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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Houston-Galveston Area Council
by Jim Guidry
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors today voted unanimously to award $1,565,119 to the City of Galveston; $1,717,418 to Nehemiah’s Vision, a non-profit construction company associated with the Southern Baptist Churches in Texas operating in Galveston County on the Bolivar Peninsula, and possibly in Brazoria County; and $516,074 to the Student Conservation Association, a national organization doing several projects in the local region.  Listen: RealPlayer MP3

“We’ve got about $2.8 million remaining from our original grant in 2009 that we would like to get spent out before the money expires,” said Workforce Program Manager Mike Temple, in recommending selection of the three entities to receive the awards for Hurricane Ike Recovery projects. “The Gulf Coast Workforce Board solicited proposals from around the region to spend this money and we received responses from six organizations.”

“This is going to be a program that helps Galveston out at a time of very much need,” said Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski. “The $1.5 million is going to employ a lot of our people, but it’s also going to help very mundane things that make a huge difference in the visibility of how we look – helping the parks get completely re-graded and cleaned up, painting our fire hydrants, painting the ‘no parking’ zones on the streets – little things that  cost a lot of money, and of course, like a lot of the cities, we have had to have some layoffs recently, so this is very timely money and I want to thank you for it.”

The board voted to release the draft version of the “Vision for Tomorrow” for a 30-day public comment period.  Document

“I was very pleased with the quality of our committee that showed a great deal of vision, and brought a diverse view to the table, because we were geographically located within our 13-county area,” said Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, who served on the committee.   Listen: RealPlayer MP3

“I commend the committee and the staff for this,” said H-GAC President Kerry Neves. “The scary thing that I found going through this was the numbers. We always hear about the millions of people coming our way – the one that struck me was needing 269 million additional gallons of water every day in the not too distant future.”

Executive Director Jack Steele reported that the H-GAC has been honored by the State of Texas Recycling Alliance with it’s 2010 Recycling Leadership Award. Listen: RealPlayer MP3

The board voted to continue with Neves and Montgomery County Commissioner Craig Doyal as its representative and alternate to the Texas Association of Regional Councils Board of Directors.

All other agenda items were approved. All votes were unanimous with League City Council Member Mick Phalen, Fort Bend Commissioner Andy Meyers, Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Commissioner Sylvia Garcia, Wharton County Commissioner Chris King, Baytown City Council Member Brandon Capetillo and Friendswood Council Member Bob Holbert absent.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker was absent, but Council Member Sue Lovell, her alternate member, and Mayor Pro Tem Anne Clutterbuck, the regular second delegate, were representing the City of Houston; and Brazoria County Commissioner Stacy Adams, an alternate member, served in the place of Commissioner Mary Ruth Rhodenbaugh.

Colorado County Judge A.G. Jamison, who did not seek reelection, introduced Ty Prause to the board. Prause, a Republican, had no opponent in the GOP primary and no Democrat entered the race in Colorado County, so he is, in effect, county judge-elect.






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