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The transition team

Meet the team that will help Mayor-Elect Annise Parker get the ball rolling.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, one of the only area political heavyweights to endorse Parker, will lead efforts on intergovernmental relations. Coleman also has been involved in community housing issues in some of the city’s tax increment reinvestment zones.

Gilbert Garcia, managing partner of an asset management firm and chair of Parker’s campaign, sits on the city’s municipal pension board and can attend to budgetary matters.

Nancy Kinder, a Republican philanthropist who played a pivotal role in the creation of Discovery Green Park, will focus on quality of life issues. Kinder, who is among the most prominent Houston supporters of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and is the wife of billionaire pipeline mogul Rich Kinder, also was a major campaign donor.

“They are there to help me cast the net widely,” Parker said.

According to a press release, which I’ve reprinted beneath the fold, the team will focus on the following topics:

Metro/transportation;
Housing and Community Development funding, contracts and personnel;
Intergovernmental Relations, including opportunities for collaboration and cost efficiencies;
Neighborhood protection involving everything from weeded lots to graffiti abatement;
Permitting efficiency and procedures;
Public works and infrastructure including streets, flooding and drainage;
Density and development ordinances to help residential neighborhoods;
Minority and women business enterprise contracting.

Quite the full plate to start off with, but I doubt anyone expected anything different. If you think you might be interested in serving on one of the panels, you should send an email to [email protected] for more information. Miya has more.

Mayor-elect Annise Parker has selected Gilbert Garcia, State Representative Garnet Coleman and Nancy Kinder to lead her transition team. Garcia, managing partner at Davis Hamilton Jackson and Associates, LP, was chairman of Mayor-elect Parker’s victorious campaign. Representative Coleman has served the people of District 147 in the Texas House of Representatives continuously since 1991. Kinder is an icon in Houston’s business, political and charitable communities.

“This process will set the tone for my administration,” said Parker. “I am proud that such a diverse representation of Houston business, government and community interests has stepped forward to lead the effort. They have extensive knowledge of what I want to accomplish and the transparency I desire as mayor. I want us all to work together to get through this economic downturn and emerge a stronger and better Houston. I know I am placing the task of developing the action plan needed to get there in very capable hands.”

The transition team will create eight committees to review operations in the following areas:

Metro/transportation;
Housing and Community Development funding, contracts and personnel;
Intergovernmental Relations, including opportunities for collaboration and cost
Efficiencies;
Neighborhood protection involving everything from weeded lots to graffiti
Abatement;
Permitting efficiency and procedures;
Public works and infrastructure including streets, flooding and drainage;
Density and development ordinances to help residential neighborhoods;
Minority and women business enterprise contracting.

Parker views this as just the beginning, noting that there will likely be other areas that need review. Committee chairs and members will be selected beginning today. Volunteers interested in serving on one of the panels should send an email to [email protected] Mayor-elect Parker expects the committee to report back directly to her by mid-February.

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3 Comments

  1. Brown Bess says:

    So I don’t see anything here about air quality, and certainly not the kind of emphasis White seem to put on it. At some point, could you compare his policies/attitude to what you think Parker will do – is she a true heir or just saying the right things? People outside Houston want to know. Thanks.

  2. Graffiti Task Force says:

    Graffiti abatement? What about decriminalizing SOME graffiti acts?

    Police know who does graffiti. Problem is, the criminal justice system requires an eye-withness to convict. The solution to the graffiti problem is simple: decriminalize SOME offenses. That eliminating the need for eye-witness testimony.

    To solve the graffiti problem, the legislature must allow SOME graffiti acts to be treated not as a crime but as a civil offense, much like a parking ticket. In other words, abolish the Hide-n-Seek privilege for graffiti vandals.

    Click http://www.tabcat.com:8888/Texas_graffiti_bill.pdf for a typical bill to eradicate graffiti, this one in Texas.

    Next, a police investigator who is not an eye-witness may then offer credible testimony to identify in an informal hearing who is responsible for the graffiti. If a judge accepts the evidence, accountability for bad behavior follows.

    Like a parking ticket, guilt brings a fixed fine. Restorative Justice is, however, an option. Certainty of punishment is its own deterrent.

    There is no reason why cops should not testify as experts to identify graffiti vandals in court. Money talks. For those who don’t get the message, graffiti can become a very expensive habit.

  3. Martha Griffin says:

    She told me she is putting air quality in with intergovernmental relations – for now – because it is a regional issue, but that she suspects it will become its own category once she gets recommendations from that transition team.