allow the voters to make their voice heard as soon as practical."

What can I say? Other than the lame complaint about not getting to influence who the replacement was, I stand with Sen. Patrick on this. I see no reason why a vacancy in a countywide office is treated differently than one for, say, State Representative or Houston City Council. The bill in question is SB1197. I hope it passes unanimously. Now who will step up and file a companion bill in the House?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 07, 2007 to Local politics

Other than the lame complaint about not getting to influence who the replacement was

I don't think it's so lame to think that a person who's actually won countywide office and enjoys popular support might have been a better choice than a "political insider" (as Mr. Emmett is usually called) who hasn't, although the criticism does neglect the potential cascade effect.

Posted by: kevin whited on March 7, 2007 8:20 AM

"If the will of the voters is supplanted by the will of an elected official..."

Good Lord, I am represented by such dolts. Someone please explain to Dan that the transfer of the power to make decisions directly from the voters to an elected representative is precisely what we do as a representative democracy. It is our form of government.

Now to be clear I think Eckels was wrong to even run for re-election after vowing to only serve 2 terms and he compounded the problem with his resignation so soon after beginning his term. But I suspect that had one of the candidates that Dan Patrick supported had been named to serve out Eckels' term, this bill to make sure the the "voice of the voters" is heard would have never seen the light of day.

Posted by: Patrick on March 7, 2007 8:53 AM

Ebay is an excellent source for that hard to find item as well as a source of inspiration. Not only will you discover Emmett's Clowns (items 170075832177, 190078392868), but you can read up on Our Greatest Political Problem by Eckels (item 230046068278) or review a prospectus from the Eckels College of Embalming (item 270095252075), while sipping an ale from Eckel's Brewery (item 220089569067). Good friends, good times, good beer.

Posted by: Charles Hixon on March 8, 2007 4:33 PM