CIP On Court Agenda
Next Tuesday, June 28, Commissioners Court will review the proposed Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for Fiscal Year 2016-2017.
Maintaining and expanding Harris County facilities, transportation systems and infrastructure to serve the rapidly growing population is a challenging and essential function of county government.
Items for consideration include:
- Harris County Hospital District – $70 million renovation of Ben Taub Hospital to continue its status as a Level One Trauma Center.
- Harris County Flood Control – A plan to spend $120 million annually with a minimum of $60 million for capital projects with the remainder available to fund operations and maintenance is ongoing
- Astrodome – Plans are being developed to construct an underground parking facility in the Astrodome at a cost around $105 million that would be funded by revenues and fees, without a property tax increase.
- Please contact my office if you want more information on the CIP or would like to offer any suggestions on improving Harris County government.
I am disappointed with Sheriff Ron Hickman’s decision to renew the 287(g) program that allows Sheriff’s Office personnel to conduct criminal investigations with U.S. immigration officials. I am urging Sheriff Hickman to reconsider and allow 287(g) to expire in Harris County on June 30.
As I have stated publicly on many occasions, I am adamantly opposed to 287(g) because it is a bad policy that separates families and puts sheriff’s deputies in an unfortunate position of acting as immigration officers. We all agree that communities must be kept safe and protected from criminals who are intent on harming innocent people. But 287(g) is not the proper law enforcement tool to accomplish those goals.
I have been advised by the County Attorney’s Office that because Sheriff Hickman holds elected office, he has the full authority to execute the agreement without seeking Commissioners Court’s approval. However, I strongly feel a policy as controversial as this one should be voted on by Commissioners Court. I would vote no.
Precinct One on the Move
Earlier this week, my office hosted two important town hall gatherings to educate people about mosquito breeding grounds, the Zika Virus and hurricane season preparedness.
Thanks to the Harris County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Harris County Health and Environmental Services/Mosquito Control and the Precinct 7 Constable’s Office, we were able to arm residents with safety tips.
We had an opportunity to raffle two generators that were donated to my office, along with insect repellent and other safety materials to those who attended.
I am looking forward to holding more community meetings throughout the precinct. I want people to stay on alert this summer and to be aware of the resources my office has to offer.
Bike Give Away
The Black McDonald’s Operators Association of Greater Houston on June 17 gave away 300 bikes to youth in the 5th Ward area, including those who participate in Precinct One’s Finnigan Youth Education Town (YET).
The event, held annually at other locations as a way to give back to communities that support the restaurants, took place underneath the basketball pavilion at Finnigan Park. Organizers said this year’s event was a tribute to Carroll P. Oliver, the McDonald’s owner in 5th Ward who was slain Jan. 11 outside his business.
In addition to a bike, each child was given a helmet, a safety guide and a Bible.
“It’s amazing because it’s my third bike,” said Zechariah Jefferson, 8, who attends YET. “I’m going to give one of my bikes to my cousin because my cousin doesn’t have a bike.”
Spotlight on Hester House
Late Commissioner El Franco Lee loved to create Precinct One programs to benefit our seniors and youth. His legacy is on display daily throughout Precinct One.
On this Friday, seniors at the Julia C. Hester House enjoyed a day of swimming, dancing and fellowship at the annual luau.
These activities help keep participants physically and mentally strong.
As your commissioner, I have committed to maintaining Commissioner Lee’s programs and increasing participation.
“Like” the Hester House Facebook page to keep up with the programs that are designed to enhance the quality of life in Houston’s Fifth Ward and surrounding communities.