Unlike City Council, Metro Board Not Expanding After 2010 Census

Just think -- we could have two more Metro board members. Alas, it is not to be.

Although the 2010 Census showed (barely) enough growth in Houston to trigger expansion of the city council by two seats, a study for Metro said there's no need for its board to follow suit.

Growth in the Harris County suburbs was the the key factor in whether expansion from nine board members to 11 was necessary, and a report by Houston numbers expert Richard Murray said there hadn't been enough.

The census showed there were 1,354,172 people in Metro's service area, but not in the city of Houston; the figure was 172,212 short of what it needed to be to trigger the change.

"The results, although not unexpected, bring to closure any questions about the Board's make-up," board chairman Gilbert Garcia said. "The Board remains unified in our efforts to be as efficient as possible in delivering safe, affordable and reliable transit solutions to the area."

Five of the nine members of the board are picked by the Houston mayor, two by Harris County Commissioners Court and two by the mayors of the other 14 cities served by the agency.

If expanded, Harris County would have gotten another appointment to make, Metro says, and "the majority of the board would make the other appointment -- the chairman of the board."

Metro is now seeking a ruling from the state Attorney General that their interpretation of the census data is correct and valid.

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