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Interview with Commissioner Rodney Ellis

Commissioner Rodney Ellis

Normally, I do candidate interviews for elections, though I do branch out sometimes when there’s an issue or some election-adjacent matter I want to explore. It’s in that spirit that I bring you this conversation I had with Commissioner Rodney Ellis about Commissioners Court’s decision to hire an elections administrator, which was a move that caught some people by surprise and generated a fair amount of opposition, both from Harris County Tax Assessor Ann Harris Bennett and former Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman. The job of elections administrator would replace some current functions handled by those offices, which likely explains some of the dissent. It’s a big change for Harris County, but it’s a change to something that nearly every other big county in Texas already does, as do many large counties around the country. I had the chance to ask Commissioner Ellis a few questions about what this means, why we’re doing it, and what we should expect. Hopefully, this will help answer some of the questions you may have had as well. As Commissioner Ellis notes, this will be on the agenda for the next Court meeting on Tuesday, and you can make your voice heard to them by all the traditional means as well. Here’s what we talked about:

What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

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  1. voter_worker says:

    Thanks for conducting this interview with Commissioner Ellis and bringing up concerns about the future of current staffers, as well as all the other questions you posed. His contentions that these functions are critical and deserve the undivided attention of professional leadership along with increased staffing and funding, combined with the symbolism of leaving behind this vestige of Jim Crow, are rock solid.

  2. Sydney Bailey says:

    Glad to have you ask these questions, I think a lot of the responses were more brought from fear of change rather than asking ourselves if the system we have right now is the *best* way we could be doing it.

  3. Willie Franklyn says:

    With all due respect to our county leaders, this matter is entirely too important to be solely determined by our county judge and commissioners. We, the people, need the opportunity to do more than just show up to voice an opinion, we need to be able to vote on this change. Giving this kind of power to one appointed individual, without voter oversight, is unacceptable.