City Hall Shake-Up

Houston City Council will look a lot different in the next couple of months. At least five new councilmembers will sit around the table, along with a new mayor. Laurie Johnson reports.

Seven Houston councilmembers won re-election. Two newcomers, former Houston Police Chief CO Bradford and Oliver Pennington won seats at the table.

That leaves five other council positions, plus the controller’s and mayor’s seats going into a run-off election.

That means a lot of people running Houston’s government next year are going to be on a learning curve.

Houston Mayor Bill White says the transition to a new administration is complicated by the fact that there’s a global recession.

“When you have a strong mayor form of government with term limits then transitions can be a challenge. We’re working hard in order to make sure that there is a smooth transition, that’s why we had an outline of what a budget might look like. It’s up to the next administration and council to determine.”

Of course, Mayor White doesn’t even know who he’ll be handing his duties off to. Annise Parker and Gene Locke will be in the run-off on December 12th. When asked if he would endorse one of those candidates, White gave a decided no.

“I have enough and my hands full running the city without getting into the municipal election.”

The biggest challenges facing the new administration and council include funding the city’s pension system and addressing the shortfall in the city’s water system.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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