in Houston, Texas
Where do you live in Houston Independent School District? It's apparently easier to find out here than by looking at a map on the HISD office wall.
Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011, 02:48PM CST
By Mike Cronin
compass

The disqualification of Houston school-board candidate Art Huerta on the filing deadline date of Sept. 7 outraged Huerta and some parents alike.

Huerta filed last month to run against incumbent school-board President Paula Harris for the District IV seat in the Houston Independent School District.

But HISD officials said they discovered on Sept. 7 that Huerta lived in incumbent board-member Juliet Stipeche's District VIII, making him ineligible to challenge Harris.

District spokesman Jason Spencer described the snafu as an “honest mistake” due to inaccurate maps hanging in HISD's board-services office. Spencer said more detailed maps are the solution to preventing a recurrence of the incident.

But another way exists.

District residents and potential candidates can verify where they live by checking on HISD and Harris County websites

The first step is to go here on the HISD website and scroll to the bottom, where tiny letters read, “To find out which trustee represents you, use the Trustee Finder tool.“

That will bring up a page for Trustee Finder directions.

At the top reads a sentence with a live link, “To find out, review the instructions below, then visit the Harris County Tax Office's Voter Precinct Street Guide.”

Click there and the “Voter Precinct Street Guide” will appear.

In the boxes across the top, simply type in your street number, street name, city and zip code.

Click the diminutive gray box to the right that reads, “SEARCH.” Upon doing that, a series of horizontal cells with address data will appear.

To complete the process, click on another miniscule gray box that reads, “INFO.”

A box will appear that lists all elected officials who represent that address. Toward the bottom, the phrase, “HOUSTON ISD (HOUSTON ISD POSITION)” appears. The number following the word lists the resident address HISD district number.

Go to the HISD Trustee webpage to find the board member who represents that district.

Voila!

Complicated, yes. But more accurate than any map hanging on an HISD office wall.

***
Contact Mike Cronin at mike@texaswatchdog.org or 713-228-2850. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelccronin or @texaswatchdog.

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Photo of 'Compass Study' by flickr user Calsidyrose, used via a Creative Commons license.
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