Houstonian from birth and former Kemah mayor Bill King is one of many candidates running for the Houston mayoral election this November.
King’s focus as potential mayor is getting Houston ‘back to the basics’ using his law, business and educational expertise.
“The city government is not working right now. Our streets are a mess, crime is rising and the city hasn’t balanced its budget in 10 years,” King said. “We’ve got to get the city back to the basic things.”
After graduating from UH, King served as mayor of Houston Community College — among his other law and business roles. King said this experience served him well in disasters and public safety, specifically when Hurricane Rita hit Texas shores in 2005. He said that public safety is a major concern for his home.
“I remember the tremendous amount of crime on campus,” King said. “Students shouldn’t have to worry about their public safety. I think the best thing I can do as mayor is to try to do something different about the neighborhood around campus and making people feel safer (on) campus.”
King plans to tackle Houston’s budget problem during his first 100 days. Afterward, he will address the city’s stagnate infrastructure by substituting Houston’s recently declared illegal Rebuild Houston program, with a finance plan.
Finance challenges are within King’s ballpark, and King plans to use this expertise as an advantage against his competitors.
“I’m the only real businessman in the campaign that’s run both large and small businesses,” King said. “I am the only one who has experienced something like the kind of financial challenges that we are facing.”
However, King has faced the bitter taste of failure. In his novel, “Saving Face: An Alternative and Personal History of the Savings and Loan Crisis,” he described the successes and failures he has faced in his businesses and how the city helped pick himself up when times got rough.
All throughout, King wants to preserve Houston’s opportunity for its citizens.
“We are one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and we welcome people from all over the world,” King said. “We don’t really care where they came from, where they go to church (and) I think that’s unique of Houston. I think Houston is America’s city of opportunity.”