New Council Sets Goals, Many The Same As Previous Council
West U. City Council spent Monday night’s special meeting creating their goals for the next two years, many of which are continuation of last council’s goals. Additions to the list include available options for the city considering the recently passed Senate Bill 1410, options for use of city-owned properties, evaluation of the solicitor’s ordinance and evaluation of City Council terms.
The top item on the list remains the city’s redevelopment of the West U. Rec. Center and Colonial Park pool and building. Also still on the list:
Address police and fire facility deficiencies.
Resolve storm water detention requirement and responsibility on the Bellaire/College Transportation and Drainage project. Harris County Flood Control District has notified the City that we are responsible for detention, which equals a $1.2 million cost.
Establish capital improvement sinking fund to pay annual projects. Provide preventative maintenance program parameters.
Continue evaluation of employee’s overall compensation package in an attempt to contain costs where possible, while continuing to maintain high performing staff.
Develop naming rights plan for parks and recreational facilities.
Pursue purchase and development of Additional Neighborhood Park Space per approved 2006 bond election.
Councilman George Boehme said that though he is “about as pro-park as anyone can be” he doesn’t think the city has had success in the past in finding property, and has lacked neighborhood support.
“I would not be for purchasing the property unless we had neighborhood support, and I think we have seen that would be a very difficult mountain to hurdle,” said Boehme.
Mayor Bob Kelly said he wanted to keep exploring the option of selling naming rights for parks and recreational facilities because “in the next couple of years, we will see if we got enough money from the ($13.8 parks) bonds, and if we didn’t, that could be a way to raise funds.”
Councilman Steven Segal added the exploration of the best use for city-owned property, specifically the land outside the city that was used and a landfill then a golf course, the city-owned property at the end of Community and the city’s property on Westpark currently leased to Goode Company for parking. Molina’s Mexican restaurant as apparently expressed interest in leasing that land for a two-story restaurant and parking garage.
Councilman Chuck Guffey wanted council term limits added to the list, because he thinks two-year terms are too short considering the time and money spent on many campaigns.
“The last two or three months before an election kind of shuts down council business,” said Guffey. “It seems we out to be doing it at least every three years.”
“I think it’s something a charter review committee should review,” said Segal. “I think it ought to be citizen driven if it’s brought forth at all.”
The solicitors’ ordinance was brought up because of the recent arrest of two solicitors on outstanding warrants. Council expressed interest in reviewing the city’s policy, which includes registering solicitors and a no-knock list for residents.