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Water/sewer improvements approved
Police Dispatchers Receive Proclamation
City Council News
Candidates for AISD Position 3
Manvel City Council Candidates
Jerome Hudson Vying for City Council
Maureen DelBello Vying for City Council
AISD Position 2 Candidates
Water/sewer improvements approved
April 4, 2012
At its regular meeting last week, Manvel city council
approved an authorization for the city manager to develop engineering plans
and specifications for the extension of water and sewer utilities on state
Kyle Jung, Manvel’s city manager, told council that the
city’s Economic Development Council (MEDC) voted unanimously to move forward
with the infrastructure improvements and asked the city to provide the
necessary engineering plans to adequately consider the feasibility of the
project, its cost, and how to finance the work.
Jung explained that the plans and specifications would be
the first step in getting the project authorized and underway. He went on
to say that the improvements would proceed west along hwy 6 from its current
ending at the “Burger Barn” restaurant, He explained that there is a 16
inch water line ending there and a 24 inch gravity sewer line that heads
east from there. The proposed improvements would extend the service
approximately 8,000 linear feet along the north side of hwy 6 to the
intersection with hwy 288.
Proposed businesses on the south side of hwy 6 would be
able to utilize the service by assenting in their development agreement with
the city to bore under the road to acquire service. Jung explained that a
developer wanting to bring in a large development would take that cost into
account with their financing plans. Ultimately the city would want to
extend the service to the south side as well but today’s financial reality
does not allow that level of expansion.
Mayor Delores Martin said that in the more than eleven
years she has been in office various types of businesses have come in to
Manvel excited about establishing operations only to be discouraged once it
is realized that the city does not have the water and sewer infrastructure
to accommodate their needs. She expressed her belief that council does want
to expand business activity in the city to stimulate economic growth and
that this infrastructure project would be the first step toward that end.
She thinks council owes MEDC support as “we all want economic growth to come
here”. She feels approval of the request is extremely important to show
that “we work hand-in-hand with MEDC”.
Council member Melody Hanson agreed with the mayor saying
that the infrastructure improvements are key, and that if we can’t provide
services to proposed businesses they won’t come. She also explained that
the city’s comprehensive plan provides for the water/sewer service to be
available down hwy 6 and that approval of the improvements will fulfill that
condition. As a member of MEDC, Hanson told council that over a million
dollars has been collected to finance suitable projects and that this plan
is a “perfect fit for the city”.
City Manager Jung estimated construction would probably
require four to six months once the plans have been prepared, approved, and
financing established. A date of final completion would depend on the
financing mechanism ultimately agreed to. Options include a cash payment
from MEDC funds, a bank loan, or a bond offering.
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April 11, 2012
Manvel Police dispatchers Michelle Vela, Eric Edwards,
and Allen King accepted a proclamation from Mayor Delores Martin at this
week’s city council meeting. The proclamation was in recognition of
National Telecommunications Week which has been observed in the US since
1981. Public safety telecommunications are vital to the community and those
serving in that capacity often go unnoticed by the public. In reading the
proclamation, Mayor Martin expressed gratitude on behalf of the city and its
citizens for their efforts.
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City Council News
April 11, 2012
Manvel City Council this week approved the adoption of a
policy for the abandonment of streets, alleys, rights-of-way, and
easements. The need for a standardized policy was brought to light after a
previous meeting that entertained a request from landowners Eddie Wisnoski
and Johnny Lowe regarding the abandonment of two blocks on Gilbough Street
from 1128 east to Russell Street.
Prior to the adoption of the new policy, council would
entertain such requests on an individual basis. The new policy will spell
out a procedure to follow in an effort to make sure every request is treated
the same and that all contingencies are addressed, primarily on whether or
not he property in question will be required for future city needs. It also
mandates a one-time fee of $3,000 to cover associated costs, such as
surveys, title policies, appraisals, and other like requirements. The
policy requires neighboring land-owners to be notified and have input on the
decision and requires the city to be compensated at fair market value for
the abandonment. Member Melody Hanson praised the thoroughness of city
attorney Bobby Gervais in its preparation and said “it keeps the process
from being arbitrary”.
After approving the new policy council took up the issue
on the application submitted by Wisnoski and Lowe and ultimately agreed to
their request. Member Ron Cox made the motion to approve with the
stipulation that all associated costs be borne by Wisnoski and Lowe.
Because the request was made prior to the adoption of the new policy,
council had the right to “grandfather” it and entertain it on an individual
basis. The vote was 5-2 in favor of the abandonment with Member Melody
Hanson and Mayor Delores Martin voting against. Member Hanson explained her
vote, saying council is failing to do adequate due-diligence to make sure
everything is in place. She feels sufficient information is not known on
the future worth of the property to make an informed decision. Those in
favor of the request felt that neighboring landowners would not be adversely
affected and that the likelihood of the right-of-way ever being developed
beyond its current endpoint is negligible sue to the fact that it terminates
into a drainage ditch.
Council also approved a resolution for the adoption of a
Schedule of Fees, Rates, Deposits, and Other Charges for zoning, platting,
building, and other related matters. City Manager Kyle Jung explained to
council that additions to the Schedule include two changes that relate to
the recently approved city pipeline ordinance.
In the consent agenda, council authorized final approval
of an ordinance requiring minimum right-of-way widths for streets in the
city of Manvel and its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction. The ordinance
affects new streets and does not impact current city roads. Final approval
was also authorized for the city’s renewing of the ordinance that
establishes a curfew for persons under the age of 17 years between the hours
of 10:30 PM to 6:00 AM Sunday through Thursday and 12:01 AM to 6:00 AM
Friday and Saturday. Both ordinances had been taken up previously by
council and completed the public hearing requirements prior to final
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Candidates for AISD Position 3
April 11, 2012
Three candidates are vying for the AISD Board of Trustees
Position 3 in the coming May 12 election. All are newcomers as incumbent
Mark Patterson declined to seek re-election.
CHARYL B HARRIS was born to an AISD school teacher
and was raised in Alvin, graduating from Alvin High School and earning an
Associate’s Degree form Alvin Community College. She has been married for
24 years and has two daughters, the youngest a senior at Alvin HS.
Harris is a former employee of the district having served
as the secretary to the Director of Special Education for nine years. She
feels that experience gave her familiarity with the district’s budget
process and an understanding of federal funds and special program
She currently serves as the Administrative Manager and
Consumer Directed Services Coordinator at Imagine Enterprises where she is
responsible for employing staff and overseeing personnel, budgets, and
ensuring that quality services are provided.
Harris has been active in district activities by
volunteering her time as past treasurer of the Alvin HS Jacketeer Booster
Club and currently as secretary of the Yellowjacket Booster Club. She stays
current with Board events through the Board Briefs and the online packets
available for review.
She considers herself a uniquely qualified candidate who
could provide multiple points of view: including a working knowledge of the
district, the perspectives of a teacher as her mother taught in the district
for twenty five years, as a parent with two girls matriculating through the
grades, and as an alumnus, taxpayer, and a life-long resident of the
If elected, her goal as Trustee will be to ensure the
highest quality education and learning opportunities be provided to all
students at every school. She feels graduating students who are either
college ready or job ready are the keys to our future and with AISD teachers
providing that quality, the students and the community benefit.
DR ROYCE MITCHELL is a resident of Manvel and has
lived in the district since 1995. He lives with his wife and they enjoy
five grown children and 21 grandchildren. He holds a doctorate in law from
Northwest California University School of Law and currently serves as CEO of
an industrial electronic controls company in Houston. He has been in
industrial controls for 35 years.
Mitchell would consider his background in business and law a valuable
addition to the Board in that it will help him to ask the right questions as
he recognizes that there is only so much money available and it needs to be
budgeted wisely. His background in law would also help the Board evaluate
contracts so that Trustees’ understanding is not limited to the board’s
He became interested in running for the Trustee position
after last year’s tax increase was passed by the current Board while there
apparently remained a $10M budget surplus. Mitchell claims the Board acted
in spite of the unanimous input from taxpayers that no increase should be
passed. In his view, “it became apparent that the majority of the trustees
were not responsive to the citizenry but were prepared to rubber-stamp what
the Superintendent requested”. He feels this should never happen when one
has a fiduciary responsibility.
Mitchell says he will bring two passions that will be at
the forefront of every decision he is asked to act on. “First, the children
of the district need a quality education for a quality future. Second, the
school district needs to be fiscally responsible with the way it spends the
taxpayer’s money”. He would like to accomplish a streamlining of district
activities and expenses, returning fiscal responsibility to the district.
BECKY SINGLETON has been an AISD resident for six
years. She is married and has two daughters, her youngest a 6 year old
attending Mary Marek Elementary in Shadow Creek Ranch. She currently serves
as the Healthy Living Director for the Tellepsen Downtown Y in Houston and
has had a career in Health and Healthcare for over 25 years.
Singleton volunteers time to assist her daughter’s
teacher in the classroom and has attended several Board meetings since
living in the district. She feels her capacity to work well with others and
an ability to come to positive solutions on issues needing resolution will
serve her well as a Trustee. She also would bring representation from the
district’s west side, which she claims is truly needed.
She well understands many of the issues facing parents
and school children today, having taught Child Obesity and Family
Intervention Programs and successfully raising a daughter through high
school and college free from drug, alcohol, or pregnancy issues. She
considers that background a good fit as a representing to district students
If elected, Singleton would like to be part of the team,
which includes the Superintendent, that helps to establish the core values
for the district. She would like to gain an understanding of the entire
district and always do what is best for the children.
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City Council Candidates
April 18, 2012
Adrian Gaspar and Debbie Harrison are running again for
city council positions after coming up short in their previous attempts.
Gaspar is vying for the Place 1 seat currently held by Bob Long and is
competing with Jerome Hudson. Harrison is vying for the Place 2 seat
currently held by Mack Ivy and is competing with Maureen DelBello. In the
other seat up for election, Place 4, Melody Hanson is seeking re-election
Gaspar was born in Romania and became a citizen of the
United States in 1985. He grew up mostly in New York and graduated from
high school in Chicago. After graduation he joined the military and served
at Fort Hood in Texas, where he fell in love with the state. After
completing his military service he became a member of the Houston Police
Department where he has served for 20 years. He moved to Manvel in 1997
looking for the relaxed environment the city offered. He felt the schools
better and the taxes lower than in other communities he considered.
He feels his background in public safety would help
ensure council actions and public policy comply with state law. He will
bring honesty and sincerity to the council and claims passion about people’s
If elected, Gaspar would like to redirect council’s
efforts so that they more consistently realize the welfare of the citizens
of Manvel should always come first. He is most passionate about the safety
of the community and in limiting government’s power over citizens personal
property. He expresses his feeling that the job of government is to provide
infrastructure for its residents and not to dictate how they should live on
their own land.
Gaspar believes Manvel can grow while maintaining its
rural character and says he is pleased with the current councils work to
increase the business presence in the city. He would like to see increased
incentives offered to prospective businesses and pronounces himself as
pro-business and against raising taxes. The role of government, he
believes, is to allow business to grow and flourish while keeping taxes
low. He claims to be pro police, fire, and EMS and would like to see more
community involvement so that citizens have a greater participation in the
delivery of ideas and solutions for city government.
He does express concern with the many statutes the city
passes to steer the future to a better planned and more beautiful city and
feels those efforts may sometimes lead to the “invasion of personal privacy
of Manvel’s current and future citizens”.
Debbie Harrison is a 17-year Manvel resident and has been
involved in various city activities, including service on the Planning,
Development, & Zoning (PD&Z) Board. She served on the city’s special events
committee for seven years and served as its chair for five years. The
committee organized various events such as a July 4th parade and
a Christmas pageant. She also serves on the EMS special task force that
worked on the ambulance license requirement for non-emergency ambulance
She wants to run for council because she cares for the
city and the needs of its citizens and wants to maintain control on city
taxes. One of her goals if elected is to follow through with council’s
recent action on the extension of water and sewer lines down state highway
6. Without that service she claims businesses will not locate here because
of the cost required.
She favors city growth but would like to see it focused
primarily on Hwy 6 and FM 1128 so as to maintain the rural feel that most
citizens valued when deciding to live in the city. She explains that it is
important to have new business to help maintain a reasonable tax rate but
businesses should be located in appropriate places. She thinks a concerted
marketing effort should be undertaken to better inform prospective
businesses of the city’s appeal, feeling that there are many potential
businesses that don’t realize the advantages the city provides.
Rezoning she says “makes me nuts”. Her feeling is that
the zoning designations were decided early on and while it was contemplated
that some of the designations would have to change over time, she frowns on
those who desire to purchase land at a cheaper rate with the hope of
changing its use designation. She thinks about people who bought homes
expecting them to be protected by zoning and considers it unfair to them to
allow a change in their land use designation.
Harrison retired from the phone company after 34 years of
service and has a background in speaking and training. She and her husband
of 46 years decided to live in Manvel for a more rural atmosphere and to
have a place for their horses to walk free. She has three adult children,
seven grandchildren, a great grand-daughter and a soon to be great
Harrison encourages everyone to vote, even if they decide
against a vote for her. She expresses disappointment on the difficulty in
getting Manvel citizens to participate in the political process. Most of
the time the city does good to get 10% voter turnout, she says.
Their competitors, Jerome Hudson and Maureen DelBello,
will be profiled in a future story.
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Jerome Hudson Vying for City Council
April 25, 2012
Jerome Hudson is competing against Adrian Gaspar for
Manvel City Council Place 1, currently held by Bob Long who is not seeking
Hudson has owned property in Manvel for ten years and has
been a resident for one year. He is married and enjoys five adult children
and nine grandchildren. He is a disabled Army veteran and retired after
serving as a construction general contractor and substance abuse counselor.
He believes he will bring a passion for public service to
council and can offer a fresh approach to maintaining the distinct character
of Manvel’s rural quality of life. He has experience as an accomplished
entrepreneur and possesses a willingness to give his time and talent to
enhance the quality of life for Manvel citizens.
If elected, Hudson would like to work toward increasing
economic and workforce expansion and would like to partner with corporations
to enhance development opportunities that would bring jobs and an increased
tax base to the city. He also would like to establish focus committees to
address veteran’s initiatives, entrepreneurial growth, housing, and economic
Hudson believes the current council has done well with
its fiscal responsibilities and approach to public spending. He also
appreciates the detailed comprehensive plan the city has in place to plan
for future growth and business development along the hwy 6 and FM1128
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Maureen DelBello Vying
for City Council
April 25, 2012
Maureen DelBello is competing against Debbie Harrison for
Manvel City Council Place 2, currently held by Mack Ivy who is not seeking a
DelBello moved to Manvel in 1993 after marrying her
husband Chris. Chris grew up in Manvel and is part of the DelBello family
that has been very active in the community over the years. They have four
children, the eldest attending Alvin Community College and the other three
at AISD schools.
She currently works in an accounting position with Frank
Supply Company in Houston. With more than 20 years accounting experience
and working with customers to solve issues and problems, she feels her
background would help with the city’s budgeting process and in dealing with
citizens needs and complaints.
DelBello has previous experience serving as a council
member having served three terms between 1999 and 2005. She claims
familiarity with how the city operates and feels she could bring new ideas
and support to the current members of council.
If elected, she would “like to help address the citizens
issues and complaints that have not been taking care of in the past”. She
would also “like to be able to be their voice on council”. She is most
passionate about the “citizen’s rights in our community”, she says, and
feels “if you have a complaint with our city it should be addressed”.
DelBello expresses satisfaction with the MEDC board and
city council for recently working together to begin the process of extending
and enlarging the water and sewer lines up hwy 6 towards hwy 288. She
believes the move will help stimulate economic development in the city and
that all the citizens will see benefits. She is also pleased that the city
charter is in place and that a city administrator has been hired.
DelBello explains that one of the main reasons she and
her husband chose to live in Manvel was to raise their four children in the
small town rural atmosphere that Chris grew up in. She feels that the small
town atmosphere of Manvel can be maintained while pushing for healthy growth
along Hwy 6 and outlying areas. “If we can have growth in this area it will
help keep our tax rate the same or even lower as well as help maintain the
roads, drainage and police protection for our citizens that live in Manvel”,
DelBello encourages everyone to “just get out and vote as
it only takes 5 minutes of your time to go to the Brazoria County Annex on
Hwy 6 and vote”.
Early voting begins on Monday, April 30 and runs through
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Position 2 Candidates
April 25, 2012
Three candidates are vying for the Position 2 seat on the
Alvin Independent School District Board of Trustees election to be held on
May 12. Incumbent, and current Board President Earl Humbird is not seeking
Celeste Etheridge has been a resident of AISD for
six years. She has been married to her “loving husband” for more than 18
years and is the mother of three children, two of which attend Glenn York
Elementary in Shadow Creek Ranch.
Etheridge currently is involved in the Glenn York PTO
Board and is a constant school, church, and community volunteer. She is the
parent member and representative on York’s Excellence Committee, described
as a group that meets twice a year to review York’s Campus Improvement Plan,
York’s Budget, and any general plans for the campus. She previously worked
as an engineer and supervisor in diverse corporate environments for more
than 10 years.
She claims an ability to communicate and relate to youth
and their parents from all walks of life as she has over 30 years of
experience working with young people through tutoring programs, peer
mentoring partnerships, leadership organizations, teaching assistance, and
community outreach. She attended culturally diverse schools growing up and
counts those experiences as a great personal asset.
Etheridge describes herself as fiscally responsible in
her personal finances and expects to use the same technique when voting on
school board issues that involve the possibility of property tax increases.
She says her strong decision-making approach utilizes problem analysis, the
balancing of needs and concerns, and the ability to see the long-term
implications of an action. She goes on to say that her truthfulness,
accountability, responsibility, skill sets, community servitude, and
education align well with the tasks and challenges required to serve
effectively as a school board member.
Etheridge states that she will be well-informed on issues
and prepared for meetings; will conduct informed votes; inform the
community, address their concerns, and provide an answer to their questions;
and represent the AISD community when voting on school board issues.
She would like to encourage a culture of excellence by
promoting an environment of parental involvement; having a keen eye toward
serving the needs of all students; and by demonstrating financial
stewardship to the taxpayers. She also wants to help the district retain
innovative teaching grants by working with local businesses (in subject
areas that are the company's expertise) to provide educational tools to
teachers that will enhance the students' instructional and motivational
learning environments. She would like to enhance the strides made in the
area of student nutrition by encouraging a healthy eating lifestyle.
“Healthy eating promotes healthy learning”, she feels.
Residing on the west side of the district, Etheridge
feels there cannot be an optimally effective Board of Trustees when members
hail only from the east side. She believes the disparity in representation
distracts from the district’s core vision and goals and feels all tax-paying
sections of the district should have representation.
Etheridge concedes that serving as a trustee is a
volunteer position, but she “plans to treat it like a full-time job because
YOUR children and mine are important to me!” She goes on to say that “when
everyone works together for the students’ educational growth, we achieve
excellence and produce students who are readily prepared to conquer college,
junior college, and/or a skilled-trade profession”.
Regan Metoyer has been an AISD resident for over
35 years. She graduated from Alvin HS in 1993 and considers herself a
“proud resident of the community in which she was raised”. She has two
children, one attending Alvin HS and one about to start kindergarten.
Metoyer earned a master’s degree in Behavioral Science
and has been a college admissions counselor, has taught Psychology at the
collegiate level, and currently serves as the Director for the Upward Bound
program at Alvin Community College. She describes Upward Bound as a college
preparatory program for first generation college students. They are exposed
to the benefits of obtaining a post- secondary degree and are taken on trips
to visit local colleges and universities, are offered after school tutoring,
supplemental Instruction, test prep, financial aid support, and college
She volunteers at Alvin HS as the Secretary for the Cheer
Booster Club and is also Chairman of the Board for the TLA YMCA in Alvin.
She serves as Vice President of the Soroptimist International Organization
in Alvin, and is a member of the Rotary Club.
As a taxpayer and educator, Metoyer claims to understand
the need to conservatively fund education, new schools, technology, and
special programs within the district. If elected, she intends to bring
dedication, a true desire to serve students, leadership, sound judgment, and
a parent’s perspective to the Board. She will work to make sure every
student is prepared for college or the workforce.
She wants to pass a successful bond to build high school
#3 and would seek to unify the district’s diversity to make Alvin ISD a
model district. She feels more public meetings that are well attended by
both east and west side stakeholders would be helpful in that concerns could
be dealt with in a non-hostile dialog with action plans put in place to see
all issues addressed.
Having held leadership positions, Metoyer says she has
been taught that there is never a “perfect” answer. As she states,
“Sometimes you just have to choose the “best” answer. Our school district
is growing by leaps and bounds and with that growth comes problems. It is
my goal to play an integral part in helping to solve those problems. I will
listen to all comments, concerns, and suggestions, and I will gather as much
information as possible before making a decision. Will everyone always be
happy? No, that is unrealistic. However, I will do my best to make the
“best” decision for our students, parents, personnel, and tax payers.”
Ron Elkins was born and
raised in AISD and has lived in Manvel for the past five years with his
wife, Terri, an AISD teacher at Wilder Elementary, and his nearly four
year old son. He is a Senior Technology Manager with a national utility
company and teaches Computer Science courses at Brazosport College,
where many of his students are high school aged earning dual credits.
His career actually started with a position working for the AISD school
district while he was attending classes at UH. In the 17 years since
that job he has gone on to win national awards, manage teams providing
services for over a million people, and has led global teams in
enterprise projects for some of the world’s largest companies.
Elkins claims education is in his blood. Members of
his family have been students and teachers in AISD for 3 generations
dating back nearly 100 years. He is the grandson, son, and husband of
current and former AISD teachers and eight members of his family have
worked for the district at some point in their careers. His wife is the
daughter of two career teachers as well.
Elkins feels he has much to
offer as a Board Trustee explaining that his current teaching experience
gives him the perspective of a front line teacher and insight into the
students’ needs and challenges; his experience planning and managing
large budgets and leading million dollar plus purchases in the public
and private sectors gives him the financial experience to understand and
contribute to the complex financial planning and decisions of the
district; his experience hiring, training, and supervising other
managers and staff provide the experience and insight necessary to
understand what to look for in district leaders and how to form the
goals and policies to foster their success; his experience leading
global teams gives him valuable experience in relating to and
communicating with a culturally and ethnically diverse population; and
his experience improving operations gives him the ability to recognize
where the district could be more efficient or more effective.
Elkins is active in the AISD community and for four years
he has regularly attended school board meetings. He claims to know well
many of the board members and some of the senior staff and frequently
discusses AISD issues with various community leaders including city council
and planning and economic development boards. He also supports his wife’s
activities at her school and attends and supports various functions across
If elected, Elkins would like to help unify the district
by bringing additional balance and perspective to the board and to help
create an environment that is more healthy and reflective of the students,
particularly in the area of healthier food and by providing more exercise
and fitness options for students who are not on the official sports teams.
He feels he brings a unique experience in having lived on
both sides of the district and understands the needs and viewpoints of
both. The current Board, he says, has sometimes demonstrated a “fairly
narrow set of perspectives as none of them are part of the growing vibrant
community that is the very west side and most rarely spend time in Manvel or
Pearland”. As a result, Elkins believes they “cannot understand the needs
and desires of the students and parents that live there”.
He would like to Have school board meeting on a rotating
schedule at schools around the district so that all students and parents can
have better access to attend. He also would like to assign school board
members and senior staff to attend and act as liaisons to the different city
councils, planning boards, and the ACC board. “We need to work closely with
them if we want to really do what’s best for our kids”, he says, “but how
can we if we never have any contact with them or participate in the
He would work to make
everyone understand that “we are one district, not an east district and a
west district or an old district and a new one… we all want the same thing –
the best education possible for our kids, and we have to work together to
make that happen”.
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