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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors
by Jim Guidry
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors today voted unanimously to approve the council of government’s Vision for Tomorrow document. 
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“This document is intended to be a long range vision for the region that provides a framework for guiding our various training programs, and I think a good tool that you can use with your constituents and then staff, making sure they are aware of all the different programs and services that the H-GAC can offer,” said Jeff Taebel, director of community and environmental planning.

The board discussed two percent pay raises proposed by Executive Director Jack Steele but will not take action until the 2011 Budget is considered at the December meeting.
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“No increase across the board,” Steele said. “No increase in release time, insurance reimbursement, but a two percent pool for comparability, retention and merit.”

Three members of the board, Sugar Land Mayor Pro Tem Thomas Abraham, Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark and League City City Council Member Mick Phalen said they could not support a two percent increase for H-GAC staff.

“We decided this year that we are not going to give any two percent increase,” Abraham said, referring to the Sugar Land City Council’s decision against pay raises for city employees. 

“We are still recovering from Hurricane Ike,” Clark said, explaining his opposition to the increase.

Steele reported on Hurricane Ike recovery activity in his report to the board.
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Steele reported that representatives from Home Rule Cities in the region re-elected Dickinson Council Member Kerry Neves and Stafford Council Member Cecil Willis as board members and West University Place Council Member Bob Fry and Bay City Council Member Carolyn Thames as alternates. More

Steele also reported that representatives of the General Law Cities recently re-elected Meadows Place Alderman Terry Henley and Manvel Mayor Delores Martin as members of the board and Iowa Colony Council Member Kay Mudd and Hunters Creek Village Council Member Norm Wigington as alternates. More

All agenda items were approved with unanimous votes. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Wharton County Commissioner Chris King, Deer Park Council Member Thane Harrison, Friendswood City Council Member Bob Holbert and Texas City Commissioner Dee Ann Haney were absent. Houston Mayor Anisse Parker was represented by Council Member Sue Lovell, her alternate; Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski was represented by Council Member Dianna Puccetti and Conroe Council Member Toby Powell was represented by Council Member Guy Martin.
 




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