April 2015

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City garbage fees to remain unchanged

Mereidiana Development announces ground breaking

Group seeks fair water distribution

Sedona Lakes copes with expansion

Apartments coming to Southfork development

Bike trails in city's future?

Meridiana Official Groundbreaking

Voters to decide two council positions

 

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City garbage fees to remain unchanged

April 1. 2015

 

Manvel residents will not see an increase in their cost of garbage and recycling pickup this year.  Progressive Waste Solutions (PWS) approached city council in late February to present an intended adjustment to the contract amount that would have resulted in an increase in the collection fee beginning April 1.  At a subsequent meeting in March, PWS retracted their adjustment request due to significant opposition from city council and in private meetings with Mayor Delores Martin and city staff.
 
In February, the assistant district manager for PWS, Mike Wilson, explained the intention of requesting the annual adjustment as provided in the contract of 3.4%.  While acknowledging the company has had some cost reductions during the prior year he explained they have been hit with “some large landfill increases.”  Apparently the cost to PWS for the landfill use is not separated out of the costs dealing specifically with garbage and recycling collection in Manvel.  As Mr. Wilson said it, “we didn’t separate it out as in the contract, we lumped it all together under the CPI.”  He blamed the escalations on two drivers.  One is a 2.5% increase on the so called volume fill, which is the fee to actually dump the garbage.   The second driver, and perhaps the leading motivator for the adjustment, is due to a “$13 swing on recycled commodities.”  As Wilson described it, due to commodity prices falling the recycling processing facility went from paying out $9 per ton to requiring a collection of $4 per ton of recycled commodities.
 
Mayor Martin, citing fuel costs going down “drastically”, inquired of the impact that reduction should have on the contract amount saying she “always wants to protect the city and not cause any increase unless it is justified.”  Wilson acknowledged the drop in fuel prices but explained the contract does not provide for a reduction below the base rate of fuel as provided in the contract at $3.75 per gallon.  The contract does, however, provide for an increase in the fuel cost base rate of up to 6 cents per gallon, which he said was not implemented.  
 
Mayor Martin also raised an issue from residents in Sedona Lakes who claim that new residents are required to pick up their carts or pay for a delivery fee.  “Are you going to try that in my city as well?” the mayor asked.  Mr. Wilson said that is not part of the contract and that “deliveries and removals would always be free” in Manvel.  He said Sedona Lakes was charged for deliveries because they did not have a contract in place. 
 
Council member Adrian Gaspar raised the issue of residents having to utilize PWS for construction pickups in order to gain a building permit.  He said their cost is “so much more expensive than from some other place.”  He speculated the higher cost is due to the favorable rate enjoyed by the city for its regular service.  Mayor Martin verified that the company does have an exclusive right within the city to provide for dumpster services.
 
Council member John Cox inquired of the provision in the original contract negotiated last year that a resident could choose to have two regular garbage containers rather than the standard arrangement of one for garbage and one for recyclables.  Cox said he has at least a dozen people “that each time they call your office (PWS) you want to charge them an additional $22 for a green can.  They don’t want to do recycling.  I thought that was part of our contract.”  Cox was adamant in that he would not approve a raise in the fee based on the services customers are getting from PWS.  Mr. Wilson said he would be happy to talk to each of those customers and confirm that they are not to be charged for the second garbage container.
 
At the time of the new contract being negotiated last year, recycling was a topic of debate as some on council felt that recycling should not be imposed on those who may not have an interest in participating.  Cox admits to not being a recycler and said he took a list of acceptable recyclable items that showed some form of number that tells a consumer if the item is recyclable.  He said he compared numerous items at his home and place of business with the list and found “half the plastic in my house was not recyclable.  I’m not going to sit there and sort plastic bottles and cans and boxes and paper; I’m putting it in my trash compactor.”  
 
A spokesman for PWS explained that recycling is far less burdensome today than it once was and that customers no longer are required to sort recyclable items before making them eligible for pick-up.  With few exceptions most all glass, plastic, metal, and paper can be thrown all together in the recycling can.  He claimed the experience in other communities supports the expectation that the amount of recyclable items will be of a sufficient amount that once weekly garbage pickup will be sufficient.
 
Cox was not convinced and it was Member Adrian Gaspar who suggested council consider providing an option for citizens who may not want to recycle for whatever reason by giving them two garbage cans rather than one garbage and one recycle.  Garbage would still be collected only on Tuesday but with two cans the customer should maintain equitable capacity to current services.  Gaspar explained that he is not against recycling but believes if someone just doesn’t want to deal with it they shouldn’t be made to.
 
In explaining the decision to forego any price adjustment this year, Wilson said, “even though we have had some significant increases, we understand the feelings about fuel and at this time Progressive would like to withdraw the increase proposal and will wait until next year.  I understand the strong feelings.  We do need to prop up our business via the contract, but at the same time the relationship with the City of Manvel is much more important that a CPI adjustment at this time.”

 

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Meridiana development announces ground breaking

April 8, 2015

 

Meridiana Site PlanFollowing last week’s pronouncement that the long-awaited Meridiana project will be moving forward this fall, Rise Communities announced an official ground breaking ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, April 15.  The event will be held at the location of the development’s primary entrance on SH 288, currently designated as CR 56.  The new road, to be named Meridiana Parkway, will work its way east through Iowa Colony to CR 786 and then meander in a northeasterly direction through Manvel eventually terminating at SH 6 where it meets McCoy Road across from Manvel High School.  Plans call for a bridge on McCoy that will cross over the railroad track that runs parallel to SH 6.  The 2,700 acre master-planned community reportedly includes more than 5,500 single family homes.

 The development is located within the boundaries of the Alvin Independent School District which will feel continued pressure to meet the demand for new schools.  The district has proactively planned a new elementary school near the development that is scheduled to open in time for the 2016-2017 school year.  The school will comprise 12 acres on the west side of SH 288 at CR 48 and CR 56 in Iowa Colony.

 The project has been percolating for years.  In November 2009 Manvel city council approved preliminary plats for the project which at that time was to be called Seven Oaks.  Developers then expected homes to be on the ground in Late 2010 or early 2011.  Public hearings were held on the creation of a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) in April 2010 that would allow the city to realize infrastructure improvements with the developer fronting the costs.  Reimbursement for those costs would be paid through property tax and sales tax revenue earned on the increased property values resulting from the development.  City council ultimately approved the creation of the TIRZ in May 2010.  It was in December 2010 when city council granted the developer’s request to change the name to Meridiana.  A national economic recession filtered down locally and the project was put off.  Developers returned to city council to renew plats and development agreements according to requirements but not until recently has serious intent to break ground been forthcoming.

The project follows the recent groundbreaking of the Pomona development on the west side of SH 288 and CR 58 which comprises 1000 acres and eventually 2100 single family homes.  Lakeland and Sedona Lakes continue to build at a healthy pace and just last month a zoning change moved closer yet another residential development, NewPort Lake Estates, which could deliver another 200 single family homes in the city’s northwest ETJ.  The unfolding of brisk residential development that the city has expected appears extant.

 

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Group seeks fair water distribution

April 8, 2015

 

The Brazos River is a key water resource for Brazoria County providing drinking water for local communities, irrigation for farms, power for industry and commerce, habitat for wildlife, venues for sportsmen, and supports critical environmental flows.  The Lower Brazos River Coalition (LBRC) is a grassroots partnership of myriad stakeholders seeking fair and effective Brazos River supply management.  The prolonged statewide drought over the past 6 plus years has affected major portions of the river’s watershed and relief does not seem in the offing, at least not in the new future. 
 
Adding to the challenge of reduced supply, water use projections for the river are expected to nearly triple in the next 45 years.  The result of current conditions is that competition for river water has fueled tensions among stakeholders as organizations from the upper and middle portions of the river are pursuing restrictions on the downstream flow.  As Brazoria County endures at the end of the rivers flow, it is particularly susceptible to upstream activities.  Reduced water flow will harm downstream communities, agriculture, natural habitats, and commerce.  The group’s aim is to promote a balanced management of river water and flood control that will enhance water supplies throughout the entire Brazos River basin.  It also strives to encourage water conservation and the enforcement of effective drought management policies.
 
Ivan Langford of the Gulf Coast Water Authority was instrumental in the formation of the group that also sees leadership contributions from Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta and Gary Basinger from The Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County.  In an effort to bring attention to the importance of ensuring a continued consistent supply and to encourage membership, the LBRC sponsored a luncheon on Monday that featured presentations from two experts in the river’s supply challenges.
 
Molly Mohler is the newly designated “Watermaster” of the Brazos River.  In an effort to better manage an important and scarce resource, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) established the Watermaster Program for the Brazos River effective in January this year.  In her position, Ms. Mohler will lead a team charged with allocating and enforcing water rights; monitoring stream flow, reservoir levels, and water use within the river basin; and responding to complaints.  The watermaster will also oversee situations where a diversion would remove water that rightfully belongs to another user and notify the user with lower priority to reduce or stop pumping.  Water-rights management is based on the concept of “run of the river rights,” meaning the five deputies employed by the Brazos Watermaster Program will oversee a constantly changing, dynamic surface-water system of rivers and tributaries that allow diversions as water is available and as it passes individual diversion points.  When stream flows diminish, the deputies will enforce reduced allocations of available water resources according to each user’s priority date. 
 
Kirby Brown is a Conservation Outreach Biologist with Ducks Unlimited and provided a legislative update to the group.  Describing himself as a “duck guy,” he explained conservationist concerns are on waterfowl resources.  He said about 1/3 of waterfowl in North America come to the Texas coast.  The last intact rice prairie wetlands are in the area along the central Texas coast which provides sustenance to over 200 species of wildlife.  Two-thirds of the energy intake of the goose and duck population in Texas comes from rice.  Restricted water distribution from the Brazos River in 2014 and in 2015 has been implemented and distribution from the Colorado River has been disallowed to rice farmers for four consecutive years.  He also described the importance of the fresh water feeding the Gulf from both rivers for a healthy fish population.  “Everything is impacted by drought,” he exclaimed.
 
He described the “intense” drought that has affected the state since 2009.  While the area along the Gulf Coast in Brazoria County is currently enjoying a respite from drought conditions, the upper portions of both the Colorado and the Brazos Rivers in north Texas are still experiencing “severe and extended” drought conditions.  He described the efforts of recreational users to obtain similar user rights as agriculture and industry, saying they have employed “big checkbooks” in making their case to Austin legislators.  He explained the importance of watching the legislative activities in Austin to counter threats from upper-river self-interest groups and associations that want to “change the rules.”
 
The Brazos River is the longest river contained entirely in Texas.  Its draw lies approximately 50 miles west of the Texas-New Mexico border near Clovis and runs 1,050 miles to where it enters the Gulf of Mexico two miles south of Freeport.  The watershed comprises 44,620 square miles, 42,000 of which are in Texas.  The river enters the Gulf of Mexico two miles south of Freeport in Brazoria County.  County Judge Matt Sebesta described the greatest challenge to meeting the industrial growth potential of south Brazoria County is a secure, consistent, and dependable water supply.
 
Additional information on the Lower Brazos River Coalition can be found at www.keepbrazosflowing.org.

 

 

 

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Sedona Lakes copes with expansion

April 15, 2015

 

Manvel city council saw a crowded chamber this week as numerous residents of Sedona Lakes signed up to voice opposition to a proposed expansion of their community in the city’s north-west Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). 
Members heard citizen comments for more than one hour as residents explained their opposition which was based on a plan submitted by the community’s developer at a previous meeting.  The original proposal called for an apartment project in the property along 288 that was initially planned for a commercial reserve.  It also requested approval to offer a smaller lot size for single family homes.  The developer made the case that efforts to find a viable commercial venture have proven unsuccessful and that the current housing market shows a demand for smaller lot sizes and lower priced homes.  He explained a desire to want a fair playing field with the neighboring Pomona development across 288 which has been authorized to construct apartments as well as offering a collection of smaller lot sizes of 50 and 55 feet in width. 
 
After numerous discussions with city staff and receiving a full inbox from disgruntled residents, the community’s developer, Buck Driggers, realized the futility of gaining city council approval on the initial proposal and agreed to a last-minute change that ruled out any likelihood of an apartment complex being constructed within the community.  The revised plan would provide smaller lot sizes only on the southern end of the development which would be naturally separated by Mustang Bayou.
 
Unfortunately for Mr. Driggers the residents who showed up to voice their displeasure were unaware of the concessions he made to appease resident’s concerns.  For his part, Driggers told the crowd and council that “I hear you, I understand and take to heart what you guys are saying.  Each and every one of you.”  Cheers were received when he informed them that the apartments had been taken off the table and that he is no longer asking for reduced lot sizes north of Mustang Bayou.  “There is not going to be anything north of the creek that we are asking for that is less than a 60 foot lot, which is the smallest out there right now.”  He went on to explain that it is a struggle to find a way to make things work in the Phase 4 area which is approximately 140 acres just south of the bayou.  He said the smaller lots “maybe allows us to make Phase 4 work.”  He described it as sitting deep in the floodplain and would require lots of fill and considerable cost to make it profitable to develop.  Earning approval from the crowd, Mayor Martin suggested the acreage be donated to the city for use as a park.
 
Residents voiced a unified anxiety of declining property values, increased traffic, higher crime rates, and “a different quality of people.”  Most said they bought in the development based on an approved plan that would help it maintain a standing as an upscale community.  Common solutions expressed included developing the south Phase 4 as an over-55 community with smaller lot homes such as patio homes that would appeal to older buyers while maintaining the quality of resident desired.  Numerous speakers suggested naming the Phase 4 portion something altogether different than Sedona Lakes.  Driggers was amenable to both ideas.
 
Council members were besieged with emails from residents strongly opposed to the plan and seemed poised to reject the proposal.  Driggers reminded them that he “pulled everything off the table that we did not think would be approved.  The only thing we are asking for is south of Mustang Bayou.”  He submitted that the opposition was based on the original idea and suggested that most in attendance probably would be more supportive if they took into account the revised proposal.  Unfortunately for him though, Mayor Martin held to rules and did not allow other citizen comments beyond what was expressed earlier.  Driggers showed frustration when some on council suggested tabling the matter so that additional discussion could be had perhaps resulting in a greater consensus.  As she is wont to do, member Melody Hanson calmed the discussion in tactfully expressing her feeling, which was shared by others on council, that some residents did not know about the plan until as late as yesterday.  She said she would “not rush this, it is an important change for the community and we need to have adequate time to discuss it and notify other residents who may not have been able to come tonight.”  Driggers responded that he “is not trying to push something that is going to be something different than what I just looked them in the eye and told them.  So if I need to go off-site and tell them again, I will be happy to do it, but I don’t know what difference it is going to make.”
 
Council did effectively table the matter but agreed to have it the primary topic at the next council workshop scheduled one hour before the regular scheduled council meeting on Monday, April, 27.  All interested parties are encouraged to attend the affair.

 

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Apartments coming to Southfork development

April 15, 2015

 

Manvel city council reluctantly approved a final plat paving the way for a 3-story, 320-unit apartment complex on 14.7 acres in the Southfork subdivision.  The project will border the Orchard Park Retirement Community on land sandwiched between Southfork Parkway and SH 288, just south of CR 59.  Council has generally been disinclined to approve apartment development within the city but the subject property resides in the city’s ETJ where the city’s zoning authority does not extend.  A developer agreement is in force for the development but the land to be used for the apartment complex was granted only as a commercial reserve.  The city’s attorney, Bobby Gervais, told council that their approval really amounted to little more than a formality as all submissions conformed to the requirements provided in the current city subdivision ordinance.  “If they comply with our code you have to approve the plat.”
 
The Planning, Development. & Zoning Commission (PD&Z) sent the plat to council with a favorable recommendation by a 4-2 vote.  PD&Z member Brian Wilmer explained that the group was unanimously opposed to the plat but “we felt also that our hands were tied because they did meet the criteria.”  Mayor Martin said she is urging council to be more restrictive with apartment regulation, “which is the only other avenue that we have.  We need to learn and not make the same mistakes again.”  City Manager Kyle Jung cited the situation as a prime example of the authority the city has within its limits as opposed to development outside its limits.  Member Melody Hanson expressed that the heated annexation debate from last year was in large part driven by the likelihood of situations such as this.
 
No timetable on construction was offered.

 

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Bike trails in city's future?

April 22, 2015

 

A joint meting was held this week with Manvel city council and the city’s Planning, Development, & Zoning Commission (PD&Z) to hear a report on bikeways from Jeff Taebel, Director of Community and Environmental Planning for the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC).  According to Taebel, people across the region and the nation are looking for more occasions to get out of their cars and onto their bicycles.  One reason for the increased interest includes concern for the environment.  H-GAC reports that replacing short car trips with bicycle trips can save 12 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.  Bikes can make available increased access for those with no or limited use of motor vehicles.  H-GAC reports that 26% of vehicle trips are 3 miles or less, making for a reasonable biking distance.  People are increasingly health conscious and studies indicate just three hours of bicycling per week can reduce a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.  Youth who bike to school reportedly gain 2 to 3 fewer pounds per year than their classmates who are driven to school.  And many consider bicycling as an enhancement to their quality of life.  Again, H-GAC reports show 35% of Americans consider the availability of bikeways, walking paths, and sidewalks as an important contributor in where they choose to live.
 
Regional and local planning more often includes bikeways as part of an overall transportation plan.  Bikeways provide residents a choice in how they get around, improvements in mobility as traffic is reduced, and an improved quality of life.  A focus on four primary strategies will affect bikeway planning principles.  Safety for cyclists and minimizing conflicts with motor vehicles is critical.  Bikeways that provide direct and seamless travel encourage cycle use.  Access to the same destinations as everyone else can make bikeways a key transportation option.  And smooth riding surfaces with sufficient space, lighting, and signage can improve the sense of comfort for cyclists.
 
As city planners consider bikeways as part of the overall Master Thoroughfare Plan, which presently is under consideration for an update, four types of bikeway will be considered.  Planners acknowledge that no one type is favored by all cyclists and it is likely any plan would include a combination of the types.  A shared use path is physically separated from vehicle traffic but is also used by pedestrians, skaters, joggers, and other non-motorized users.  A signed shoulder bike route uses an area of the roadway that is contiguous with traffic flow and is intended for stopped vehicles and for emergency use.  Bike lanes are designated parts of a roadway that are delineated by striping, signage, and pavement markings.  Signed shared roadways are similar to bike lanes but for the exclusion of dedicated striping.  Typically a curb lane will be wider than normal to accommodate the shared bicycle traffic and is usually designated by some form of signage.
 
A key factor in implementing a network of bikeways is the cost.  Taebel stressed that good design and materials result in quality facilities and lower maintenance costs.  Ongoing routine maintenance will have to be budgeted for not only for the path but also for associated landscaping.  Just as streets eventually wear down and require resurfacing, bikeways will require it as well.  Security of the paths through police visibility and lighting must be accounted for.  But he maintains that it is beneficial to be proactive in the establishment of the bikeways, particularly in the acquiring of rights-of-way as design is far easier in the conceptual phase and construction is simplified when it is originally part of a project.  Considerable challenges confront the establishment of a bikeway when it goes in after infrastructure is already established and over time the cost will only increase.
 
Taebel says cities that have planned for parks amenities such as bikeways are consistently the fastest growing areas outside of Houston.  He says he has yet to see an example of a city or development that went overboard on parks amenities.  PD&Z member Brian Wilmer considers these types of amenities as win-win situations for both the city and the developer; “they will have amenities that they can promote with their neighborhood that connects to a city-wide trail system.”
 
A network of bikeways, as with the city’s thoroughfare and drainage plans, provide flexibility in its implementation and will be tweaked and established over time as the city experiences new development.  As city officials work to stay ahead of impending growth, bikeways are yet one more amenity to consider and plan for as a long term program that will make Manvel an appealing place to live.

 

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Meridiana Official Groundbreaking

April 22, 2015

 

Officials from Manvel and Iowa Colony were on hand to move some dirt in a traditionally symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for the recently announced Meridiana Development.  Rise Communities made the announcement several weeks ago though construction is already under way on the first section of new homes.  The 2,700 acre master-planned community will include property in both cities and reportedly will see more than 5,500 single family homes upon its completion.  The primary entrance to the community will be in Iowa Colony off SH 288 near the current intersection with CR 56.  A secondary major entrance will eventually be constructed in Manvel where McCoy intersects with SH 6.  Details for the project remain undisclosed though developers are expected to make available additional information in late June.
 
Shown in the photo are Matt Lawson (L) and Dan Naef from Rise Communities with Manvel Council Member and Mayor Pro-tem Melody Hanson and Manvel Council Member Adrian Gaspar.

 

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Voters to decide two council positions

April 29, 2015

 

Manvel voters will decide two council positions in the general election on Saturday, May 9.  Early voting is available at any county voting location through May 5.  A recently approved program will now allow voters to cast their ballot at any county voting location on Election Day as well. 

 

Place 1 sees incumbent Adrian Gaspar challenged by Jerome Hudson who has served on numerous city committees and boards, including the Planning, Development, and Zoning Commission (PD&Z), Manvel Education Facilities Corporation, Capital Improvements Advisory Committee, Manvel’s Rental Appeals Board, and the Manvel Fair Housing Work Group.  Hudson says he wants to bring business expertise and knowledge to city council that he has acquired from thirty-five years of community organizational service and involvement throughout the metro Houston area and thirty years as a business owner.  He intends to push for continuous growth, development and prosperity within the city boundaries, and give extra attention to maintaining the semi-rural atmosphere that is a unique identity for Manvel’s current and future citizens.  Hudson says he has a passion for serving the residents of Manvel and sees a need to address a myriad of community issues.  “I truly want to see the community grow and develop.  I want to make a difference!”

 

Gaspar, a 23-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, is seeking his second term on council.  He expresses great passion on property rights, citizen’s freedoms, and the city not overextending and overstepping on people’s civil rights.  He is running to be the voice of the citizens: “I want to act on behalf of the average citizen.  I want to make it so that the city doesn’t infringe on a citizen’s rights in his or her own home.  I want to make the city more open to businesses, in addition to expanding the city’s revenue so that our city can benefit and grow.”   Gaspar believes his many years as a police officer has given him a talent in communicating with the public.  “I am a people person, which means that I like talking to people and hearing their side of the issue.  This will allow average citizens to have a voice in the way Manvel grows, and which policies and ordinances will be passed.”

 

He believe the greatest challenge for city council will be keeping density down and considers it important to not deviate from the city’s Comprehensive Plan, Drainage Plan, and zoning ordinances.  He supports the currently proposed Thoroughfare Plan, saying the city needs to stick to it once it is passed.  Gaspar strongly supports the Manvel Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and encourages citizens to support MEDC’s effort to regain the ¼% sales tax allocation on the ballot.  “MEDC projects will always benefit the citizens in the long run and it will help bring us a grocery store.”

 

Place 2 sees incumbent Maureen DelBello opposing Lorraine Hehn who expresses frustration at seeing the long hours citizens donate to the city being ignored and unappreciated.  She sees the city having the prospect to be something amazing but believes important opportunities are slipping away; “This is the time when our city takes the shape it will have for the rest of this century.  Development is here and like it or not our town is going to change as individuals sell their land to developers and those developers build housing and retail.  Our town is facing major decisions, decisions like where shopping malls and roads will go, and the citizens deserve a council that has the time and interest to dig deep into these issues, not make snap decisions based on gut feelings.  As a member of our town’s Planning, Development and Zoning Committee I see proposed development and hear our citizen’s voices.”

 

Hehn says she has attended most every city council meeting for the last three years.  She is a member of the Planning, Development and Zoning Commission (PD&Z), served on the Charter Review Commission, and was a member of the committee to develop the current Comprehensive Plan, on which she asserts to have fought for better development and a better deal for our citizens.  “Sadly, I have often found myself fighting not the developers but our own city government and in particular my opponent, who does not attend any of the PD&Z meetings nor did she attend any of the Comprehensive Plan meetings.  Unlike my opponent I have the time to attend all important city meetings and I not only know the issues but I have often helped write the solutions to those problems.”

 

As Hehn sees things, Manvel does not have the luxury of having both long-term and short-term challenges.  “The decisions we make now in the short-term will be with us for a very, very long time.  Decisions like where shopping malls and roads will go, and if we are going to allow apartment complexes or small lots into our town.  These are things that once they are done cannot be undone.  Bad development will make us into another commuter subdivision of Houston; good development will make us into a great place to live, work, and play.  Development should not adversely affect those that wish to continue living on large acreage lots, and if you do wish to sell a piece of your property, good development in a great community will protect your property value so you can get the most for your land.”  She feels the job of city council “is to provide direction and the vision of where the town is going.  Council gets their direction from contact with the people and I believe that this system has broken down.  If elected I will make sure that the will of the people is brought to life in our city’s day to day business.  I will be a friend of the citizens, not a friend to developers.”

 

She believes Manvel has all the “ingredients necessary to be the best town in Texas.  We can have great schools, quality parks and trails, fantastic retail and restaurants – all without giving up our small town history and charm.  As your City Council representative I look forward to this task and I know that together we can build something amazing.”

 

DelBello has been a Manvel resident for 22 years and says she loves the city.  She wants to continue to be a council member “to help protect our current residents as well as the new residents moving in by making sure we have positive and controlled growth in our area.  She previously served on council for two terms in 1999 when “we could barely fund any of our departments.  We had to put a tight hold on our budget until the city could get on its feet.  I have many years in accounting and can work well with others.”  She has experienced the past struggles Manvel has gone through and hopes voters will re-elect her “off of my past history and loyalty to the city of Manvel.  I have always tried to vote for what is best for the citizens and my family.  I want my children to grow up in a city that they are proud to call home.” 

 

DelBello believes the biggest challenge facing Manvel today and in the future is “making sure that we continue to grow at a slow pace and that we provide enough quality services to maintain a safe town for our residents.  We cannot let developers get out of control.  We have to make good sound decisions for our citizens.  We have so many rules and regulations in place right now to protect our citizens and our town but sometimes I would prefer to sit down and really listen to the citizens and their concerns about where the city is going.”

 

She strongly supports the MEDC ballot proposition: “Manvel has a wonderful and committed MEDC in place at this time.  I cannot say enough good things about this committee and how they have helped Manvel with projects to help our future.  I hope everyone takes time to vote YES to allow the MEDC to regain its 1/4% tax allocation.  Everyone needs to understand that this is not an additional tax but is a percent of the sales tax that is spent on items purchased in our area and the ETJ.  The tax burden is shared by everyone, not just Manvel homeowners.  Having this in place allows MEDC to help the City with projects that benefit economic growth and in return frees up budgeted monies for roads, drainage and police protection.”

 

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