The Houston-Galveston Area Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to adopt a new policy regarding a bill that requires regional planning commissions to offer ex-officio, non-voting, membership on their governing bodies to a member of the Texas Legislature.
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Houston City Council Member Anne Clutterbuck, chair of the H-GAC Legislative Committee, noted that the legislation did not specify how the legislator was to be selected.
“It was the recommendation of the committee that Mr. Steele come back to us next month with an agenda item that would allow the chair of the H-GAC board to appoint somebody to serve the length of that particular chair’s term,” Clutterbuck said. “And each time we have a new chair, the new chair would have the obligation of recommending an ex-officio member of the legislature.”
The board voted to negotiate with AECOM, one of 11 consultant teams that responded to a request for proposals to conduct public engagement for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program, but the vote was not unanimous. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
H-GAC staff had recommended AmericaSpeaks and AECOM as finalists, but Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark moved to negotiate with AECOM only.
“I think a local presence is extremely important,” Clark said, noting that AECOM has done work for Galveston County in the past.
AmericaSpeaks is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.
Dickinson City Council Member Kerry Neves and Houston City Council Member Anne Clutterbuck voted against Clark’s motion to negotiate with AECOM. There were three other votes against the motion, but the record is not clear on which members voted "no".
All other agenda items were approved unanimously. Agenda
Colorado County Judge Ty Prause, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman, Walker County Commissioner B.J. Gaines, Baytown Council Member Brandon Capetillo, Deer Park Council Member Thane Harrison, Friendswood Council Member Patrick McGinnis, Sugar Land Council Member Thomas Abraham and Texas City Commissioner Dee Ann Haney were absent. Lake Jackson Council Member Bob Geter did not attend the meeting but he was represented by Mayor Bob Sipple.