November 2015

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Debate continues on future development in city

Voters approve school bonds

Community College in Manvel?

Rodeo Palms residents seek relief from illegal parking

Mayor delivers State of the City address

Hwy 6 to see changes

Rodeo Palms sees increased parking enforcement

City welcomes new Fire Marshal

Manvel employee recognized for 24 years

Mayor Martin elected to HGAC Board of Directors

 

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Debate continues on future development in city

November 4, 2015

 

As large scale master planned communities are under construction around Manvel, city council continues its debate on what future development should look like.  On the west side of the city the 1000 acre Pomona project contemplates 2100 single family homes and on the south side of Manvel the 2700 acre Meridiana project contemplates 5500 single family homes.  Each project had development agreements that were approved by the city many years ago, before considerable thought was given to long-term implications.  The two developments include a fair number of smaller lot sizes and the overall impact of small lots has been a hot topic of discussion among city council for months.  Members Lew Shuffler and Melody Hanson remain steadfast in their pressing for strict adherence to the city’s subdivision ordinance which mandates lot sizes no smaller than 60 feet in width.  They claim citizens have spoken clearly in public hearings and participation in city commissions charged with setting the city’s comprehensive plan for growth of their desire that Manvel remain predominantly a rural community.

 

At each of the two previous council meetings, Shuffler requested discussion on the matter and made clear his preference that the city provide no exception to the 60 foot minimum.  He describes homes constructed even on 60 foot lots as being “on top of each other” and decries the additional traffic the many new homes will deliver to city streets.  Hanson supported his effort claiming a local realtor relayed to her a demand for larger lots that is not being met.  Hanson also took to a PowerPoint presentation last August to encourage her fellow members to stand firm in the lot size requirements as provided in city ordinances.  She made clear her opposition to undersized lots goes beyond a personal preference and aesthetics.  She believes higher density of development produces negative consequences for the city.  Promoting development that favors grass and greenery over concrete would provide space to better facilitate drainage, require less demand on city services, less stress on school facilities, less traffic on roadways, fewer parking challenges, and less light and sound pollution.

 

Recent discussions have seen some members seeming to moderate their stand on the matter.  Mayor Delores Martin thinks it unfair to offer only larger lots saying, “Not everyone can afford it.”  She went on to denounce so demanding an approach that basically tells those looking for smaller lots to go live elsewhere.  Hanson believes the city should endorse growth slowly and selectively, responding to the mayor’s comment: “we do not have a responsibility to provide affordable homes to everyone.”  Member Lorraine Hehn voiced a concern that some developers express that retail and commercial development will establish outside the city because “we do not have the growth to support it.”  She fears that the city’s stringent requirements will result in too few rooftops thereby resulting in neighboring communities enjoying the advantages of retail and commercial opportunities and compromising the city’s tax collections.  A developer with dealings in the city, preferring anonymity, describes it as a donut with all the areas around Manvel seeing commerce and prosperity while the city proper represents the hole in the middle.  Member John Cox would like to see council “open the doors and be more business friendly.  As long as we keep slapping the door closed on developers and these people wanting to come here we’re never going to grow.”  Member Adrian Gaspar agreed with the opinion of larger lot sizes but feels the time to be overly selective is not today.  Once sufficient rooftops are established to welcome the retail and commercial options that most citizens want, then should the city be more demanding in its actions.  Gaspar suggests council strive for balance in pointing out that the city needs taxes generated from retail and commercial establishments to relieve the burden placed on homeowners.  Member Hanson again took issue saying she would “rather drive 20 miles to grocery shop and run errands than live in a poorly planned congested community.”

 

The sometimes passionate discussions resulted from the SouthPointe development envisioned on 271 acres bordering SH 288 just north of SH 6.  Developers of the project presented three plans with each subsequent one reflecting changes in answer to components that were generally not well received by council.  The initial presentation included a multi-family apartment complex and 76% of lots under 60 feet.  The second presentation removed the apartment complex entirely and reduced the number of lots under 60 feet, again earning dismissal from council.  The third and last presentation reduced again the number of lots under 60 feet resulting in a plan that provides 45% of homes on 50 and 55 foot lots, 35% on 60 foot lots, and 20% on 70 foot lots.  Council was considerably more accepting of the third revision.  Mayor Delores Martin conceded a market for smaller lots and expressed some willingness to consider the new plan, declaring it important that the city provide developers an opportunity to meet the needs of buyers who desire less maintenance demands and lower costs.  Member John Cox expressed a desire to work with the developers and perhaps meet them half-way as they have persevered and worked hard to balance their requirement of securing acceptable project margins with the city’s desire for a lower density of development.

 

Developers and pro-growth advocates claim simple economics determine product offerings.  As the city imposes increasing demands on developers their margins shrink to a point that a project loses its viability.  Developers favor smaller lots for a variety of reasons.  Recent years have seen a continual increase in the costs of subdivision development that challenges home affordability.  Manvel is seen as a particularly formidable market due to the many requirements the city expects from new development.  Costly infrastructure installations such as roads, utilities, parks and green spaces, and homeowner amenities like community recreation centers increasingly stress project margins.  Smaller lot sizes allow a greater distribution of those costs.  Developers also claim from market evidence that evolving demographics among home buyers has made smaller lots in demand from millennials and older baby boomers who desire a lifestyle requiring less maintenance demands.

 

Shuffler and Hanson claim Rodeo Palms already makes available small lots and the demand for smaller lots in the future will be met with the construction in Pomona and Meridiana.  Those three developments were approved by the city years ago.  There have been no other significant projects begun in the city limits, save for Lakeland and the 73 acres of Newport Lake Estates, both having met the requirements of the subdivision ordinance in place at the time of approval years back.  Whether the dearth of new projects portends the beginning of the donut analogy or the view that the city can afford to be patient and selective remains to be seen.  The announcement last week that the Manvel Town Center is working to break ground in 2017 on significant retail infrastructure could support either argument.  Those believing development will come no matter the demands in place can point to the plans as supporting their claim.  Those fearing the donut scenario will argue the location at so strategic an intersection as an aberration and would likely claim it erroneous to assume its conveyance to other areas of the city.

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Voters approve school bonds

November 11, 2015

 

Voters easily approved a request from the Alvin Independent School District (AISD) to issue $245 million in bonds to meet the needs of the growing district.  Just 16.1% of eligible AISD voters cast a ballot in the November 3rd election with 59.14% voting yes to the proposal.  The building program contemplated by the bond package anticipates total spending of $285 million.  The district will fund the balance with $28 million from the current operating budget and $12.6 million from previously authorized bonds.

 

Four new elementary schools will be constructed as well as land for a fifth.  Campus locations in Shadow Creek Ranch and the new Pomona development have been confirmed and will see the process begin immediately with permitting anticipated in the first quarter of next year.  That will allow the opening of both campuses in time for the 2017-2018 school year.  Other elementary locations have yet to be confirmed.  A new Junior High will be constructed in Shadow Creek Ranch.  Construction times have yet to be made public by AISD, but as the land is already secured and the need is clear, it is likely to expect the new junior high school to be ready for students in the 2018-2019 school year.  Land for another junior high school and a high school are also included in the bond program.  AISD officials explained the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center to be constructed at the former Manvel JH site and the new sports complex will see their construction schedules settled pending final design decisions and in the case of the stadium, the close of land acquisition.  The old Manvel JH building is in the process of demolition and contract negotiations are on-going for 70 acres in the southern portion of the Meridiana development along SH 288 to house the new sports venue.  Upgrades to the Alvin HS auditorium and stadium and a new transportation center will also be funded by the program but no construction projections have been shared.

 

The 2015 bond marks the sixth referendum from AISD voters since 2000.  Voters have accepted all AISD bond requests that total altogether nearly $860 million.  Significant residential development in the far north-west part of the district has been the primary fuel to the construction of new schools and facilities.  That growth has steadily moved south along the 288 corridor and is projected to continue to do so.  Just this year AISD experienced an influx of over 1500 new students.  It is expecting a five year growth at over 6000 students.  By the year 2020 enrollment is projected at more than 28,000 and by 2025 over 35,000.   According to statistics released by AISD, 10 of the 15 elementary schools in service at the beginning of the school year were over capacity.  Similar situations exist at secondary campuses.  AISD currently operates 6 junior high schools and 2 high schools.  The many campuses experiencing overcrowding are having to utilize temporary buildings and flex space to accommodate the excess capacity and some schools are using rooms designed for other purposes as classrooms.  The overcrowded conditions serve also to stress ancillary school services such as busing, cafeterias, and libraries.  Given the growth projections and the history of AISD asking voters to approve bond programs every two to three years since 2000, it is likely still another will be forthcoming in the next few years.

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Community College in Manvel?

November 11, 2015

 

Landeavor, the owner of the Sedona Lakes project located off SH 288 at CR 58 (Croix Rd), has been in discussion with representatives from Alvin Community College regarding a possible second campus to be located within the development.  A parcel of land amounting to 39.4 acres, located just east of 288 and bordering the southern boundary of Croix Road, has been made available with favorable terms.  The developer believes the campus would be a great addition to both the Sedona Lakes community and to the City of Manvel and existing and future residents in the surrounding area.  Reportedly the offer would be at $2 per square foot ($3,432,528) and would include significant infrastructure improvements including sufficient detention, current and future water and sewer capacity delivered to the property boundary, and the construction of CR 58 (Croix Rd) from 288 to the sites eastern boundary.

 

Alvin Community College regents approved earlier this year the funding of a study to determine current and future facility needs not only at the primary campus in Alvin but also to consider the possibility of a second campus to better serve the fast growing west side of the college district.  Any eventuality toward a second campus would require the college submit a bond referendum to voters.  The amount and scope of a bond is undetermined at this time as the study is on-going, but it would be reasonable to expect it be put to voters in 2016.  Much like the growth demands of the Alvin Independent School District (AISD), Alvin Community College is feeling the pressure to expand to the west side where the majority of the population growth has occurred and is projected to continue to do so in the future.  With the aggressive bond programs from AISD in recent years, some concern exists that bond fatigue could lead to a hard sell for the college.  Regents will be asked to consider a bold move forward with a second campus expansion and improvements to update the existing college and its facilities.  Regents are also reportedly considering a proposal to change the name of the college to reflect a more accurate regional presence. 

 

The college originated in 1948 when voters in the Alvin Independent School District authorized its creation.  In 1971 a separate administration, tax district, and College Board was established to manage a newly created Alvin Junior College District. Up to that time the college’s management was borne by the school district.  Initially the college was part of Alvin High School and shared facilities with grades 11 through 14.  Alvin Community College moved to its present campus in the summer of 1963 with the construction of buildings to house Academics, Science, and a Student Center. In 1974 voters approved an expansion of the college district that nearly doubled its geographical size and in 1975 voters approved an $8 million bond issue that provided funding for the facilities that generally comprise the campus as it exists today. In 2004 voters approved a $19.2 million bond for the Science/Health Science Building which opened in 2007.

 

In 2008 the campus experienced significant devastation resulting from Hurricane Ike. College administrators used the misfortune as opportunity, however, and completed a substantial renovation of the campus which had grown tired after more than forty years of service. The Alvin campus today comprises 113 acres and 15 buildings. Enrollment has grown from 134 students in 1949 to more than 5,000 students today.

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Rodeo Palms residents seek relief from illegal parking

November 11, 2015

 

City council member Lorraine Hehn, a resident of Rodeo Palms, requested a discussion among council regarding on-street parking issues plaguing the community.  She explained to her fellow members that cars are parked for long periods of time without moving, some with flat tires and expired licenses and inspections, and some are even on blocks with no wheels at all.  She also complained about the amount of cars parking along the streets that at times can hinder transport along the roadway.  Of primary concern to Hehn is the prospect of emergency vehicles being unable to traverse the roads due to the narrow space that remains when cars are parked along the curb on either side.

 

The manager for the home owners association, Janet Davis, presented council with a letter starting the concerns of residents and a number of photos showing numerous instances of inoperable vehicles.  She believes it the city’s responsibility to enforce the parking issues claiming the streets being publicly owned make it so.  She said the community of 1136 single family homes will continue to grow and that the parking troubles and the lax enforcement “drives down our property values, lowers the aesthetic quality of our homes, and makes the streets less safe for our children.”  She blames the city’s inaction on the community “starting to look like a junkyard.” 

 

Manvel’s police chief, Keith Traylor, addressed the issue and explained that the primary means of enforcement should be from the Homeowners Association (HOA) in being stricter in their application of HOA rules.  The police department can only issue citations or have vehicles removed if they are in violation of state laws as Manvel currently has no city ordinances in place to deal with parking issues.  Vehicles appearing abandoned, as was well demonstrated by Ms. Davis’ photos, do fall under state law and the chief indicated an intent to more closely look into the situation.  Council also indicated an interest in drafting appropriate ordinances that would allow for some limitations when parking along subdivision roads, particularly given the expected increase is such roads as development continues in and around the city.

 

Traylor explained a similar situation when he was on the police force in Lake Jackson some years back.  He told council that due care must be taken when deciding how strict to enforce parking rules.  He cited an example of forbidding cars from parking on the streets which moves them to driveways that often times struggle to accommodate two vehicles without blocking a public sidewalk.  Blocking sidewalks is also a violation meaning the homeowner would receive a violation regardless.  Traylor speculated that those receiving the citations would very likely be more determined than the initial complainers in expressing their displeasure.  He related the experience in Lake Jackson of people inundating council meetings with complaints of excessive issuance of parking citations.

 

Rodeo Palms residents can look forward to the matter receiving greater attention after a newly hired Fire Marshal and Code Enforcement Officer begins work later this month.  His efforts along with the police department and the newfound awareness among council members to address the problem should begin to produce results in dealing with the blight of numerous illegal vehicles littering the streets.

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Mayor delivers State of the City address

November 18, 2011

 

Manvel Mayor Delores Martin and city department heads provided a State of the City address to the Alvin-Manvel Chamber of Commerce at its regular monthly luncheon.  Described by the mayor as the “A” team, the City Manager and the various department heads reported on their coordination of the day-to-day operations of the city.  The event was held at Manvel High School and was well attended by a variety of public officials and interested citizens.

 

The mayor delivered an upbeat presentation on the city reciting the key developments in Manvel and its Extra-territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) that are seeing steady construction of new homes.  In the last fiscal year 296 residential building permits were issued with a projected valuation of $72.352 million.  Eleven commercial building permits were issued with a projected valuation of $9.996 million.  All other permits issued totaled 1312.  Contract inspectors hired by the city conducted 7232 inspections to verify compliance with city codes and ordinances.  Altogether, permit fees contributed over $926,000 to city coffers.  Other positive financial news reported was an increase in ad valorem taxes by 8.9% from 2014 and sales tax collections increasing 12% from 2014.  While the city maintained its tax rate at $0.58 cents per $100 valuation, the good fortune to the city of increasing property valuations along with a significant expansion of the tax base saw Manvel’s just adopted budget total $5,155,760.  That compares with the 2010 fiscal year budget of $3,878,650. 

 

After years of frugal financial management, city departments appear to be catching up on their administrative and capital equipment requirements.  Enhanced tax receipts and an overall better financial condition resulted in a litany of high dollar acquisitions in the prior year.  New software was acquired by the Municipal Court, the Police Department, and the Finance Department.  Considerable new vehicles and equipment were purchased for Public Works and the Police.  More of the same can be expected in the coming fiscal year with notable additions including the police adding a 911 communications officer and two sergeant positions along with a shared vehicle, Public Works will add an employee, money will be invested on a park master plan and a regional water/wastewater plan, and City Hall will see an expansion of its front parking area and a new alcove installed at its entrance to moderate disturbances from traffic noises coming in from Hwy 6. 

 

Mayor Martin reported on-going discussions for two land donations that will add to the city’s parks inventory.  Owners of the Eddie’s Country Ballroom off FM 1128 in north Manvel are looking to donate 7.75 acres and the 10 acres that comprise the Almost Heaven Campground and RV resort off CR 90 is being donated by LanDeavor, the developer of the Sedona Lakes community.  Plans for the development and use of the parks will be a key point of discussion for a newly created Parks and Recreation Board that just recently was established by city council.  Also presented was the possibility of Alvin Community College opening a second campus in Manvel on 39.4 acres that has been made available again by LanDeavor.  The site is located just east of 288 and borders the southern boundary of Croix Road.  The College Board of Regents has yet to announce a decision on any expansion plans.

 

Other expected projects coming to the city include the remodeling and expansion of the Shu-Chem chemical plant on SH 6 just west of CR 99.  The plant was recently acquired by a multi-national manufacturing group based in Hamburg, Germany, Halteman Carless Solutions (HCS Group).  The new owners have presented intentions to establish its United States headquarters in Manvel.  Immediate plans call for the removal of the various current support structures and subsequent replacement with a new building that will house the various administrative and support functions.  A row of trees and landscaping is envisaged along the SH 6 frontage as well as new fencing and gates.  Longer term, the new company envisions the offering of appropriate infrastructure on the remaining 60-70 acres that would support a chemical park; the objective being to attract additional investors to establish operations on the site.  The Manvel Town Center has announced an expected lease agreement with Kroger in early 2016 that will kick off the retail development that has been talked about for some ten years on the north-west corner of SH 288 and SH 6.  Additional retail establishments and restaurants will comprise the balance of the project.  If the process moves along with minimal complications, developers claim the Kroger store could be open as soon as the summer of 2017.

 

The convenience store/gas station operator, Stripes, has plans to demolish the current Chevron station and its storage tanks at FM 1128 and SH 6 at the end of the year to make way for a new store that is scheduled to open in the spring/summer of 2016.  Stripes is also reportedly acquiring land on the west side of SH 288 on SH 6 to construct another store that will be located near that existing Chevron station.  No timetable for that prospect was disclosed.  A new 6000 sq ft animal hospital is planning to break ground early in 2016 on 3.2 acres on SH 6 just across Corporate Drive from the Brazoria County Annex building.  The Alvin Independent School District (AISD) has already demolished the old Manvel JH on Lewis Lane that will allow a new career and Technical Education (CTE) Center to be constructed on the site.  The new building will be paid from just approved bond funds and will consist of two stories and 135,000 sq ft.  AISD officials project construction to commence in the spring of 2016 and plan to have the facility ready for students in the fall of 2017.

 

The Mayor also explained renovations and “facelifts” planned or on-going for several SH 6 businesses.  The strip center housing Billy’s Donuts, the Fuel Express, and the Burger King near SH 288 should all see new looks in coming months.  On CR 59 she noted a possible Southern Trails Pet Resort and a Circle K at the corner with Kirby Drive.  The venerable Manvel Seafood restaurant has desired a larger location for years and is planning to construct a new building on the south side of SH 6 generally across from City Hall.  And finally, the mayor reported a planned monument sign pronouncing the entrance to Manvel on the southeast corner SH 6 and SH 288 in front of the Jack-in-the Box restaurant.  The sign is currently in the design process and TxDOT has given its approval for its installation.  Timetables were not announced for any of these projects.

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Hwy 6 to see changes

November 18, 2015

 

Travelers along SH 6 will experience a different look come 2017.  The continuous left turn lane that presently is flush with the pavement will be converted to raised medians.  The road will also see intersection improvements in Manvel at FM 1128 and in Alvin at 2nd Street (Brazos), Business 35 (Gordon), and the SH 35 bypass.  The intersection improvements will include additional turn lanes and traffic signal improvements as needed.  The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) held a public meeting recently at Rodeo Palms Junior High to inform the public of the project and to solicit comments.  Plans as called for will necessitate one commercial business be displaced and approximately .56 acre of new right-of-way will need to be acquired.  No changes are proposed to the drainage system along the corridor and speed limits will remain the same.

 

TxDOT describes the need for the project as responding to growth in the region and an increase in traffic demand and vehicle crashes due to development trends south of Houston.  The result of the project is expected to improve safety and traffic operations throughout the corridor.  The project will run about 17 miles from a point approximately 1200 feet west of FM 521 in Arcola to the Galveston County Line, generally between Alvin and Algoa.  Estimated construction cost is $6 million.  The work is anticipated to begin in late 2016 with an anticipated construction period of approximately one year.

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Rodeo Palms sees increased parking enforcement

November 25, 2015

 

In large part responding to resident complaints and a request from city council member Lorraine Hehn, Manvel police have increased their presence and enforcement of city parking ordinances in the Rodeo Palms community.  Hehn explained to her fellow members that many cars are parked for long periods of time without moving, some with flat tires and expired licenses and inspections, and some are even on blocks with no wheels at all.  She also complained about the amount of cars parking along the streets that at times can hinder transport along the roadway.  Of primary concern to Hehn is the prospect of emergency vehicles being unable to traverse the roads due to the narrow space that remains when cars are parked along the curb on either side.  Reinforcing resident concerns, the manager for the home owners association, Janet Davis, presented to council a number of photos showing instances of inoperable vehicles.  She encouraged the police to enforce the parking issues claiming the streets being publicly owned make it the city’s responsibility.  She expressed resident feelings that the parking troubles and the lax enforcement drives down property values and lowers the aesthetic quality of the neighborhood.  She blamed the city’s lack of enforcement as causing the community “to look like a junkyard.” 

 

City Manager Kyle Jung reported to council that police have responded to the complaints having made 101 contacts to Rodeo Palms residents, 77 verbal warnings have been delivered, one citation issued, and one vehicle has been towed.  Additionally, eight door hangars have been placed and four vehicle tagged for towing.  “Obviously there has been some attention paid to the parking issues in Rodeo Palms and hopefully the people over there will heed the verbal warnings,” Jung said.  The gist of the complaints consist of vehicles blocking sidewalks and in some cases neighboring drive-ways as well as parking too close to intersection boundaries.  Council member Hehn clarified that cars parked without moving for more than five days are considered abandoned and will be subject to Police enforcement.

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City welcomes new Fire Marshal

November 25, 2015

 

Michael Dumas has been hired as the city’s new Fire Marshal and Code Enforcement Officer.  City Manager Kyle Jung introduced Dumas to city council at their regular meeting this week.  Dumas was raised in Dennison, Texas but lived in South Carolina and worked in various capacities as a fire fighter before returning to Texas in 2008.  Dumas brings 26 years of experience in fire and EMS services and also is a licensed peace officer.  For the last six years Dumas has worked as the Deputy Fire Marshal for Denton County Emergency Services.  His duties included many of the same things he will be asked to do for Manvel, including plan reviews, fire inspections, and code enforcement.

 

Dumas says he was intrigued by Manvel after researching the city and thought it a good place to “get in on the ground level and help build it up.”  He expresses excitement at being in Manvel and is looking forward to making the city “a safe and great place to live and work.”

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Manvel employee recognized for 24 years

November 25, 2015

 

Isaac Hernandez has been employed in the city’s Public Works department for 24 years.  He was acknowledged recently by Mayor Delores Martin at her annual State of the City address earlier this month.  He recalls things being quite different in Manvel in 1991.  When he began working for the city he recalls all the equipment available to the six members of the public works crew when working on 61 miles of roads had to be either “pulled or pushed.”  He said things have gotten better over the passing years with new equipment such as a “dump truck being added here and there and other new vehicles to where things started improving a lot.”  Hernandez credits the Public Works Director, Jay White, and Mayor Delores Martin with making things better.  He said, “When she (Mayor Martin) took office 14 years ago things really started changing and we started getting new equipment.”  Jay White has been his supervisor since starting work for the city and he credits White for maintaining a work friendly environment for his crew.  He describes the public works crew, which today includes nine workers, as “treating each other like family.”  He says there has never been any feeling of it’s not my job or it’s not your job; everybody does what they have to do.”  Of Jay White he says, “We had difficult times but he could straighten them out.”

 

Hernandez was an equipment operator for the city until he was promoted to a supervisor position five or six years ago.  He expects to put in 25 years before considering retirement.  Beyond his current city obligations he and his wife stay busy pastoring the Majesty Church in Alvin located at CR 145 and CR 149.  He is planning to become the full-time pastor when he does decide to retire from the city.

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Mayor Martin elected to HGAC Board of Directors

November 25, 2015

 

Manvel Mayor Delores Martin was one of two members recently selected as a member of the Board of Directors for the Houston Galveston Area Council.  The appointment will be the mayor’s fifth term representing Home Rule cities.  She had previously served as the Board Chairperson. 

 

According to its press release, the Board of Directors is composed of local elected officials who serve on the governing bodies of member local governments.  There are thirty-six members on the HGAC Board which provides oversight and direction for HGHAC staff in carrying out the wide array of programs for the agency.

 

The HGAC is a voluntary association of local governments that comprise 13 counties in the Gulf Coast Planning Region.  The overall region entails an area of 12,500 square miles and more than 6 million people.  HGAC works to promote efficient and accountable use of local, state, and federal tax dollars and serves as a problem-solving and information forum for local government needs.

 

The mayor is a strong cheerleader for the HGAC, responding to her fifth appointment: “It has been a honor and privilege to represent my city on the board of HGAC for the past 12 years and serving as their Chair 2012-2013.  This is a fantastic organization reaching out to our cities with whatever needs are available.  Working with people in the 13 county Gulf Coast Planning Region enables us with networking opportunities that are endless.”

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