Alex Mealer, the 2022 Republican nominee for Harris County Judge, was appointed to serve on the board of Houston METRO this week after a vote of confidence from 12 of the 14 “multi-city” mayors.

The agency, which has a budget of $1.6 billion and provides public transportation across Harris County, has a nine-member appointed board made up of members from the City of Houston, Harris County, and the “multi-cities” or the smaller cities within Harris County. The multi-city mayors propose nominees for their two positions and then vote among themselves on appointees. 

In a post announcing her appointment, Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey wrote:

I’d like to offer my congratulations to Alexandra del Moral Mealer on her overwhelming victory as the newest METRO Board member. 

Out of the nine METRO board positions, two positions represent the 14 “Multi-cities” who participate in METRO (two positions are appointed by Harris County and five are appointed by the City of Houston) Alex was elected by a 12-1 vote by the “Multi-cities” mayors, placing their confidence in her leadership and management experience. 

Her service to Harris County is a valuable asset that will benefit our communities and residents for years to come. (The METRO Multi-cities are: Bellaire, Bunker Hill Village, El Lago, Hedwig Village, Hilshire Village, Humble, Hunters Creek, Katy, Missouri City, Piney Point, Southside Place, Spring Valley, Taylor Lake Village, and West University Place.) 

In her statement, Mealer wrote:

In the coming days, I plan to sit down with the leadership from the “Multi-Cities” to make sure I understand how METRO can better deliver value to their residents. 

I look forward to collaborating with METRO’s board of directors, led by Chair Elizabeth Gonzalez Brock, to tackle these challenges in order to ensure that our region has a best-in-class transit system that is fiscally responsible, safe, and efficient. 

Mealer joins the new METRO Chair Elizabeth Brock who was appointed to the board earlier this month by Mayor John Whitmire, as well as former Houston ISD trustee Holly Flynn Vilaseca who is an appointee of the Harris County Commissioners Court. 

Metro’s service area covers more than 1,300 square miles and operates bus, light rail, bus rapid transit, and intermediate public transit services. There is expected to be an increased focus on METRO because of the new leadership and also because of Mayor Whitmire’s desire to merge the METRO police department into the Houston Police Department and, possibly, use some sales tax revenue that has long been exclusive to METRO to offset city expenses. 

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.

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