SUGAR LAND, TX – What if they threw an election and nobody showed up? That’s what happened in Sugar Land. Well, almost.
Four city council positions were up for grabs and only one person stepped up to run in each district. Nobody else filed to run against any of them!
But it gets weirder. Since all the candidates were unopposed, the city cancelled the May 11th election and declared all four “winners” without a single vote. It saved the city $37,000.
One of the candidates, Harish Jajoo, who will begin his second term on the council, says he’s proud of the results, “It tells me that citizens are happy with the city of Sugar Land in general. And my district residents are happy with my service to them.”
Attorney Debra Halbridge, a Sugar Land resident since 1992, doesn’t quite agree with that. “A lot of people I know did not want additional apartments built in Sugar Land,” she says, “They spoke to the city council concerning it, and they wouldn’t even put it for a vote.”
So if there was opposition to council decisions, why didn’t anybody run against these guys?
Halbridge explains, “Sugar Land is a place where the people have a lot of careers that they’re very busy with. They ‘are’ interested in what goes on, but they just don’t have a lot of time to get involved.”
Sounds reasonable, but it ‘could’ be something else, according to lifelong resident Caroline Stodghill, 19.
“I’ve been here all my life. I’ve never seen a problem with it. My parents haven’t,’ she explains. ‘I’ve gone to school here. Nothing seems to be wrong.”
So maybe this is “just rewards” for a job well done — a job that in Jajoo’s case takes him about 25 hours a week.
“I have run opposed. I have run unopposed,’ says Jajoo. ‘I prefer unopposed.”
Who wouldn’t?! In the Land of Sugar, that’s what you call a sweet victory.