Tag Archive for: election

Nearly All Voting Problems in Republican Strongholds

A new 10-minute video by investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino shows heat maps of Republican-leaning areas in Harris County and where voting problems occurred in the November 2022 elections. Superimposing one on top of the other shows that virtually all of the areas running out of ballot paper occurred in Republican strongholds.

Experts estimate the chances of that happening by accident at less than 1%.


County Officials Still Stonewalling Document Requests

Dolcefino filed a lawsuit earlier this year because of Harris County’s refusal to provide public records relating to the election. Gallery-Furniture-owner Jim McIngvale is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

A computer expert named Russ Long from the oil and gas industry painstakingly pieced together the maps using data from other sources. Long began by sorting out the addresses of people who voted in Republican, but not Democratic primaries in 1150 voting precincts in Harris County. From that he identified the Republican-leaning precincts.

Red areas show clusters of Republican voters.

Paper Galore, But Not Evenly Distributed

Long is also a precinct captain in Cypress, TX. When he picked up ballot paper, he could immediately see that it wasn’t enough. Long told them he needed double the amount, but was told no more was available – despite the county having ordered 4 million sheets, far more than the number of registered voters in the county.

HarrisVotes.com shows that approximately 830,000 people voted early in person or by mail. About another 1.1 million voted on Election Day. Only the race for governor had more than 1.1 million ballots cast on Election Day and that total was 1,102,418. So there should have been two million extra sheets of paper.

Yet 121 polling places ran out of paper. And look where virtually all of them were!

Voter suppression in action.

Despite the problems, County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who chairs the Elections Commission, has not called a meeting of the commission since November, according to Dolcefino. Nor has the county released election records requested by Dolcefino under the Texas Public Information Act.

“The release of this information related to our election is way past due,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey.

“What’s wrong with sunshine? Shine the light on it,” said McIngvale.

Early Voting Starts Next Month for Next Election

It will take months to resolve these issues in the courts or the legislature. Dolcefino emphasizes the need for full disclosure now. We have another election in May. Early voting starts on April 24th, in a little more than a month. And we’ve had five months of stonewalling since the last election.

“None of the Democratic-leaning precincts came close to running out of ballots,” said Dolcefino.

Long added, “There would have been riots in the streets if they had.”

The problems may be worse than Dolcefino is reporting. For instance, the map above shows only one polling place in Kingwood that ran out of ballot paper. But I personally know of at least two.

And Dolcefino has not yet even reported on the problems with handicapped voting. Reliable sources tell me of technology problems countywide associated with curbside voting for handicapped people. Again, I personally witnessed those at multiple locations.

Elections Administrator Hired Despite Reported Problems on Last Job

According to Dolcefino’s video, Clifford Tatum, the Elections Administrator, reportedly ran into problems with a similar job he held in Washington D.C.

Previously, the people who ran Harris County elections were elected themselves. Hidalgo changed that, however. She created an office of Elections Administration with an appointed head. Tatum is Hidalgo’s second head of that office. The first resigned after problems with an earlier election.

Many races on last November’s ballot were decided by just a few hundred votes. Without actual records, it’s impossible to tell whether ballot issues skewed election results.

We need to get to the bottom of these problems sooner rather than later. If Hidalgo has nothing to hide, why hide it?

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/10/2023

2019 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Last Chance

Harris County is electing a new County Judge this year. For the Lake Houston Area, it’s arguably the most important race on the ballot. It represents a chance to win a majority on Commissioners Court sensitive to the Lake Houston Area’s needs. We’ve been de-prioritized for four years. Tomorrow, November 8th, is your last chance to change that. It’s Election Day.

Why This Race is So Important

I don’t want to downplay the importance of other races. But this particular race is about your quality of life. Getting your fair share of flood-mitigation funding. Keeping your tax bill stable. Restoring public safety. Rebuilding competence in local government. And increasing transparency.

Turnout in Early Voting was Dismal

County wide, only 750,000 out of 2.5 million registered voters voted. That’s 30%. After 12 days!

Kingwood had 18,872 early voters out of 44,000 registered. That’s 43%. A little better.

But four years ago, 63% of all ballots were cast during the early-voting period. So turnout on Election Day will be critical this year.

The number of people who have not yet voted in the Lake Houston Area have the power to swing this election. By all accounts, it will be close.

Overview of Candidates: Problems Vs. Potential

The two candidates are incumbent Lina Hidalgo and challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer.

Hidalgo (D), left; Mealer (R), right

Let’s look at their respective records.

Hidalgo’s only real-world job experience before assuming the helm of a 16,000-employee organization was reportedly as a medical interpreter. Her rookie errors were predictable. I’ll detail them below.

Mealer is also a newcomer to politics, but comes to the job with vastly more real-world experience. She:

  • Graduated from West Point
  • Was a Captain in the Army
  • Commanded a bomb squad in Afghanistan for a decade
  • Obtained MBA and JD degrees from Harvard
  • Put together billion-dollar deals in the oil-and-gas sector as a VP for one of the nation’s largest banks.

More About Hidalgo’s Record

Hidalgo had no management experience when elected. And it showed. Under Hidalgo, the County’s budget increased along with employment. She created six new departments. Hired thousands of new employees. And paid for the largesse by drawing down the county’s reserve funds.

She also replaced the heads of 19 departments. One department had three leadership changes under Hidalgo. And four had at least two. Some departments, such as Engineering, have lost 4-5 layers of management. Whole capabilities, such as disaster relief, were wiped out. And every group head in the IT Department (Universal Services) left.

Political credentials became more important in hiring decisions than professional competence. Knowledgeable, capable employees left county employment in droves. Some are still there. But it’s reportedly getting harder and harder for them to keep things running.

One Misstep after Another

I’ve learned to judge Judge Hidalgo by her actions, not her words.

She talks about serving the entire county, but I’ve only seen her break ranks with her Democratic Commissioners twice in four years. In fairness, there may have been more times. But it’s hard to sit through meetings that have lasted up to 16 hours. Robert’s Rules of Order are not her strong suit.

Much to her discredit, Hidalgo led efforts to:

Destroying Trust in Government

But Hidalgo’s greatest sin, in my opinion, is that she destroyed trust in county government by misleading people. For instance, she:

  • Tried to minimize the impact of a tax rate increase without projecting the impact on a family’s tax bill, given large increases in valuations during her tenure.
  • Argued for “worst first” in flood mitigation. But her definition has nothing to do with depth of flooding, deaths, loss of critical infrastructure, or the percentage of damaged homes and businesses in a community.
  • Redefined “equitable” distribution of funds in voter-approved flood-bond language, so that equitable has nothing to do with the dictionary definition.
  • Says she can’t rely on partner funding for flood-mitigation projects, when she has had $750 million in HUD funding sitting on the table for 17 months. Her Community Services Department (which changed leadership three times under Hidalgo) still hasn’t submitted one project for approval to the GLO or HUD. The $750 million could fully fund every project in the flood bond.
  • Trumpets her transparency, but routinely fails to provide backup for tens of millions of dollars in spending and hasn’t defined one project for proposed bonds totaling $1.2 billion on the ballot.
  • Says she values community input but has never attended a Community Resilience Flood Task Force meeting.

As far as I can tell, after four years, Hidalgo still has not figured out how to run Harris County. She’s just a bad manager. She came to the job with no experience and has not learned along the way.

More about Alexandra del Moral Mealer

Mealer has actual leadership and job experience. Her military and business background is far more qualifying than Hidalgo’s. Mealer has Harvard MBA and JD degrees, and years of experience as a VP of a bank that has almost two trillion dollars in assets. She’s more equipped with the skill sets needed to be a county judge than Hidalgo ever was.

Mealer also has a laser focus on the things that matter to people at the county level: Crime. Courts. Jails. Flooding. Roads. Budgets. Taxes. She refuses to get bogged down in national issues that she has no control over.

She has a conservative fiscal stance on how to spend OUR money. And it doesn’t involve creating jobs for political cronies through a vast expansion of the bureaucracy.

Virtually every law enforcement agency in the county has backed Mealer’s plan for addressing crime.

She hopes to lower or maintain taxes and tax rates by eliminating wasteful spending.

Finally, having met and talked to Mealer at length several times, I believe she cares about all areas of Harris County regardless of their economic status. Said another way, I think she would treat all people and neighborhoods fairly. Mealer has integrity.

November 8th – Your Last Chance

Tomorrow is your last chance to make a change if you want one. If you’re happy with having the deepest flooding in Harris County and seeing flood-mitigation funding go elsewhere, then by all means, vote for Hidalgo. If you’re happy with soaring crime and revolving-door jails, vote for Hidalgo. But if you want to change that, vote for Mealer.

Their race is far down the ballot, buried between family court and criminal court judges. Here’s how to see a sample ballot. And here’s how to find your polling place.

Please forward this link to all of your friends, neighbors and family members…and VOTE! Remember, tomorrow is your last chance for change.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/7/22

1896 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The Real Inequities in Flood-Mitigation Funding

Data obtained via a FOIA Request shows that the watersheds where three top Harris County Democrats live are consuming 25% of flood-bond funding. Meanwhile, those Democrats are starving their Republican opponents and supporters alike of flood-mitigation money.

Harris County Flood Control’s website also shows there are currently no active capital-improvement construction projects in Kingwood, Humble, Huffman, Spring, Atascocita or Crosby. Yet half of all active construction project dollars are going to just three watersheds where the three top Democrat leaders live.

Largest Watershed Among Least Funded

Harris County’s largest watershed – the 215-square-mile San Jacinto – ranks #18 out of 23 watersheds in flood-mitigation funding per square mile under Lina Hidalgo’s administration. That’s according to data obtained from Harris County via a FOIA Request that shows funding through the third quarter of 2022. Neighboring watersheds in the Republican-leaning far northeast part of the county are similarly starved for funding.

Watershed Map of Harris County

Consistent Funding Bias

San Jacinto-watershed residents are not alone. Spring, Jackson and Luce watersheds comprise most of the rest of the northeast portion of the county. They are among the least funded watersheds under Hidalgo whether you measure “total flood-mitigation funding” or “funding per square mile.”

The San Jacinto received only $37 million during Hidalgo’s administration. Spring received $10.1 million. Jackson received just $2.7 million. And Luce received a minuscule $1 million.

These watersheds respectively rank:

  • #12, #18, #20 and #23 in total flood-mitigation funding
  • #18, #19, #21 and #23 in funding per square mile.

Backyard Fringe Benefits

Contrast that with the following totals under Hidalgo in three other watersheds:

  • Buffalo Bayou (91.7 square miles) is less than half the size of the San Jacinto Watershed. It received more – $39.5 million. That’s where County Judge Lina Hidalgo lives. It ranks #12 in total post-Harvey funding.
  • White Oak Bayou ranks #6 in total post-Harvey funding at $94 million. It’s half the size of the San Jacinto (111 sq. mi), but received 2.5X more flood-mitigation funding. Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia lives there.
  • Brays Bayou ranks #1 in total post-Harvey funding at $171 million – more than 8 times as much as the San Jacinto. Yet it’s only a little more than half the size (114.2 square miles). That’s where Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis lives.

Hidalgo, Garcia and Ellis spent $305 million in the three watersheds where they live. That’s six times more than the $51 million spent for the San Jacinto, Spring, Jackson and Luce Watersheds.

Buffalo, White Oak and Brays watersheds are all in the lead for flood-tunnels, too. Those could add billions more to the backyard benefits received by Hidalgo, Ellis and Garcia!

Funding-Per-Square Mile Comparison

Now, let’s compare what the watersheds above have received in funding per square mile under Hidalgo:

  • Brays = $1.5 million
  • White Oak = $845 thousand
  • Buffalo = $431 thousand
  • San Jacinto = $172 thousand
  • Spring = $169 thousand
  • Jackson = $104 thousand
  • Luce = $45 thousand

The first three above comprise 246 square miles and received $305 million under Hidalgo to date. The bottom four comprise 323 square miles and received $51 million.

So under Hidalgo, Brays, White Oak and Buffalo averaged $1.2 million per square mile. Meanwhile, the Republican-leaning San Jacinto, Spring, Jackson and Luce watersheds averaged only $158 thousand per square mile! That’s about one eighth as much.

Notice a trend? I thought the three Democrats were trying to help the poor with their equity plan. Were they really just trying to punish political opponents through funding inequities? Looking out for themselves all along? Or both?

Parts of the San Jacinto and Spring Creek watersheds experienced water more than 20 feet above flood stage during Harvey while parts of Brays and White Oak didn’t even come out of their banks.

No Active Capital Improvement Projects in Lake Houston Area

And to think! Hidalgo, Ellis and Garcia conned dozens of members of the Northeast Action Collective into requesting Commissioners Court to shift money from Kingwood to Halls Bayou. They said Kingwood was getting all the money! It hasn’t and isn’t.

At the moment, Harris County Flood Control shows NO active capital improvement construction projects in Kingwood, Huffman, Crosby, Humble, Atascocita or Spring.

Screen capture from HCFCD.org on 10/20/22. Capital improvement projects have purple markers. Orange = maintenance projects.

Yet HCFCD is spending $224 million elsewhere in the county on active construction. That includes another $71 million in Brays and $36 million in White Oak for another $107 million total. Almost HALF of the active construction projects in the entire county are going to the watersheds where Ellis and Garcia live!

And that’s in addition to the $305 million that White Oak, Brays and Buffalo already received under Hidalgo.

It takes a lot of chutzpah to spend $412 million protecting your own homes while Low-to-Moderate Income residents elsewhere flood. Now I know why the three pretend Kingwood is getting ALL the money. It’s a diversionary tactic.

Out of $1.65 billion flood-bond dollars spent to date, the watersheds where Hidalgo, Ellis and Garcia live have consumed 25%.

More news to follow as I continue to analyze the latest spending data through the third quarter of 2022.

For the complete response provided by Harris County to my FOIA Request, click here.

This summary worksheet combines funding with other factors such as population, area, damage, etc.

What You Can Do

We have a chance to do something about these inequities starting in a few days. Early voting starts on October 24. You can find polling places here.

Posted by Bob Rehak on October 20, 2022 and updated 10/21 to include spreadsheets and improve clarity.

1878 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Why You Need to Vote for Mayor Tuesday if You Haven’t Already

This will be the most important mayoral election in Kingwood’s history, but the turnout in early voting was dismal. You would think people don’t care about flooding or that it’s been fixed already. Well, they should care. It hasn’t been fixed.

Below are some photos that show the difference pre- and post-dredging in the mouth bar area of the West Fork.

Match photos of the mouth bar taken after Harvey and Monday 11.4.2019.

Before Dredging: August 2019

This is an Atascocita Point resident walking out to the dredging operation in August.

After Dredging: November 2019

The 500,000 cubic yards that the Corps removed from the West Fork mouth bar barely scratched the surface. Think that’s an exaggeration? RD Kissling took this photo Sunday, 11.3.19, 700 yards south of the mouth bar as he stood in water just a little more than one foot deep. The channel at this point should be at least 400 feet wide and 30 feet deep to match the depth near Kings Harbor.

Photo taken Sunday November 3, 2019 approximately 700 yards south of the mouth bar by RD Kissling. That’s almost half a mile. Like icebergs, the majority of sandbars exists belong the surface.
Where Kissling took the shot in knee-deep water.

The Two-Year Old Controversy that Started Twenty Years Ago

So what does all this have to do with the contest for Mayor? The current mayor has been arguing with FEMA and the Corps for 798 days over how much Harvey deposited in the mouth bar. We’ve had dueling studies. Endless meetings. Countless stories. And still nothing has changed significantly in this most important region of the river.

The City has neglected its obligation to maintain this area for more than 20 years. Engineers warned for decades of the danger and not a penny of the City’s money was spent on dredging.

The City wants FEMA to remove 1.4 million cubic yards, but FEMA claims it would be funding “deferred maintenance” by the City.

Lest we forget, the mouth bar forms a sediment dam behind the dam that contributed to the flooding of more than 4,000 homes behind it and approximately half the businesses in the Lake Houston Chamber.

Bill King’s Plan to Get it Done

Today, Bill King held a press conference in Kings Point to lay out his plan for dealing with the mouth bar. It includes a $10 million contribution from the City to increase the funds already allocated by the State and County. The money would be used to establish a permanent maintenance dredging program.

According to a television reporter and the press conference, Mayor Sylvester Turner accused King of campaign rhetoric on the mouth bar issue.

This isn’t about rhetoric. It’s about survival.

If you care about Kingwood, if you care about your home, if you’re tired of waiting…please go to the polls tomorrow and vote. I voted for King. He’s the only candidate with a workable plan to address flooding in my opinion. But please just vote for the candidate of your choice. Not voting sends a message to the Mayor that we’re happy.

After 798 days of argument, letter writing, and meetings, it’s time for results. If re-elected, Sylvester Turner will be term-limited. Without another election hanging over his head, I just don’t see much improvement in the current situation.

For More Information

To learn more about the flood plans of the three leading candidates, read this post.

To learn more about Kings plan to address the mouth bar, see this newsletter.

If you would like more background about the mouth bar itself, please review this presentation about the Mouth Bar by Tim Garfield, RD Kissling, and me. Garfield and Kissling were both senior level geologists for one of the world’s largest oil companies before retiring. They provided the content. I just helped them shape their thoughts.

Kissling also wrote this open letter to the City of Houston that spells out problems with the Tetra Tech study that the City commissioned at the Corps’ request.

Please Also Vote FOR Prop 8

Among other items on the ballot, one of the most important from a flood mitigation perspective is Prop 8. Prop 8 would make money available from the Texas Rainy Day Fund to help provide low interest loans and grants to cities and counties. The money could be used to qualify for matching funds from the federal government. The lack of local matching funds has delayed many worthy flood mitigation projects identified after Harvey. Prop 8 should help fund many mitigation projects, bring more of our federal tax dollars back to Texas, and reduce flood risk by accelerating both grant applications and construction. Vote FOR.

Posted by Bob Rehak on November 5, 2019, election day

798 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Mouth Bar Dredge Idle Over Holiday Weekend; Not Much Progress Yet

New images by RD Kissling, a Lake-Houston-area geologist and canoeist, show two things. The Great Lakes dredge near the mouth bar sat idle this holiday weekend. Also Great Lakes has not made much progress yet.

Dredge seems to be hugging the south shore of the mouth bar. An excavator has removed vegetation and loosened sand in that area.

Kissling Video Underscores Immensity of Undertaking

Also, Kissling shot more video. This 32-second clip shows him standing in less-than-knee-deep water approximately 300 yards from the mouth bar. This video dramatizes the immensity of the task at hand. It also shows where the channel currently lies relative to the mouth bar itself.

Video showing RD Kissling in shin-deep water 300 yards from the south shore of the mouth bar.

History of Mouth Bar Dredging

The Corps excluded the mouth bar in the first phase of dredging. Instead, it focused on a 2.1 mile stretch upstream. Since the Corps revealed its Phase-One plans, residents have been organizing to ensure dredging through the mouth-bar reach.

Kissling and Tim Garfield, another local geologist first brought the dangers of the mouth bar to the public’s attention. Massive deposits of sand cause water to flow uphill by 30+ feet between the end of Phase-One dredging and the mouth bar. That backs water up during floods. The channel width and depth simply don’t have enough conveyance capacity to move floodwaters through. As a result, the floodwaters slow down, drop their sediment load, enlarge the blockage, and start to spread out overland.

The mouth bar of the West Fork of the San Jacinto. Photo taken two weeks after Harvey.

Clampdown on Communications

Neither the City, County, State, FEMA or Corps have made their plans clear yet. This contrasts with the start of Phase-One dredging when the Corps and City proudly trotted out presentations in community meetings.

I submitted a FOIA request to the Corps for their plans several weeks ago. However, I have not yet received those plans. I did receive a request for clarification asking what I meant by “plans”? I responded that I could not imagine the US Army staging an operation this large and expensive without a plan. They thanked me for the clarification.

The FOIA stalling and clamp down on communication from all parties involved suggests that the Federal government and local authorities have not yet reached a mutually satisfactory agreement. It has been nine months since they announced an agreement in principle after the “everybody-but-Trump” meeting in Austin.

To be fair, this has been a holiday week and many people are on vacation. Perhaps things will become clearer when they return.

To date, the small amount of excavation completed has focused on the edge of the mouth bar itself, not widening or deepening the channel near Atascocita Point. This July 2 Community Impact article suggests that the Corps intends to dredge the edge of the mouth bar but offers no other detail or explanations.

Impact of Dredging on November Elections

With City elections fast approaching, it will be interesting to see if progress – or the lack thereof – affects how the Lake Houston Area votes. We’re running out of time to make reasonable dredging progress before November. With two years in the rear-view mirror since Harvey, I suspect voters will look at performance more than promises when they go to the polls.

In coming weeks, I will post about where the candidates line up on the three major goals for the Lake Houston Area: additional dredging, detention and gates (Plea for DDG). I also hope that this will be the first of weekly reports on mouth bar dredging. So if you are out on the water, please send pics of what you see.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/6/2019

676 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Sometimes the Difference Between Winning and Losing is Showing Up

As we approach the 18 month anniversary of Harvey next week, I am struck by how little we have actually accomplished in terms of flood mitigation. And as the election season heats up, I am also forced to wonder whether changes at City Hall could accelerate the effort.

Looking Back at the Effort to Date

After Harvey, it took several months to analyze the causes of flooding, identify possible solutions, and build political consensus around them. We did that. As a community, we identified four major improvements that we needed: additional flood gates for Lake Houston, additional dredging (through the mouth bar), additional upstream detention, and ditch repairs.

We met with the Mayor who agreed and promised to deliver. We met met with the County Judge and the Flood Control District. They worked the community’s requests into the flood bond last August. Kingwood voters turned out in record numbers to support it. And we had five of the top eight precincts in the county in terms of turnout percentage.

…And Then Nothing

We actually got Phase 1 of the dredging started. And then…nothing. We’ve had six months of virtually nothing. That leads me to wonder whether people were simply telling us what we wanted to hear. Worse, some of the hard won gains seem to be drifting away. For instance…

Change in Direction at County Level

Instead of attacking projects on a worst-first basis, the new county judge has asked the flood control district to reorder priorities for project implementation. Next week, the judge and commissioners will review a protocol that favors neighborhoods with low to moderate income and gives no weight whatsoever to massive infrastructure damage, such as Kingwood sustained. The loss of:

  • An interstate highway bridge for ten months.
  • A high school and three other school district facilities totaling $100,000,000
  • Two-thirds of the buildings at Kingwood College costing $60 million and taking 18 months to repair.
  • 100% of the businesses in two major commercial centers (Kings Harbor and Town Center)
  • Most of a third commercial district (US 59) destroyed up to FM1960
  • Damage to 3,300 businesses that employed a large percentage of the local population – 44% of all the business in the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Memorial Hermann’s new hospital facility that was days away from opening
  • Disruption of northbound rail traffic out of the City of Houston for months
  • Nursing homes and senior assisted living devastated

…all that suddenly counts for nothing now…unless the prevailing political winds change.

Flooding is a public safety issue. We wouldn’t allow the county to say, “affluent neighborhoods don’t deserve police protection for the next 10-15 years.” When it comes to safety, neither rich, nor poor, should be disadvantaged. But that’s our next battle. I digress.

Meanwhile, Back at City Hall

Back to the City. Six months ago, after the “Everybody-but-Trump” meeting in Austin, we were told that we were close to a dredging solution to remove the mouth bar.

What have we gotten? Approval of a $2+ million study of the entire river basin that will take at least a year to complete. Astoundingly, approving the grant took almost a year in itself.

At what point do you say, “The system is no longer working for me. It’s time for officials to deliver. We need to hold them accountable”? When do you say, “It’s time to bet on someone new to get results”?

It’s Time to Deliver or Else

We may not be there yet. But inevitably, election season raises these questions. One thing is certain. If incumbents don’t show results between now and November, I’m voting for change. I’m not going to cut people slack for four more years. The risk is too high.

Kingwood Has the Power to Change the Outcome

In that regard, someone reminded me today about how close the last mayoral campaign actually was. And how Kingwood could have easily changed the outcome.

Only 4,000 votes City-wide determined the winner of the last election. 28,000 registered Kingwood voters did not vote.

Turner beat King by about 4000 votes city wide in the runoff election of 2015. But 28,747 registered voters in Kingwood didn’t bother to vote – about three fourths of all those registered. That’s significant because King carried Kingwood by more than a 6 to 1 margin. Clearly, Kingwood could have swung the election to King had more people voted.

I’m not saying Turner has ignored Kingwood. The cleanup was impressive. But we’ve had several opportunities to jumpstart mitigation projects such as additional gates and dredging that have sputtered since then. And the City is trying to turn over ditch maintenance to the County, whose marching orders suddenly favor low-to-moderate income.

Turner has several months to turn things around. If he can’t, I suspect a much higher percentage of Kingwood voters will turn out in November. And we clearly have the capacity to change the outcome if we choose.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/23/2019

543 Days after Hurricane Harvey