Galveston City Council on Thursday voted 6-1, with Cornelia Harris Banks opposed, to approve a housing plan, called “Alternate Plan 2” and for the city and the Galveston Housing Authority to submit the plan to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Texas General Land Office and the housing advocate groups. Listen
“It’s one of the four plans that were previously presented to council on August 28," explained GHA Commissioner Tony Brown. “After we were appointed two months ago we tried to negotiate with the various parties – HUD, GLO, advocate groups. The mayor repeatedly said let’s get everybody in one room so we can talk together and get to an answer, but unfortunately we haven’t been able to get them here to do that and negotiations have been difficult.”
“We’re down to two weeks,” added GHA Chair Buddy Herz. “That’s my concern!”
Mayor Lewis Rosen posted a statement seeking a meeting with representatives of housing advocate groups next week to try and agree on a plan before the Texas General Land Office’s September 28 deadline when funding to Galveston will be cut off. Statement
“The city and GHA representatives made repeated requests to the GLO for a joint meeting with the advocates,” Rosen said in his statement. “On Wednesday, September 12, 2012, a conference call was scheduled with the GLO and the advocates, but the advocates failed to participate. During the conference call, the GLO instructed me, as the mayor, to contact the advocates directly. The city and the Galveston Housing Authority are contacting the advocates.”
At the city council meeting Rosen was more critical of the land office.
“We have been lied to by the GLO,” Rosen said. “I don’t know any other way to say it.”
The city council voted 6-1, with Banks opposed, to retain legal counsel to provide legal advice regarding contracts, agreements and negotiations with any federal or state agency regarding public housing.
The city council voted 6-0-1, with Marie Robb abstaining, to schedule the meeting between the housing advocates and the city council for Tuesday, September 18 at 10 a.m.
The city council voted 6-1, with Elizabeth Beeton opposed, to amend the city ordinance regulating wall plane articulation requirements of the height and density development zone.
The city council voted 5-2, with Banks and Terrilyn Tarlton opposed, to defer until September 27 action on an amendment to the Galveston Island Golf Course management agreement with Moody Gardens.
The city council voted 2-5, with only Beeton and Norman Pappous in favor, to defeat Beeton’s motion to end the practice of allowing discussion of any item on a workshop or regular session agenda in executive session, without specifying on the printed agenda that those items would be discussed behind closed doors.
The city council voted unanimously to refer a bond refunding issue back to the Galveston Industrial Development Corporation.
The city council voted unanimously to approve several appointments. Listen
- Banks was named the city council’s ex-officio representative to the Tax Foreclosed Property Resale Committee; and Brian Maxwell was named the staff representative to the committee.
- Mayor Rosen was named the ex-officio representative to the Tree Committee. Beeton said she will reappoint David Schuler to the Tree Committee.
- The city council reappointed Nate Wilson to the Planning Commission.
- There are two openings on the Galveston Port Facilities Corporation, but City Secretary Douglas Godinich said there have been no applicants.
The city council voted to schedule dates and times for city council meetings for the final three months of the year. Meetings will be held on October 11 and 25, November 8 and December 13. Workshop will begin at 10 a.m. and the regular meeting will begin at 2 p.m. on those days.
Galveston Fire Chief Jeff Smith was recognized by the city council for receiving a citation from Oklahoma State Legislature for his department’s assistance with wild fires in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma. Listen
The city council voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the tax rate and FY2013 Budget at 2 p.m. today (Friday) and to hold another hearing at 2 p.m. on Monday.
City Manager Michael Kovacs discussed the proposed budget in workshop with the city council on Thursday. Listen
Mayor Rosen noted that the city council chambers is undergoing renovation. While work on the project continues through next week, meetings at City Hall will be held in alternate meeting rooms.