The Chron’s second endorsement on Friday, and what should be their last for the regular election, was for Rogene Calvert in At Large #3.
Experience is valuable on Houston City Council. Council members often spend their first two-year term learning the basics of job: Figuring out who the players are, learning how various departments and budgets work and getting a handle on knotty problems such as the pension mess. By the time that council members really understand how things work, they’ve served six years and are term-limited out of office.
Rogene Gee Calvert, running for At-Large Position 3, wouldn’t face that learning curve. She already knows her way around City Hall. She served as a director of volunteers under Mayor Bill White, steering the massive volunteer efforts that surrounded Katrina, and was chief of staff for former council member Gordon Quan.
Right off the bat, she’d be ready to get more bang for taxpayer bucks. Houston, she says, should eliminate redundancy by combining services and sharing buildings with entities such as Harris County, Houston Independent School District and METRO. And the city needs to do a better job of getting state and federal grants.
Calvert is uniquely ready to get to work, and to tackle a broad range of issues. She’d make a great city council member. Vote for Calvert.
As you know, I’ve been critical of the Chron in years past for being lackadaisical about endorsements. They do seem to do better in odd-numbered years, and this year they got them all done before the start of early voting. Kudos for that. As for this endorsement, Calvert is indeed a strong candidate in a deep field – really, most of the races this year have multiple good choices; nobody should be complaining about picking among nonentities or least-of-evils this year. My interview with Rogene Gee Calvert is here. I encourage you to listen to all the interviews I did with At Large #3 candidates, for which links are on my 2013 Election page. Four of the six candidates also did Q&As with Texpatriate and one with Texas Leftist, and those links are there as well.
One more thing:
In a strong field of competitors, Roland Chavez, a retired City of Houston firefighter, also stands out. Our city desperately needs to renegotiate its unsustainable pension deal with firefighters, and Chavez, who used to represent the firefighters’ union in those negotiations, could bring useful insights.
In my interviews, Chavez was one of a small number of candidates to specifically say they opposed Mayor Parker’s efforts to get legislation passed that would subject the firefighters’ pension fund to meet and confer requirements. Given the Chron’s obsession with pensions and their tireless efforts to bend the local legislative delegation to their will, I find that a most curious thing for them to say. Perhaps, to paraphrase Paul Simon, they hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest. Greg has more.