Houston-Galveston Area Council Newsletter        February 2020
January Board of Directors Meeting
During the January Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Director's meeting, the board considered and approved several items of regional significance.

The board voted unanimously to accept the Houston-Galveston Area Council's first-ever Regional Housing Plan. This high-level plan is the first step in identifying shared challenges and exploring ways H-GAC can support the efforts of the region’s local governments in achieving a range of housing choices that will sustain their future needs.  For more information on the Regional Houston Plan visit H-GAC's website .

The board authorized the increase of the total amount for the Commuter and Transit Pilot Program agreement with the City of Conroe by $476,066 for three years of Park and Ride services.

The board also voted to recognize the month of January as Parks and Natural Areas Month in support of the agency's Parks and Natural Areas Awards program .

The next board of directors meeting is February 18, 2020, at 10 a.m. at the Houston-Galveston Area Council located at 3555 Timmons Lane in Houston. For more information on H-GAC's board of directors, past meeting agendas or minutes, or to find dates for future meetings ,  visit H-GAC's website.
H-GAC Honors Mayor Tom Reid with Regional Leadership Award
Tom Reid Excellence in Regional Leadership Award
From left to right: Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Executive Director Chuck Wemple; Pearland Mayor Tom Reid; Brazoria County Commissioner Stacy Adams and H-GAC past chair (2019)
H-GAC honored long-time Pearland Mayor Tom Reid with the inaugural Tom Reid Excellence in Regional Leadership Award during its annual meeting. The award recognizes excellence in regional leadership and honors individuals that served the H-GAC board of directors and its 13-county region by demonstrating superlative leadership to the Houston-Galveston area.

The award will recognize future board members that show outstanding leadership to the region. Notable leaders will be instrumental in supporting the agency’s mission to work with cities and counties to make the region a great place to live, work, and thrive. 
Houston-Galveston Area Council Elects 2020 Board Officers
On Jan. 24, H-GAC announced the election of its new officers to the 2020 board of directors at its annual meeting and general assembly. The agency’s board of directors is composed of 36 elected officials representing 13 counties, 107 cities, and 11 school districts.

Serving on the H-GAC board since 2014, City of Waller Councilmember Nancy Arnold (pictured) will lead the organization as chair. As chair, Arnold will preside over monthly board meetings that take place on the third Tuesday of each month. Wharton County Judge Phillip Spenrath will also be at the helm as
chair-elect alongside City of Dickinson Councilmember William King, III as vice-chair. The keynote speaker for the annual meeting was Judge Albert M. McCaig, Jr. of the 506 th Judicial District Court of Texas. 
Draft 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program Public Meeting
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a program of funded transportation projects that are scheduled for implementation in the next four years. This includes transit, bicyclist/pedestrian, highway, and air quality projects and programs that will start in 2021-2024 in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties.

In addition to providing project information, the TIP must also be balanced with proposed programming and the anticipated available revenue. This public meeting is your opportunity to comment on the projects that have been identified for funding.

Thursday, March 5, 2020
1:30-3 p.m.* and 6-7:30 p.m.
Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, TX, 77027
Second Floor, Conference Room B
*1:30 p.m. meeting will be livestreamed on H-GAC's website.

For more information about the TIP and the upcoming public meeting, visit the TIP website .

Brown Bag Lunch Series February 24 Speaker - Michael Zientek
We've prepared a new line up of guest speakers for the 2020 Transportation Brown Bag Lunch Series. The first Brown Bag Luncheon will be held on Feb. 24.

Micheal Zientek is the senior public involvement representative for the US 290 program. The US 290 program is one of the most important road projects in the Greater Houston area, with an anticipated corridor population increase from 688,000 to 1.1 million by the year 2040. Construction is now close to completion on almost all of the program’s 13 projects and though construction is anticipated to be completed by late 2020.

This luncheon will be held at the Houston-Galveston Area Council located at 3555 Timmons Lane in Conference Room B, 2nd Floor from noon to 1 p.m. Bring your lunch and a friend!
The WISE Awards Application Period Closes February 6
The Houston-Galveston Area Council will accept Water Innovation Strategies of Excellence (WISE) Awards applications through Feb. 6.
The WISE Awards are a new initiative honoring innovative strategies and projects in the Houston-Galveston region that serve as models for improving water quality in four categories: Planning and Policy; Education and Public Awareness; Built Project (Greater than $500K); and Built Project (Less than $500K). Winning projects must exhibit efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation.
For more information, visit the Wise Awards website or e-mail Kathy Janhsen .
Parks and Natural Areas Summit and Awards Ceremony - February 14
Save the date for the  Parks and Natural Areas Summit and Awards Ceremony  from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 14, 2020, at H-GAC in Conference Room B, 2nd Floor. The summit will include presentations on topics and trends related to parks and natural areas.

The event will also include the annual Parks and Natural Areas Awards recognition ceremony. These projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region. Projects will be honored in three categories: Planning Process, On-the-Ground Projects Over $500,000, and On-the-Ground Projects Under $500,000. 

Online registration  is requested. For more information, contact  Andrea Tantillo .
Galveston Region Employment and Transition Expo Helps Parents with Special Needs Students
Many parents of special needs students are left wondering what to do next once their student finishes high school. Workforce Solutions, Galveston County employers, and local school districts and universities are stepping in to help answer their questions at the Galveston Region Employment and Transition Expo on Feb. 6.

The event is a chance to make connections with services and support in the community that will help students succeed entering adulthood. Among those scheduled to attend: Workforce Solutions Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Hope Village, ARC of the Gulf Coast, College of the Mainland, SoleAna Stables, Bloom Consulting, and BBVA.

Thursday, February 6, 2020
4:00 – 7:00 P.M.
Charles T. Doyle Convention Center
2010 Fifth Avenue North
Texas City, TX 77590
H-GAC is Hiring!
Home to more than 7 million people, the Houston-Galveston region is one of the fastest-growing and most diverse regions in the country. Making sure the region remains one of the nation’s leading places to live, work, and prosper doesn’t just happen—it takes planning and partnerships. If you are looking for a career where you can help make a difference in urban, suburban, and rural communities, the Houston-Galveston Area Council has exciting opportunities for you. For more information or to apply for a job, visit the careers page on H-GAC's website .