Complied by Joe Southern
Several incumbents have field for re-election to the Sugar Land City Council and the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees.
The election will be held May 6. Sugar Land Councilman Steve Porter announced his re-election bid last week. Since then, a flood of announcements have been made by incumbents of the two boards.
Amy Mitchell announced she is seeking re-election to Sugar Land City Council in the May 6, General Election.
Mitchell is currently serving her third term on city council representing District 3. She is a 23-year resident of Sugar Land and a well-known and well-respected attorney known for her dedication to community service. During her tenure on city council, Mitchell served on several City of Sugar Land committees including: Finance, intergovernmental relations, compensation and economic development. She also served as president of the Sugar Land Development Corporation and chair of TIRZ 3. On those committees, she helped develop and implement Sugar Land’s City financial policy, ensured appropriate compensation for public safety employees and helped to ensure the Texas Instruments and the performing arts center buildings met Sugar Land’s high standards. Mitchell’s goal has been to protect Sugar Land citizens and was a strong proponent of providing local EMS services to Sugar Land residents. During her tenure on City Council, Constellation Field, Texas Instruments, Minute Maid, the Festival Site, the Sugar Land Fire Station 7 opened, the Sugar Land EMS program began, numerous medical facilities were built and/or expanded including Memorial Hermann Sugar Land and Methodist Hospital, and she helped transform the University of Houston’s Sugar Land site into second major campus.
Mitchell is married to Gordon Berkstresser. She has one son, William Loose-Mitchell and two stepchildren, Tyler and Hunter Berkstresser.
Sugar Land Councilman Harish Jajoo announced plans to seek reelection to a fourth term in District 4, pledging to remain an independent voice for the city’s residents.
Jajoo, a licensed professional engineer and small business owner, gained prominence on council by working to lower property taxes, restrain spending, and improve public services.
“I have lived in Sugar Land for 32 years. It is where I raised my family, built my life, and came to admire its people and to value their friendship,” Jajoo said. “As a member of city council, I have always worked to be a clear voice for conservative principles and fiscal responsibility.”
First elected to council in 2011, Jajoo has spearheaded efforts to promote planned growth, upgrade public safety services, develop new parks and bike paths, rehabilitated streets and sidewalks all while holding down taxes. He was among members who worked to raise the city’s homestead exemption tax rate from 7 to 10 percent, saving homeowners thousands of dollars. He has been most proud of completion of City’s world class performance venue -Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land as well as Festival Grounds and Brazos Park – all in District 4
“My single goal for Sugar Land has been to see that progress and tradition receive equal attention as we build our city together,” Jajoo said. “Our community’s values are my values, and as Texans we all know that family and community come first in our lives. That has been my guiding principle on council.”
Jajoo and his wife Shashi have two sons, Sid and Rishi.
Bridget Yeung has announced that she is seeking re-election to Sugar Land City Council in the May General Election.
Yeung is currently serving her third term on city council as the elected official representing District 2. She is a 30-year resident of Sugar Land and a well-known business professional, long recognized for her dedication to community service.
Yeung is a principal with Fort Bend Financial, having over 29 years experience in the financial services industry. She is the founder of the project to restore the historic Sugar Land Auditorium. Additionally, she is a founding member and continues to serve on the board of the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Exchange Club of Sugar Land’s Gold Deeds Award for “service to her community.”
During the last year, Yeung has served on the city’s economic development committee, the finance/audit committee, the intergovernmental relations committee, TIRZ 3 Board of Directors, the Sugar Land Development Corporation, and as president of the City of Sugar Land 4B Corporation. Additionally, she was appointed by the mayor to lead the Smart Financial Centre Task Force and serves on the Festival Site Naming Task Force.
“Serving on the City Council has been a true pleasure and great learning experience. I believe you can have the greatest impact on the lives of residents at the local level,” she said.
FBISD Board of Trustees
Jason Burdine, FBISD Board of Trustees vice president, officially plans to seek re-election in May. Burdine was first elected to the board in May 2014 for a three-year term and was subsequently elected by his peers on the board to serve as vice president in May of 2016.
During his term, the FBISD Board of Trustees launched and/or approved the construction of six new schools, a comprehensive district rezoning, a facilities plan, and a $484 million bond. In addition to funding the constructing of new schools, the bond program includes funds to modernize current schools, a district-wide technology plan, and a transportation budget to purchase new buses.
Burdine said he is proud that the bond was approved by 75 percent of voters with zero tax increase. During his term, Burdine championed the new Career and Technology Education (CTE) center that will prepare students who plan to directly enter the work force after high school or those who begin their career, working while attending college. The new CTE center will provide training and education in fields specifically needed in the Fort Bend area as well as specific, in-demand training for the general workforce today. Burdine said he believes the goal of FBISD is to exceptionally prepare every student for their life beyond high school.
Burdine’s family has called Fort Bend County their home for 10 years. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he received his bachelor of science in education degree. As an independent contractor with Investment Professionals, Burdine has earned numerous accolades for his commitment to exemplary service.
Kristin Tassin announced that she will seek re-election to the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees At-Large Position 4 in the May 6 General Election.
Since being elected to the FBISD Board of Trustees in 2014, Tassin has served three years on the board internal audit committee, one year as the board secretary and is currently serving as the board president. During her six months as president, Tassin has implemented several new initiatives including the board’s Listening Tour, which allows the community to participate in roundtable discussions with trustees at area high schools; the Board Vision and Planning Committee, which has worked with the superintendent and district administration to develop the Profile of a Graduate and will continue working on the development of the district strategic plan; and creation of a legislative liaison position, who has worked with district administrators to develop board-adopted legislative priorities and who will coordinate advocacy efforts during the upcoming legislative session. Tassin has also worked for the past two years, and chaired this past year, a local legislative advisory committee on education for one of FBISD’s state representatives.
Tassin has attended state and national advocacy and policy institutes, workshops and working sessions every year since being elected. During the 2015 legislative session, Tassin attended hearings and testified before the Senate Education Committee. In 2016, Tassin was elected as a delegate for Region 4 on the Texas Association of School Board’s (TASB) Legislative Advisory Committee, which developed the TASB legislative agenda.
Prior to serving on the FBISD Board, Tassin was managing member of her law firm, Dry & Tassin, PLLC, where she practiced intellectual property and special education law. Tassin and her husband, Shannon, are 20-year residents of Missouri City and have three daughters attending FBISD schools.