This essay is to make a positive statement about some significant changes on Galveston Island.
Following a rough start when a defeated member of Galveston City Council was allowed to run roughshod over a meeting he shouldn't have even attended, the complete new city council got down to business last week. Mayor Joe Jaworski presided over the meeting in a firm but gentle manner, calling on council members who held up their hands, not allowing others to just start talking. He followed the agenda and kept it moving. The mayor's style is natural to him and it is reasonable to expect him to continue to run civilized meetings in the future, even when emotional issues arise.
Jaworski has reached across the causeway big time since his election, to show a new face for Galveston. In his first weeks, he has been to Washington, D.C. to visit with very high level officials in the Obama administration. He has participated in at least two meetings at the Houston-Galveston Area Council offices in Houston. He has done numerous media interviews.
At last week's workshop meeting, he asked the other council members if they are comfortable with his representation in those situations. There were no dissenting comments.
This week, Jaworski and Galveston City Council will host a meeting of the Galveston County Mayors and Councilmembers' Association. This is significant. This countywide organization has had only sporadic representation from Galveston City Council for many years, and hardly any at all in recent years.
The meeting will be in the new Galveston Fire and EMS Station Number 5, which was built on county property at the Galveston County Justice Center. This was a cooperative project between the city and the county that has resulted in positive benefits for both entities. The station provides EMS and fire suppression services for the large county complex, and is well placed to protect that area of the city. A fire station was needed in that location.
The official ribbon cutting for the station is at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The public is invited and refreshments will be served. The ribbon cutting and reception will be followed by the elected officials meeting at 6 p.m.