WU Council Signs Off

The West U City Council on Monday endorsed an update to the city’s Long Range Master Plan, for consideration by the next city council.

The council also unanimously approved expenses of more than $125,000 spent pursuing a controversial land swap with West University Baptist Church.

Since it was the final meeting for the current council, Mayor Bob Fry and Council Members Dick Yehle, Joan Johnson and Ed Heathcott also spent time giving kudos to the city staff of West University Place.

“It has been a privilege,” said Fry. “We have an excellent city staff. This staff has made us look very, very good. We accomplished all our goals.”

“I think this  council came into office with a spirit of public service.”

Yehle, who served on West U’s Zoning and Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment prior to serving three terms on the city council, also had high praise for the city staff.

Yehle noted that several West U departments had recently been given awards by their peers from other cities.

“The staff is what glues everything together,” Yehle said.

Heathcott, who served two terms as mayor of Jersey Village before moving to West U and serving on the city council,  said West U’s staff is better than most other area cities.

“It’s been my pleasure to serve with this group,” Heathcott said.

Johnson said the staff “is fantastic.”

She also commended her fellow council members.

“We don’t argue,” Johnson said. “Well, we argue, but we don’t argue out in public,” Johnson said.

The council unanimously approved the expenditure of $125,041 in expenses that had been spent during negotiations over the proposed relocation of the Public Works Maintenance Facility.

Those costs will be paid from Capital Reserve Funds.

The costs included:

*PGAL Architects for preliminary design $15,000

*HDR Engineering Inc. for construction design $26,925

*Colon & Company, minor design brochure $1,080

*Mailing $900

*University of Houston Center for Public Policy Survey $10,991

*Integra Realty Services for appraisal services $5,025

*Wilson, Cribbs & Goren for legal services $48,200

*James L. Dougherty for legal services $6,902.

The new city council and Mayor Susan Sample will be sworn in on June 1. The newly elected council members are Burt Ballanfant, Bob Kelly, Brennan Reilly and Mardi Turner.