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I have one thing to say about this:

Many things about Paul Bettencourt have been true for as long as he has inhabited public life.

The former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector hates when public money is spent on professional sports stadiums. The self-proclaimed “Taxman” always has advocated for lower taxes and fees, often in the form of unwelcome advice to elected city officials. And he, apparently, enjoys a good fight, especially one that garners headlines.

The latter quality has brought Bettencourt roaring back into the limelight after he drew widespread criticism for quitting his office just days after he was re-elected in 2008. Last year, he re-emerged as one of the most meddlesome foils of Mayor Annise Parker, so much so that the mayor a few weeks ago chastised him for repeatedly challenging the city in court, litigation the city claims has cost millions by delaying potential bond issues for capital projects.

A devout Catholic with two children, Bettencourt, 52, insists he is just looking out for the taxpayer. But some supporters suspect he may be testing the waters for a conservative candidacy against Parker. Critics contend that it is all about money. The more Bettencourt raises his profile, the more he gins up business and interest in his company, which helps people contest their property taxes, and the conservative radio station of which he is a part owner. Bettencourt said that accusation is false. It’s all about the policy, he said.

“I may run for office again, but if I do, it may be because there’s some public policy need, not a personality issue,” Bettencourt said when asked about running for mayor.

If being an elected official is important to Paul Bettencourt, then he shouldn’t have quit the office to which he was elected in 2008, which he’d still occupy today if he hadn’t walked away less than a month later, before he was even sworn in again. If there’s one thing we don’t need in a Mayor, especially at this time, it’s a penchant for getting lost when the going gets rough. Greg, Martha, and Campos have more.

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  1. Eric Dick says:

    C –

    Know you’ll probably hate me but I really love this guy – he wrote a letter of recommendation for law school. Here is an influence as to why I’m also an advocate for the taxpayer.

    What do you think about the city becoming self insured?

  2. […] into the race, but nothing since then. I’ve not heard a peep about Paul Bettencourt since his profile in the Chron was published nearly two months ago. Bradford as we know is not exactly flush with cash, and […]