Endorsement watch: One out of three ain’t good

The Chron notices there are HCAD elections and makes endorsements in them.

Position 1: Kathy Blueford-Daniels

While on the Houston Independent School District board from 2020 until the state takeover, Kathy Blueford-Daniels, 66, served as the appointed member on the Harris County Appraisal District board. She’s also served as a panelist hearing appeals from property owners. That experience, combined with her many years as a community activist in the Fifth Ward and as a community liaison for Democratic state Sen. Borris Miles, will allow Blueford-Daniels to be effective from the start. She wants to build on the work she’s already done with the chief appraiser to hold community workshops in areas where families often lose generational wealth because they don’t have the resources or knowledge to navigate tax exemptions, protest their appraisals and resolve heirship disputes.

Position 2: Kyle Scott

Fortunately, voters have several strong candidates to choose from, but we believe Kyle Scott, 46 and an entrepreneurship professor at Sam Houston State University, is the most prepared. In 2022, when he ran for Harris County treasurer as a Republican, we endorsed his opponents because Scott suggested that he’d effectively veto county commissioners by refusing to sign checks as a final safeguard against wasteful spending. Such a protest would seem to go far beyond the largely ceremonial duties of a relatively minor county position. As a single member of a board, however, we believe his specific ideas for auditing tax abatements and regularly evaluating the chief appraiser could improve customer service and fairness.

Melissa Noriega, 69, has the most experience in elected office as a former state representative and Houston City Council member. In addition, she’s served as a senior leader with Houston ISD and the mega-nonprofit BakerRipley. Pragmatic, knowledgeable and rooted in community, she’d make an excellent board member. So would Austin Pooley, 33 and a former appraiser who now works in the energy industry. He described the district as well-run but with room for improvement.

Position 3: Amy Lacy

Two candidates stood out to us. Pelumi Adeleke — a 39-year-old Harvard Business School graduate and leader at Amazon Web Services endorsed by the AFL-CIO — would bring her management and data crunching chops to the role. She argues better methods of appraising properties could lead to more fairness. Amy Ngo Lacy, 59 and a lawyer who has worked as an arbiter for disputed appraisal cases, impressed us with how clearly she explained why ordinary home and small-business owners need more transparency about the process. She told the story of a car repair shop owner hit with a massive increase in his tax bill. Lacy came to this country from Vietnam at age 5 and identifies as a Republican.

Not really clear to me why they made the choices they did, but here we are. The bulk of this op-ed is all about why we’re even having these elections in the first place, which perhaps they could have spent some more time and effort on before now. Too late for that. (Also, in re: Kyle Scott, have they learned nothing about the wisdom of giving power to people who say their intent is to screw things up?) Anyway, I will remind you again that you can listen to my interviews with the candidates you should consider voting for:

Kathy Blueford-Daniels, HCAD Position 1
Austin Pooley, HCAD Position 2
Melissa Noriega, HCAD Position 2
Pelumi Adeleke, HCAD Position 3

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5 Responses to Endorsement watch: One out of three ain’t good

  1. Mainstream says:

    Kyle Scott is actually a thoughtful, evidence-driven pragmatist. He has served collegially on the Lone Star college board.

  2. J says:

    Let us remember, the geniuses at the Chron endorsed Ted Cruz so who knows. Maybe they are like Saturday Night Live and have a Karl Rovian mole imbedded in the team so that GOPer bs always gets some air.

  3. C.L. says:

    re: ” She argues better methods of appraising properties could lead to more fairness.”

    Really ? What a wizard. Meaningles, silly statements like that is prob why the Houston Comical endorsed someone else.

  4. Gary D says:

    I really like Melissa Noriega.
    Kyle Scott really does seem like the joke endorsement of the day by the Chron.
    Pelumi Adeleke is bright and hard-working.
    If you identify as Republican at this time I am sure you must have another planet as a backup plan.

  5. Jason Y says:

    Thank you for posting this information.

Comments are closed.