(Study: Metro board not in need of new members. Carol Christian, Chron.com)
A study by a Houston political science researcher shows that suburban population growth, relative to the city of Houston's, hasn't been enough to require adding two seats to the Metropolitan Transit Authority board.The emphasis is mine, and really cuts to the heart of the issue. What scares Metro to death is the prospect of losing the majority for the urban core and being forced to consider providing service to non-smart growth proponents. What this would undoubtedly mean is *gasp* NO MORE TOY TRAIN. That's something that the world-classiness crowd can't stand.
The conclusion by University of Houston professor Richard Murray is significant because if 2010 census data had met a threshold that requires expanding the board from nine to 11 members, the city's five appointees would no longer be a majority.
To my thinking waiting for the final census results to come out, and then taking a hard look at the final numbers, is the best way to satisfy this. In a very "old" Metro way however, Metro is choosing to get out in front of the issue by using their bloated PR department to spend taxpayer money in order to prop up 7 miles of train service that's accomplishing a lot of nothing. Not only is it bad public policy, but it's accompanied by more bad identification of local figures and will soon be followed by a bad editorial cheer-leading the results. It's the Houston Way.
*Please don't call them the "new" Metro. That's a PR ploy to cover up the fact that Metro is operating as they always have. They don't listen to large swaths of the voting public and they aren't all that interested in providing meaningful transit service to the Houston Metro area.