HOUSTON - With little notice to or input from taxpayers, Judge Lina Hidalgo, this week rammed through a "seismic shift" in the fundamental manner Harris County will be governed moving forward.
With the full support of two Democratic commissioners, Hidalgo appoints a "County Administrator", and grants that person far reaching power to purportedly "streamline and co-ordinate" all county operations, including hiring and firing.
Critics, including the two Republicans on the court, called the move a "naked power grab" that shifts vital decision-making to a bureaucrat beholden to the party in power.
County Commissioner Jack Cagle said, "I do not believe that anyone should be that anyone regardless of how well-meaning they may be should be given these supreme chancellor style powers over all the other 20 departments in this county."
Judge Hidalgo responded, " We gotta modernize, man. This is so, it's very wonky. I can't run re-election on this topic, I’m doing it because it matters for good government and I ran for good government."
Hidalgo points out most major counties in Texas have hired an "administrator" as have many major jurisdictions across the nation.
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