Harris County Tax Assessor Collector Mike Sullivan deserves a second term. That is such a rare statement for me to make that I’ll repeat it: Sullivan deserves a second term. Why? Because he is a politician that does what he says he’s going to do and puts the position above politics.
Sullivan has improved every aspect of the office. The most visible aspect of those improvements are the satellite offices he maintains throughout the county. They are cleaner, brighter, friendlier and faster than ever before. The less visible aspects are the improvements in back end technology that he has implemented, which have allowed those visible improvements in service.
Online voter registration
As usual, the Houston Chronicle editorial board overlooks all of the positives that Sullivan has brought to the office to find one area of disagreement so that they can endorse his opponent:
The incumbent has failed to fulfill his promises
When Mike Sullivan first ran for Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, he promised that he would: “Bring the office into the 21st century by embracing new technology.”
By Sullivan’s standard, we look forward to Apple releasing the Post Card 7, complete with four easy-to-handle sides and a convenient stamp location. Because if you want to register to vote in Harris County, or anywhere in the state of Texas, you have to do it by snail mail – and state legislators point to Sullivan as the reason why.
A majority of the state House had co-sponsored a bill to allow online voter registration during the last legislative session. However, testimony by Sullivan redirected the sure-fire bill into the garbage.
Whatever his other accomplishments in the office, whatever the deficits of his challenger, Sullivan’s failure to bring voter registration into the 21st century should disqualify him in the minds of voters. There is no excuse.
To use the Chron ed board’s favorite term that is a whole boatload of cow-pie. They’ve tried this before and I had to correct them. Online voter registration is a POLITICAL ISSUE, not a technological one, which is demonstrated by the very argument the ed board tries to make.
If the Chron ed board members would read the news section of the Houston Chronicle, they would know that voter registration for this election is at record levels. It’s a shame that the news side of that organization can’t get their own editorial board to read their reporting. Clearly, the lack of online voter registration has not inhibited voters from registering. And just as clearly, Sullivan’s office has helped make it easier for voters to register by holding multiple voter registration drives in ALL areas of the county, just as former Tax Assessor Collector Leo Vasquez did. Like I said, a boatload of cow-pie.
Sullivan’s opponent, Ann Harris Bennett, seems to be a nice enough lady. She’s run for office so many times that I’m very familiar with her. County Clerk in 2010, Tax Assessor Collector in 2012, County Clerk in 2014, now Tax Assessor Collector again in 2016. She is simply not qualified for the office of Tax Assessor Collector, much less more qualified than Sullivan. From the Chron’s news side when she ran in 2012:
Bennett, 59, worked in the county office of court administration as a legal assistant and as a genealogy researcher.
Yep, that’s certainly stellar qualifications to run the largest county tax collection office in the state. Legal assistant. Genealogy research. Shaking my head.
Ann Harris Bennett on the issues
Let’s take a look at some of her thoughts.
Delinquent taxpayer information is public record. However, this current administration has used tactics of public humiliation to achieve collection goals. Public humiliation and bullying are cruel, unprofessional, and unacceptable behavior.
I guess that she is referring to Sullivan releasing the names of the top ten delinquent taxpayers in Harris County. I think it is awesome that Sullivan has been very aggressive in going after delinquent taxpayers and hope he doubles his efforts in his next term. It helps all Harris County taxpayers and certainly isn’t “bullying”. Good grief.
It is unacceptable for citizens to face complicated processes, long lines, unjust standards, and inadequate equipment when conducting business with Harris County. My years of experience in public service will enable me to make the necessary changes in order for this government office to serve the people in a timely and efficient manner.
As mentioned, Sullivan has already addressed her issues. And how about those “years of experience”? As a genealogy researcher. Yeah, that’ll do the trick.
The Voter Registrar should be the county advocate for the voter registration process. I am an advocate for online voter registration and for registered voters to stay registered. I will put an end to past practices of illegal purging of the voter rolls.
Indeed, Mike Sullivan has demonstrated that he is the county advocate for voter registration. Remember, record voter registration this year. I happen to disagree with Sullivan about online voter registration and think that he needs to implement it and I wrote about that a year and a half ago. But it certainly isn’t and shouldn’t be a deal breaker, especially when voter registration is at record levels. She doesn’t want to purge the voter rolls of dead people and non-citizens? Registered voters should stay registered forever? Even after they are dead? Well, she is a Democrat.
Mike Sullivan is the clear choice
There is no doubt about it. If you are anything less than a straight up yellow dog Democrat voter, you know that Mike Sullivan is the best and clear choice to receive your vote for a second term.
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