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Houston-Galveston Area Council Annual Meeting
by Jim and Lynda Guidry
Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Houston-Galveston Area Council held its Annual Meeting on Friday.

Outgoing H-GAC Chair, Montgomery County Commissioner Craig Doyal, welcomed elected officials and others from the 13-county region and introduced the guests at the head table as well as past H-GAC chairs; and called on Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, who introduced the 2012 Board of Directors.
Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

Executive Director Jack Steele said that 2011 was a year of accomplishment and anticipation for the H-GAC.
MP3 RealPlayer

“Our real business is to serve our region and its local governments today and also to help our region plan and anticipate a better tomorrow,” Steele said.  “We did both of those this year in many ways.”

Steele said the Workforce Solutions network served more than 400,000 employees and almost 40,000 employers. The H-GAC served 750,000 meals to eligible senior citizens across the region and the HGACBuy cooperative purchasing program facilitated almost $350 million in purchases of equipment and services to local governments, mostly in the H-GAC region, but also to governments in other regions and even other states.

“We also worked with state and federal partners to replace a number of older, high-polluting diesel engines and heavy trucks and school buses, improving the efficiency of those trucks and buses and dramatically reducing pollution in a region that still has challenges in air quality across the board,” Steele said. 

Before handing the gavel to incoming Chair, Manvel Mayor Delores Martin, Doyal said that he enjoyed his year as chair. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

“I’ve been on the board for quite some time,” Doyal said.  “As a board member you recognize the diversity of this region and the differences in needs and desires and wishes of the different communities and entities across the 13-county region.  As chairman, I’ve become keenly aware of the strengths of each of those entities.”

The featured speaker of the evening was Texas State Representative Larry Taylor.
Listen: MP3 RealPlayer

“We are a blessed people,” Taylor said.  “We live in the best country in the world; we live in the best state, bar none; and frankly we live in the best region in this state.  So we are a blessed people.”

Taylor discussed several issues faced by the Texas Legislature and the difficulties in moving forward toward his election for the Texas Senate.

“We’ve had five-day filibusters on the House floor in the closing weeks of the session; it’s just been one thing after another,” he said.  “Now I am in a primary election where we don't know when the election date is,” Taylor said.

Despite the problems, Taylor said the Legislature did a good job.

“I think you would be proud of your legislature and your governor,” Taylor said, citing several accomplishments.  “We’ve enacted tort reform, meaningful tort reform, in this state, where companies and people know they will get a fair shake in court.”

He also listed workers’ comp reform, holding the line on taxes, and reform of state regulations.

The H-GAC Annual Meeting was at the Intercontinental Houston Hotel.

Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

Guidry News Service is headquartered in Midtown Houston.
at 4001 Fannin Street, Suite 4109, Houston, TX. 77004-4077
(409) 763 NEWS(6397)
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