Endorsement watch: A change for Controller

The Chron endorses Bill Frazer to be Houston Controller.

Bill Frazer

Bill Frazer

At a time of looming pension obligations, we need someone who isn’t there to make friends, but to make sure that our house is in order. Bill Frazer is the man for the job.

Frazer, a 62-year-old retired accountant, has served as president of the Houston CPA Society and sat on the Board of Directors of the Texas Society of CPAs. He doesn’t have political ambition, just decades of experience. Houston needs a professional who can sit down and take the longer view on our finances. A solid technician with impeccable qualifications, Frazer could spend the next six years ensuring that we’re on the right track.

Frazer emphasizes transparency in government, noting that it isn’t just enough to release numbers. The controller should also explain what the numbers mean. Without that guide, it has become all too easy to ignore actual problems, or resort to apocalyptic predictions of immediate bankruptcy. His overall promise to address issues where they exist, and calm folks where they don’t, sets a proper tone for the office. Houston is not going to be Detroit any time soon – as long as we address our current obligations.

He also says that he’ll focus on auditing Houston’s tax increment reinvestment zones and tax abatements to determine whether they’re good policy. That question has gone unanswered for some time.

As you can see, I’m running Controller candidate interviews this week, incumbent Ronald Green today, Frazer tomorrow. He’s clearly got good qualifications, and like just about everyone else I interviewed, he came across as well-intentioned and in the race for good reasons. The Chron took a few shots at Green in their editorial, but Frazer stayed focused on his own candidacy. I like Ronald Green, I consider him a friend, I think he’s done a good job as Controller, but I don’t have anything negative to say about Bill Frazer. You can hear him for yourself tomorrow after you listen to Green today.

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