Monthly Newsletter
December 4, 2018  Issue 71
R esidents of District E,
  
On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, Houston City Council approved a $500,000 contract with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP for professional legal services. I voted in favor of this item along with eight other colleagues. The original City Council item was for a contract with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in the amount of $1,090,000. I proposed an amendment at the table to reduce the maximum contract amount for this item by $590,000. My amendment was approved and reduced the final maximum contract amount from $1,090,000 to $500,000. I voted to support this item due to the complexity of language presented in Proposition B, and I believe that outside legal counsel is necessary to help City Council better understand how to implement the Proposition B ballot language.
 
Proposition B was placed on the ballot after a petition calling for a ballot measure that Houston fire fighters be paid the same as Houston police officers, which was signed by more than 20,000 residents. The Proposition B ballot language in summation seeks to equalize pay between Houston fire fighters and Houston police officers, both of which are dangerous and admirable professions. Unfortunately, the way that experience, seniority, training, and education are weighed between these two departments differ drastically when calculating compensation. The existing ballot language does not provide a road map for implementation, requiring the assistance of outside legal counsel to execute the will of the people.
 
Additionally, I supported this item in the hopes that outside legal counsel could shine a light on comparing these two very different jobs. For example, the Houston Fire Department provides many services the Houston Police Department does not train for, creating an uneven playing field for comparison. How do you compare a paramedic or arson investigator with a police officer working a beat? Paramedics and arson investigators have honed a special set of skills and obtained specific training needed to become an expert in their field. Is it fair to compare them to a patrol officer, SWAT Team or a Bomb Squad member? City Council does not know, which is yet another reason why outside legal counsel is necessary.
 
During this same meeting, I proposed the City of Houston on January 1, 2019 implement a fire fighter pay raise in the amount of 4% salary increase across the board. The people have voted to increase the pay of fire fighters and this initial increase moves towards accomplishing the overall goal of Proposition B, even before anything is decided in a court of law. Unfortunately, there was no action taken to enact my proposal during Wednesday's meeting.
 
The voters very clearly voted to support Proposition B, which means that the voters have changed the City of Houston Charter to include "pay parity" or raises for fire fighters contingent upon the pay of Houston police officers.  According to attorneys for both the Fire Department Union and the City of Houston, State Law, which mandates raises be "collectively bargained", may supersede any City of Houston Ordinance/Charter Amendment.
 
Collective bargaining is the negotiation of wages and benefits by an organized body of employees. The major issue that needs to be determined is if what voters supported with Proposition B is negated by State Law due to existing collective bargaining legislation. Proposition B in a way takes away the Houston Fire Department's ability to collectively bargain because their compensation, as a result of Proposition B, is tied directly to that of the Houston Police Department. The hiring of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP allows the City of Houston to go to court together with the Houston Professional Firefighters Union to resolve these competing issues.
 
Late Friday, November 30, Houston Police Officers' Union (HPOU) filed a lawsuit against the City of Houston and the Houston Professional Firefighters Association claiming that Proposition B, pay parity amendment to the City of Houston Charter, is unconstitutional. The State District Judge granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) at the request of the HPOU. The TRO blocks the City of Houston from taking any action to implement Proposition B at this time.
 
I am a Council Member that believes in the democratic process and the privilege we as American citizens have as voters. The vote in my mind is not in question, what is in question is how do we begin to unpack all that was included in Proposition B to make sure that it is implemented legally.
 
As always, it is a pleasure serving you. 

Sincerely,


Dave Martin
The District E Office
900 Bagby, First Floor
Houston, TX 77002
 
Contact Information
  Phone: (832) 393-3008
Fax: (832) 393-3279
 
District E Team

Jessica Beemer
Chief of Staff

Katherine Cunningham
Deputy Chief of Staff

Jordan McGinty
South Sector Manager

Clarissa Perez
North Sector Manager

City of Houston Contacts
 
City of Houston 3-1-1
(713) 837-0311

 
 
Mayor's Citizens
Assistance Office
(832) 393-0955


 
 


Kingwood Community Center
(281) 348-2570
 
 
 

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership 
 
 

 
  
Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter

Remembering President George H.W. Bush (41)

This morning I had the opportunity to join several local leaders in saying farewell to President George H.W. Bush. President Bush (41) was a true statesman and diplomatic leader, you can see proof of this in the many relationships he created on both sides of the aisle.  I consider it a great honor to have been included in his send off from Ellington Field Monday and send my prayers to President Bush and his family. May they find comfort and peace knowing that President Bush has been reunited with his First Lady and their daughter, Robin. Rest in Peace Mr. President.
2019 Dredging and Safety Notice

During the week of Thanksgiving the District E Office sent out a press release regarding an additional dredging project that would take place in 2019 removing the additional sediment located in the "mouthbar" of the San Jacinto River. To read the full release regarding the additional dredging project in 2019 please click here.

There are two dredges currently operating in the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. Dredge 1 is located just upstream of the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge and Dredge 2 is operating near River Grove Park. Dredging is occurring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
 
Since the press release, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) has notified our office that due to various mechanical issues with both dredges the original emergency dredging project is currently delayed by 30 days. The ACOE is withholding payment to the contractors until they get back on schedule. This delay means that the existing project is not expected to conclude until the end of May 2019, without accounting for any possible future delays.
 
To date the existing project is currently about 20% completed and has removed nearly 300,000 cubic yards of sediment debris from the West Fork of the San Jacinto River since September 20, 2018. An additional 65 tons of miscellaneous general debris has been removed (wood, trees, trash, tires, etc.). Between now and the end of May 2019, there is an estimated 1.6 million cubic yards of sediment and 335 tons of general debris that will be removed from the West Fork of the San Jacinto River before this initial dredging project is completed.
 
Due to the nature of these dredging activities it is important for residents to be aware of major safety concerns that exist on the San Jacinto River while dredging is taking place. Orange, yellow and white marker buoys located throughout the river are connected to pipelines carrying high pressure sand slurry, and should be avoided.
 
All recreational boat traffic should pass by all working vessels at a "No Wake" speed. Extreme caution and idle speed should be exercised when passing on either side of the Dredges as there are submerged cables coming off both sides of the dredges to anchors. There is also a closure of the San Jacinto River's North Fork just to the west of US Highway 59 extending north approximately 1.5 miles to the Eagle Sorters sand quarry. This stretch of the river is closed to all recreational vessel traffic for the remainder of the dredging project.

Lake Houston Flood Gates 

Earlier this summer, the City of Houston submitted a Letter of Intent to the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) for the construction of 10 flood gates to be added on to the existing Lake Houston Spillway Dam.  This Letter of Intent was approved and a complete application for these new flood gates were submitted in August of 2018 for the project to be funded through Federal Emergency Management Administration Hazard Mitigation Funds.   

The City's application has passed TDEM's review process and received a very competitive sc ore of 2.8 on a 1 to 3 scale, 3 being the highest.  Now the City's application has advanced to review by FEMA. FEMA is currently reviewing approximately 800 statewide projects for post-Harvey repairs and infrastructure improvements.  The review process is expected to take three to five months and we are optimistic the City will be notified regarding the approval of the Lake Houston Flood Gate project by early 2019.

Mayor Turner has already committed to provide funds towards this project for the local match from the City of Houston, in addition to funds that have been identified in the recent passage of the Harris County Flood Control Bond.
Texas Department of Transportation Notice of Public Hearing

On Thursday, December 6, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will host a public hearing at the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center, 400 West Walker Street, League City, Texas, 77573. The meeting will be an open house format so the public may come and go at their convenience from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and staff will be available to answer questions. The public hearing portion will begin at 6:30 p.m. 

The purpose of the public hearing is for residents to learn more about TxDOT's proposal to add bike lanes on the outside northbound and southbound shoulders of  SH 3 between Richey Street to FM 518 . The proposed SH 3 improvements also include utilizing the existing shoulders and widening approximately two to five feet of pavement in some areas, creating a 5 foot bike lane on the outside north and south bound shoulders (with a one- to three-foot buffer in most areas), and constructing northbound right-turn lanes at Pineloch Drive and El Dorado Boulevard. 

Residents unable to attend the public hearing can provide comments to TxDOT here. Comments must be receiv ed on or before Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, to be a part of the official hearing record. Be sure to include the following project number in your comments: CSJ 0051-02-101. 


Proposed Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan Amendment: 
Ellington Road

The City of Houston Planning Department is proposing to add Ellington Road, a major thoroughfare, between Old Galveston Road and Interstate 45 to the City's Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan (MTFP). The MTFP identifies right-of-way needs and proposes roadway alignments within the city limits of Houston and its Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). 

It is important to note, the MTFP does not initiate the timing of right-of-way acquisition or construction activities related to the roadways, and design and construction will not occur immediately if passed. Ellington Road between Space Center Boulevard and Old Galveston Road was added to the MTFP in 2003.
  
After considering feedback provided by: property owners, the public, City staff and other government agencies concerned about transportation in our region, the Houston Planning Commission voted to approve proposed amendment at their regularly scheduled meeting on November 8. 

The next step is for the proposal to be approved and passed by City Council. We look forward to the amendment being included on the City Council agenda before the end of 2018. W ith questions, you may contact the Planning & Development Department at 832-393-6660 or  mobility.planning@houstontx.gov .

Carriage View Lane Drainage Project

Two years ago, the District E office was made aware of an issue with erosion and improper drainage in the Huffman area, between the Commons and Magnolia Point neighborhoods. At that time, the District E office requested that this issue be looked into as a City of Houston Local Drainage Project (LDP). After investigation, this project was determined larger in scope than an LDP and was identified  as a Capital Improvement Project (CIP). As a CIP project, the cost exceeded $500,000 for repair, and there was no guarantee this issue would be addressed within one to two years. That was unacceptable for Council Member Martin and as a result, the District E office pushed for a more expedient solution. 
 
Last year before Harvey, an internal pilot program within Houston Public Works (HPW) was presented to us as an alternative. The pilot program allows for this drainage problem to be addressed in smaller phases, while reducing costs and providing quicker results. 
 
The first phase of the design includes: regrading the roadside ditches with riprap to control erosion and adding a closed storm sewer system at the end of the Carriage View Lane cul-de-sac. This design has been approved and is moving forward along with the repair of a damaged storm sewer outfall. Once this first phase of this pilot program is completed, it will be evaluated and determined what additional phasing is necessary by HPW. 
 
Due to many Harvey related repair projects taking priority, this project had been delayed 60 days, but we are now back on schedule with repairs beginning on Monday, December 10, 2018.
 
Drainage repairs take time but Council Member Martin and the Houston Public Works Department fully understand the big picture issue and are committed to seeing it through.

Memorial Hermann Kingwood Convenient Care Center Grand Opening

On Tuesday, November 13, Council Member Dave Martin and staff attended the Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center Grand Opening in Kingwood. 
 
Like many Kingwood residents and businesses, the Convenient Care Center was set to open a year ago but fell victim to Hurricane Harvey. Despite the setback, Memorial Hermann officially opened their doors on November 19.
 
This new, state of the art facility will be a significant addition to the community. The facility will include a staff of Primary Care Physicians, 24 Hour Emergency Room, Imaging and Mammography Services, a Diagnostic Lab, and Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation. 

Council Member Martin extends his gratitude to Memorial Hermann for their continued investment in this new Convenient Care Center, the community of Kingwood, and the entire City of Houston. Congratulations on officially opening this beautiful facility!
Bay Pointe & Pine Brook Annual Home Owners Association Meetings


As we end the 2018 calendar year, several Home Owners Associations (HOA) hold their annual HOA meetings. In November, Council Member Dave Martin was invited to speak at the Bay Pointe and Pine Brook Annual HOA Meetings. At the two meetings, Council Member Martin provided updates from the City on Propositions A and B on the most recent ballot, as well as community related updates on projects such as the Spaceport Phase 1 and the El Dorado Boulevard widening to begin in 2019. 

Council Member Martin looks forward to speaking to the Reserve at Clear Lake HOA at their annual meeting on Wednesday, December 12, 5:00 pm at Bay Oaks Country Club. 
Memorial Hermann Northeast New Tower Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, November 16, staff from Council Member Martin's Office attended the Memorial Hermann Northeast New Tower Ribbon Cutting.  Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital recently completed several expansion and renovation projects that have further enhanced its capabilities and services. 

Now, with the completion of a 123,000-square foot tower, patients and their families can enjoy a more comfortable stay in larger rooms with additional amenities. These upgrades are just another example of their dedication to providing patients with quality care.  Council Member Martin congratulates Memorial Hermann on a successful expansion. We look forward to seeing the amazing things you will do for our community.
Kingwood BOPA

On Saturday, November 17, Council Member Martin and the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) hosted the Kingwood Batteries, Oil, Paint and Anti-Freeze (B.O.P.A.) collection event at the Kingwood METRO Park and Ride.
 
Approximately 20,460 pounds of recyclable materials were collected from residents over the course of the event including 1,180 pounds of batteries, 1,605 pounds of used motor oil, 13,750 pounds of latex paint, 155 pounds of antifreeze and 3,820 pounds of scrap metal.
 
Council Member Martin thanks Keep Kingwood Green for volunteering to help with the event and who made the Kingwood B.O.P.A. possible, as well as the staff of the City's Solid Waste Management Department for its leadership on the event and the Houston Police Department's Kingwood Substation for its additional support.
TIRZ 10 Public Hearing

There will be a public hearing regarding the fifth amendment to the Project Plan and Reinvestment Zone Financing Plan for the Lake Houston TIRZ 10 on Wednesday, December 12 at 9:00 a.m. in Council Chambers. 

The Amended Plan will provide for the annexation of approximately 36.18 acres of public rights-of-way on Northpark Drive and a City-owned drainage easement located in Montgomery County, Texas.  Northpark Drive will be reconstructed, which includes a grade separation at Loop 494. The construction will improve mobility in the Lake Houston Zone and provide an evacuation route during a major storm event as well as mitigate flooding in the area.

Village Learning and Achievement Center Gala Honoring Kimberly Brusatori

On November 10, 2018, Council Member Martin attended the Village Learning and Achievement Center's Annual Gala at Hotel ZaZa. The event celebrated the Center's 18th year and the work of friend and founder, Kimberly Brusatori. 

Kimberly Brusatori and Linda Schuiten were inspired to come together to develop programs and services for individuals with disabilities, in response to the lack of such offerings in Northeast Houston. Both had children with disabilities who would soon be graduating from high school and leaving behind the structure and programs that school offers.

Their ultimate vision was to create a full-time program that would provide much-needed support and structure benefiting individuals with disabilities and their families.  In September 2000, Kimberly and Linda, as well as several other parents of children with disabilities, founded The Village Learning Center, Inc. as a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. The passion to provide quality programs and services to individuals with disabilities was born.

Council Member Martin congratulates Kim on her recognition and appreciates the great work she does for the Lake Houston community. 
U.S. Women's Open Logo Unveiling

In 2020, Houston's own Champions Golf Course will welcome the best golfers in the world for the U.S. Women's Open. As we count down the days to this event, we are preparing to welcome several of the world's best female golfers, and their fans, to the Houston region.  On November 16, Council Member Martin attended the U.S. Women's Open Logo Unveiling, hosted at Harris County Houston Sports Authority. As a former board member of the Harris County Houston Sports Authority Authority and an avid golfer, Council Member Martin look forward to this rare privilege .

 
Hurricane Harvey Registry

Are you feeling lingering health effects from Hurricane Harvey? 

Please considering participating in the Hurricane Harvey Registry, a brief online survey with questions about the storm's impact on your physical and mental health. The information will help the Houston Health Department connect the dots on who is being impacted and how.

Your participation can help identify areas of need to help Houston recover and plan for the future.  For more information, please click  here . To  take the brief online survey at, please visit:   https://harveyregistry.rice.edu/.  
Post-Harvey Housing Department Feedback Needed

The City of Houston will receive $1,175,954,338 in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds for assisting in long-term housing recovery from Hurricane Harvey. To receive this funding, the City must submit guidelines to the Texas General Land Office for approval. Input from City of Houston residents is appreciated in this process. 

HoAP and HRSR Guidelines:
  • Click here to view the draft guidelines about the Homeowner Assistance Program (HoAP) (revised 10.30.18)
     
  • Click here to view the draft guidelines about the Harvey Recovery Small Rental (HRSR) Program (revised 10.30.18) 
These draft guidelines are available for review and public comment from Tuesday, October 16, 2018 through Saturday, December 1, 2018. Public comments may be submitted by email to:  Kennisha.London@houstontx.gov or by mail to: HCDD, ATTN: Kennisha London, 601 Sawyer Street, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77007

Harvey Single-Family Development (HSFD) Guidelines:
  • Click here to view the draft guidelines about the Harvey Single-Family Development (HSFD) Program 
These Harvey Single-Family Development (HSFD) Program draft guidelines are available for review and public comment from Monday, November 26, 2018 through Wednesday, December 26, 2018. Public comments may be submitted by email to:  Kennisha.London@houstontx.gov or by mail to: HCDD, ATTN: Kennisha London, 601 Sawyer Street, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77007

Harvey Homebuyer Assistance Program (HBAP) Guidelines:
  • Click here to view the draft guidelines about the Harvey Homebuyer Assistance Program (HBAP) Guidelines.
The Harvey Single Family Development (HSFD) Program draft guidelines are available for review and public comment from Friday, November 16, 2018 through Sunday, December 16, 2018. Public comments may be submitted by email to:  Kennisha.London@houstontx.gov or by mail to: HCDD, ATTN: Kennisha London, 601 Sawyer Street, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77007

Multifamily Guidelines:
  • Click here to view the draft guidelines about the Disaster Recovery (DR-17) Multifamily Rental Program 
The multifamily draft guidelines is available for review and public comment from Thursday, November 8, 2018 through Saturday, December 8, 2018. Public comments may be submitted by email to:  Kennisha.London@houstontx.gov or by mail to: HCDD, ATTN: Kennisha London, 601 Sawyer Street, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77007

Public Services Guidelines:
  • Click here to view the draft guidelines about the Disaster Recovery Public Services Program Guidelines 
These Public Services draft guidelines are available for review and public comment from Monday, November 19, 2018 through Wednesday, December 19, 2018. Public comments may be submitted by email to:  Kennisha.London@houstontx.gov or by mail to: HCDD, ATTN: Kennisha London, 601 Sawyer Street, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77007
Upcoming Events

Please refer to Council Martin's District E  website for location, time and more event details. Email the District E office if you would like us to include your upcoming event in future newsletters! 

City Wides

December 11
Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee

December 24
Christmas Eve - CITY HOLIDAY (All City Offices Closed)

December 25
Christmas - CITY HOLIDAY (All City Offices Closed)

January 1
New Years Day - CITY HOLIDAY (All City Offices Closed)

Kingwood 

December 1
Kingwood Electronic Waste Recycling

December 12
Kingwood Service Association Public Safety Committee

December 19
Kingwood Super Neighborhood

Southeast Houston/Clear Lake 

December 8
Clear Lake Electronic Waste Recycling 

December 13 
Meadowcreek Village Civic Club Meeting