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Founded in 1836 and incorporated in 1837, Houston, Texas, United States is one of the fastest growing major cities in the United States and the largest without zoning laws. The city is the county seat of Harris County. A portion of southwest Houston extends into Fort Bend County and a small portion in the northeast extends into Montgomery County.

The city of Houston has a strong mayor–council government. The City's elected officials, serving concurrent two year terms, are: the mayor, the city controller and 14 members of the city council. Under the strong mayor-council government, the mayor serves as the executive officer of the city. As the city's chief administrator and official representative, the mayor is responsible for the general management of the city and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced.[citation needed]

As the result of a 1991 referendum in Houston, a mayor is elected for a two-year term, and can be elected to as many as three consecutive terms. City council members, who also have a three-term limit, are elected from nine districts in the city, along with five at-large council members, who represent the entire city. As of 2010, the mayor of Houston is Annise Parker, who is serving her first term.[citation needed]

The city council lineup was based on a U.S. Justice Department mandate which took effect in 1979. Under the current city charter, if the population in the Houston City Limits goes past 2.2 million residents, the current nine-member city council districts will be expanded with the addition of two city council districts.[1] Houston is a home rule city and all municipal elections in the state of Texas are nonpartisan.[citation needed]

Many local lawmakers have been impacted by the city's term limits. Several former city officials—Anthony Hall, Rodney Ellis, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Sylvia Garcia, Martha Wong, Chris Bell, Annise Parker, and Shelley Sekula-Gibbs—chose to run for other elected positions once their terms expired or shortly before they were due to expire.

City Council Member offices located at City Hall Annex

Former mayor Lee P. Brown denounced the term limits, saying they prevented incumbents from gaining enough experience in city government. A proposal to double the current two-year term of office has been debated—as of 2005, several candidates for the city council have brought up the issue of whether term limits should be amended or eliminated. Some elected officials from the Greater Houston area within the Texas Legislature—primarily Garnet Coleman and Sylvester Turner—have also spoken out against term limits.

Houston is considered to be a politically divided city whose balance of power often sways between Republicans and Democrats. The affluent western-central portions of Houston—such as River Oaks and the Memorial/Spring Branch area, as well as master planned communities of Kingwood and Clear Lake City—consistently vote Republican, while many of the inner city areas, Neartown, and Alief—are heavily Democratic. According to the 2005 Houston Area Survey, 68 percent of non-Hispanic whites in Harris County are declared or favor Republicans while 89 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in the area are declared or favor Democrats. About 62 percent Hispanics (of any race) in the area are declared or favor Democrats. [2]

Contents

Municipal government

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Elected Officials

Position Name First Elected Areas Represented

Council Districts Super Neighborhoods

Mayor Annise Parker 2009 City-wide
City Controller Ronald Green 2009 City-wide
At-Large Position 1 Stephen Costello 2009 City-wide
At-Large Position 2 Sue Lovell 2005 City-wide
At-Large Position 3 Melissa Noriega 2007 City-wide
At-Large Position 4 Clarence Bradford 2009 City-wide
At-Large Position 5 Jolanda "Jo" Jones 2007 City-wide
District A Brenda Stardig 2009 Willowbrook, Carverdale, Fairbanks/Northwest Crossing, Greater Inwood (part), Acres Homes (part), Westbranch, Addicks/Park Ten (including the Addicks Reservoir), Spring Branch West, Langwood, Oak Forest/Garden Oaks, Lazy Brook/Timbergrove (part), Memorial (part), Washington Avenue/Memorial (part), Spring Shadows, Spring Branch Central, Spring Branch East (part)
District B Jarvis Johnson 2005 Greenspoint, Greater Inwood (part), Acres Homes (part), Hidden Valley, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Northside/Northline (part), Eastex/Jensen (part), East Little York/Homestead, Trinity/Houston Gardens, East Houston, Settegast, Kashmere Gardens (part), Fifth Ward (part), Denver Harbor/Port Houston (part), Pleasantville Area (part), Clinton Park/Tri-Community (part)
District C Anne Clutterbuck 2005 Woodlake/Briarmeadow (part), Uptown/Post Oak (part), Sharpstown (part), Gulfton (part), University Place, Braeburn (part), Meyerland, Braeswood Place, Texas Medical Center (part), Fondren Southwest (part), Westbury, Willow Meadows/Willowbend, Fondren Gardens, Greenway Plaza/Upper Kirby
District D Wanda Adams 2007 Neartown, Texas Medical Center (part), Reliant Park, South Main, Central Southwest, Fort Bend county portion, Midtown, Binz, Third Ward (part), OST/South Union, Sunnyside, South Park (part), South Acres/Crestmont Park (part), Minnetex (part), MacGregor
District E Mike Sullivan 2007 Kingwood (including Montgomery County portion), Lake Houston, North Shore (part), South Park (part), Meadowbrook/Allendale (part), South Acres/Crestmont Park (part), Minnetex (part), Hobby Airport (part), Edgebrook, South Belt/Ellington Field, Clear Lake City, Johnson Space Center
District F Al Hoang 2009 Alief, Sharpstown (part), Gulfton (part), Westwood, Braeburn (part), Fondren Southwest (part)
District G Oliver Pennington 2009 Memorial (part), Eldridge/West Oaks (including the Barker Reservoir), Briar Forest, Westchase, Woodlake/Briar Meadow (part), Uptown/Post Oak (part), Washington Ave./Memorial (part), Afton Oaks/River Oaks
District H Ed Gonzalez 2009 Independence Heights, Lazy Brook/Timbergrove (part), Houston Heights, Washington Avenue/Memorial (part), Northside/Northline (part), Eastex/Jensen (part), Northside Village, Kashmere Gardens (part), Fifth Ward (part), Downtown (part), Second Ward (part), Eastwood (part), Spring Branch East (part), Cottage Grove
District I James Rodriguez 2007 El Dorado/Oates Prairie, Hunterwood, Denver Harbor/Port Houston (part), Pleasantville Area (part), North Shore (part), Clinton Park/Tri-Community (part), Fourth Ward, Downtown (part), Second Ward (part), Eastwood (part), Harrisburg-Manchester/Magnolia Park, Third Ward (part), Gulfgate/Pine Valley, Pecan Park, Golfcrest, Park Place, Meadowbrook/Allendale (part), Hobby Airport (part), Magnolia Park, Lawndale/Wayside

Super neighborhoods

During the administration of Lee P. Brown, starting in the year 2000 the City of Houston began grouping areas into "super neighborhoods." Communities with similar identities, infrastructures, and physical features were grouped into super neighborhoods.[3]

State government

The Texas Department of Transportation operates the Houston District Office in Houston.[4]

Federal government

Houston Post Office

The United States Postal Service's main post office facility is the 16-acre Houston Post Office at 401 Franklin Street in Downtown Houston.[5] In February 2009 the U.S. Postal Service announced that it was going to sell the Houston Post Office. The party buying the facility is required to build a replacement facility.[6] The postal service operates station branches in other parts of Houston.

A Federal Reserve sub-branch is located in Houston.

Gallery

See also

Notes

  1. ^ City Council may grow by two seats. Houston Chronicle.
  2. ^ Klineberg, Stephen. Houston Area Survey 1982–2005, Page 40.
  3. ^ Sendejas, Jesse. "Planning for the future / Super neighborhood councils try to boost community services." Houston Chronicle. Wednesday September 27, 2000. ThisWeek 1. Retrieved on February 20, 2010.
  4. ^ "Houston District Office." Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved on January 11, 2010.
  5. ^ "Post Office Location - HOUSTON." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 4, 2008.
  6. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy. "Downtown Houston post office up for sale." Houston Chronicle. February 25, 2009. Retrieved on February 25, 2009.

External links


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