GALVESTON — The changes wrought by Saturday’s election will not be contained by the City Council — its effects will ripple to other city boards and commissions.

The council will likely not make ex-oficio appointments to city boards until after a June 21 runoff election is held to determine the District 1 council member. But the results of the election will have definite effects on a small number of boards where new council members currently serve or where ousted council members have voting positions.

Today, the Park Board of Trustees is expected to elect a new chairman and vice chairman. The board’s current chairman, Craig Brown, was elected Saturday to the District 2 seat on the City Council.

Brown has served on the park board since 2009 and was reappointed to the board last fall.

“I enjoyed immensely my time with the park board,” Brown said. “I wish the new chairman and vice chairman the best, and anything I can do to be of assistance, I’ll always be available.”

Brown would not say Monday whether he was interested in returning to the board as the council’s representative, a position held by District 6 Councilwoman Marie Robb, who lost her bid for re-election to Carolyn Sunseri.

As chairman of the park board, Brown is also a member of a number of different organizations, including the Galveston Island Convention Center Management Committee, the Moody Gardens Foundation board and the Cavalla Foundation board. Those positions also will be passed on to the next park board chairman today.

Elsewhere in the city, Mayor-elect Jim Yarbrough will likely be tasked with making appointments to the Galveston Housing Authority. The terms of board Chairman Irwin “Buddy” Herz, Vice Chairman Tony Brown and Commissioner Ann Masel all expire June 30.

Unlike other city boards and commissions, the housing authority’s board is appointed solely by the mayor.

“I haven’t given a whole lot of thought to it,” Yarbrough said. “My thought is that if the incumbents that are there would like to continue to serve, I would be inclined that they should continue to serve.”

Herz said Monday he would serve at “ the discretion of the mayor” but acknowledged he felt there was still some work left unfinished for the housing authority — specifically finding financing for and beginning construction of the city’s two mixed-income housing developments.

In 2012, appointments to the housing authority became a heated topic at City Hall when Mayor Lewis Rosen called for the authority’s acting chairwoman, Betty Massey, to resign, and appointed the three commissioners who he said would be inclined to put a stop to the existing plans for public housing.

Yarbrough called the housing authority a “complex environment” and said he would be hesitant to replace people who have a clear grasp of the issues. He acknowledged the circumstances of their appointments but said he did not think the housing authority was working against the city’s mixed-income housing developments any more.

“I think it’s become a reality that the local housing authority board is not going to stop the two mixed-income sites,” Yarbrough said. “I think they’ve accepted that.”

Apart from Brown, none of the other newly incoming council members — Yarbrough, Sunseri or Ralph McMorris — are serving on any city boards. Before the election, Sunseri resigned her position on the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment but resigned after announcing her intentions to join the council race.

The other city board that will face drastic changes is the Industrial Development Corp., which oversees spending of the city’s 4B sales tax funds. The board has four positions that must be filled by City Council members. Three of those spots are held by Rosen, Robb and Councilwoman Elizabeth Beeton.

While the positions are designated specifically for the mayor and council members, Yarbrough said he would explore the possibility of making appointments to the organization instead.

“I like to see less council people on there and more real-world people,” Yarbrough said. “Hopefully, we can get some fresh blood and some new people.”

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or

(7) comments

Stevie Maradeo

Basically he means "Less council members and more buddies". But I will give Yarbrough the benefit of the doubt.

Let's just see in the first year how much "change" happens. I lost all of my "hope" for "change" with Obama.

Steve Fouga

I'm excited by the prospect of a new city administration, but I was excited last time too. We saw how that turned out.

Ditto Daily Blues "hope-for-change" comment. I'm feeling pretty jaded with government in general. But let's see how it goes.

Bill Broussard

I'm there too jake. The best part of the story was when Yarbourough finally said what he really thinks about Rosen, the great businessman, now that Louis is no longer needed as a sign carrier:

“I like to see less council people on there and more real-world people,”

Testing Free

I am a real world person. Can I be on a board? How much do I have to donate?

Leonce Thierry

Dear Freebie - Sure you can serve on a board. And you don't have to donate anything. These are not coveted position for the in-crowd. I have served on the City's Intermodal Transportation Committee since 2010. ITC has been short by two committee members for the past year. Just apply for the position, take the online open-meeting and open records training through the state of Texas, sign the ethics certificate, and you are eligible to serve. If you live on Galveston Island, it's not an issue.

Public service is not sexy. It's more mundane and cumbersome. Even so, making recommendations to the City Council on behalf of our citizens can be thoroughly enjoyable.

Jarvis Buckley

I was an EB supporter, what's my chances.?


Unlike Mark Henry who went into the County Judge position with a hatchet man; I believe Jim Yarbrough will give anyone in any position the benefit of any doubt unless they prove that they are not able to complete the tasks at hand. He's a fair-minded man with leadership abilities that are truly missed by a large portion of Galveston County residents even today. The vote speaks. Just wish his title was County Judge again instead of Mayor...... Galveston you are blessed.

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