September 2022


Adopting the tax rate remains one of a commissioner’s most important duties. Although some residents may not realize it, property taxes affect everyone, including renters, whose rental rates often increase with taxes. When we set the tax rate too high, we overburden homeowners, hinder home ownership, and slow economic growth. 

As Commissioners Court prepares to adopt a tax rate and new budget, I want to reiterate my beliefs on taxes. 

Government should hold first the view of the taxpayer, not the tax spender. Our communities had to tighten their belts after Harvey and the pandemic. Government should do likewise.

Additionally, on Nov. 8, voters will decide whether to approve another bond proposal for roads and bridges, parks, and public infrastructure. Although I support roads and bridges, parks, and public safety, I voted against proposing this particular bond for five reasons. 

First, I believe that skyrocketing inflation and a weakened economy have left many residents unable to take on a new tax burden at this time. Additionally, the bond package does not identify specific projects and how they may benefit voters. In the past few years, spending at the county level has risen dramatically. Before we ask for more money, we owe the public an explanation detailing how – and where – we plan to use new bond funds. 

I also question why we plan to spend more than a million dollars on public engagement for a $1.2 billion bond when we only spent $250,000 on the $2.5 billion flood bond. Basically, we plan to spend four times more on a bond half the size. It just doesn’t pass the smell test.

Additionally, nearly $200 million remains unissued from the 2015 bond. Why ask the public for more money when we still have funds on the table?

Finally, why push for this bond now when we have so many other pressing items to address? We need to preserve our bonding capacity so that we can fund the big-ticket items in the future.

If you want to learn more about the bond, check out the article below. We include details about how much each precinct may receive and how you can participate in the next election.

In this issue, I also commend your Precinct 4 team for helping extinguish two wildfires during the worst of the drought. These brave employees not only maintain your parks and roads; they also serve as first responders. I encourage you to learn more below about how your Precinct 4 team helps protect your parks, streets, and communities. As always, we work for you!


Voters to Decide on $1.2 Billion Bond

In a 3-2 vote, a majority on Commissioners Court voted to include a $1.2 billion bond referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot for roads and bridges. parks, and public infrastructure.

If approved, a Harris County homeowner with a $300,000 home would see their tax bill rise $32 the first year, according to the Harris County Budget Office. But that amount could increase over the bond’s 25-year term as property values rise. 

The bond proposal includes $900 million for infrastructure and drainage, $200 million for parks, and $100 million for public safety infrastructure. Commissioners Court did not specify how the proceeds would be divided among the four precincts. County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at least $220 million would go to each precinct, leaving the remainder under the majority’s control.


Commissioners R. Jack Cagle and Tom S. Ramsey voted against the measure, arguing the bond package did not identify specific projects. Noting rising property taxes, inflation, and a weakened economy from the pandemic, Cagle argued that now is not the time to ask residents to open their wallets. He added that Harris County has nearly $200 million in unspent funds from a parks and road bond package issued seven years ago.

Additionally, he noted that the majority voted to spend more than a million dollars on public engagement for the $1.2 billion bond, but the court only spent $250,000 on the $2.5 billion flood bond. 

Finally, he cautioned against spending now, when the county has at least two major projects to address in the future, namely the barrier reef, the largest civil engineering project ever proposed in the United States, and an underground tunnel system to reduce flooding. Both projects will likely take billions of dollars and several decades to complete. 

Voters can cast their ballot for or against the bond on Nov. 8. Early voting begins Oct. 24. Find a polling location near you here.

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All4Fun Brings More to Residents

Precinct 4 now offers better events and programs for children and families, thanks to its new nonprofit, All4Fun. 

For nearly 21 years, the Fun4Seniors nonprofit has supported Precinct 4's senior adult program by providing food for luncheons, classroom supplies, event tickets, and more. 

But as the precinct grew, Precinct 4 employees saw the need to support more residents. 

"Our former nonprofit, Fun4Seniors, has unofficially supported many of our programs,” said Kathy Perez, the director of Recreation & Community Centers. "After redistricting, we decided it was time to expand our nonprofit to kids and families."

Perez explained that Harris County prohibits employees from spending county resources on consumable items. Unfortunately, that restriction left some county employees struggling to pay for basic program materials. 

"Many bought food and snacks with their own money," said Perez.

Precinct 4 employees can now provide more of what residents love. All4Fun supplies items like snacks, refreshments, art supplies, and party decorations for festivals and events. It also provides educational materials, sports equipment, and musical instruments for residents to borrow at Precinct 4 community centers.

"We basically pay for anything the county budget doesn't support," Perez said. 


Becky Newman, the director of the Steve Radack Community Center, said the extra funding has allowed the center to provide more art classes, bus trips, luncheons, and festivals. Most recently, the nonprofit paid for food and decorations and offered additional staff support for Precinct 4's first International Festival. 


"The support has been phenomenal," she said. "Now we're able to do more for the community."


Melissa Venegas, the director of the Tracy Gee Community Center, said All4Fun allowed her to provide treats like pizza and ice cream to children in the Summer Kids Program.


"Having the funds to be able to purchase materials, arts and crafts has been such a help," she said.


The nonprofit has left a mark on the precinct in other ways as well. In less than a year, it has made a slew of donations, including:


  • a classic book collection for the Tracy Gee library to introduce readers to classic literature. 
  •  equipment for residents to borrow at the new pickleball courts at Weekley Community Center. 
  • ukuleles for residents to check out at Glazier Senior Center. 


All4Fun also supports the Houston Area Live Steamers by paying for train equipment and maintenance at Zube Park. Additionally, seniors can purchase discounted tickets from All4Fun to the rodeo and sporting events. With All4Fun, seniors can skip the line and focus on having fun by paying for their event tickets in advance through the nonprofit.


"You always hear about the Precinct 4 sparkle," said Perez. "We're that. Our community center staff members already know how to host luncheons, dances, and events. They've been doing it for years. But we can add a little extra – that sparkle to make our events truly unique."

Pickleball Court Opens at Weekley Community Center

Athletes of all ages and abilities can now play one of America's fastest-growing sports at the Richard & Meg Weekley Community Center in Cypress.

Commissioner R. Jack Cagle opened three outdoor pickleball courts at the center on Aug. 9 to create new recreational opportunities for residents. Visitors can stop by the Weekley Community Center to check out equipment and take introductory pickleball lessons.

Construction on the $77,000 project began in May. It includes a paved 102-by-64-foot playing area divided into three courts, plus a nearby picnic bench. The project was funded by Precinct 3, and Precinct 4 built the courts. The Weekley Community Center was in Precinct 3 but moved to Precinct 4 following redistricting in 2021.

Pickleball, a combination of tennis, ping pong, and badminton, is one of America's fastest-growing sports, with 4.8 million players, according to The Sports & Fitness Industry Association. For more information, visit USA Pickleball, the sport's governing body, at

The Weekley Community Center is at 8440 Greenhouse Road, Cypress TX 77433. 

Responding to Emergencies

Precinct 4 road and bridge crews don’t just assist first responders; they are first responders. 

When two grass fires broke out near Precinct 4 parks only a week apart, crews were on scene fighting the blazes alongside firefighters.

The first fire ignited near Paul D. Rushing Park on July 26.

“Our crews were out removing trash on our roadways, mowing, and other vital tasks in the Precinct 4 area,” said Mark Noski, assistant superintendent of Precinct 4’s Road & Bridge Department at the Tomball Service Center. “But a little before 3 p.m., a call was received of a grass fire gaining ground in the Katy/Hockley area with Paul D. Rushing Park in its path.” 

Crews responded with water trucks and ground support from Katy, Hockley, and Tomball. While road and bridge workers attempted to extinguish the fire, parks staff cleared vegetation to keep the fire from spreading. Within a few hours, the team and firefighters from Cy-Fair and Waller County quashed the blaze before it could damage Rushing Park.

The second fire broke out near Dyess Park on Aug. 4, killing one man. 

Precinct 4 crews from Tomball, Bear Creek, and Hockley Camp arrived on the scene in less than an hour with water trucks and dozers to clear brush. Precinct 4 employees fought to protect a nearby home and prevented the fire from spreading to Dyess Park.

Because of their quick thinking, the fires were extinguished before they could spread. 

“With the fast efforts from our fire departments, parks, and road and bridge crews – and police holding traffic to allow equipment to be brought in – the fire was extinguished within a few hours,” said Noski. “As always, Precinct 4 is ready and willing to be of assistance to our fire and police departments and, most of all, our community.”

Discover Classic Books At

The Tracy Gee Community Center

Are you looking for a new reading challenge? Check out Commissioner’s Classics Corner at the Tracy Gee Community Center library. The collection includes literary works from some of the most famous philosophers, political theorists, and novelists in history -- including Plato, Aristotle, and other greats.

Need classic books for school or college? Classic books are also available at Maud Marks Library in Katy and the Barbara Bush Library in Precinct 3.


The books were donated by All4Fun, Harris County Precinct 4’s nonprofit. Click here to hear a special message from Melissa Venegas at the Tracy Gee Community Center.

Monarch Butterflies Begin Fall Migration

September marks the beginning of monarch migration season, and Texas is one of the most important waystations for butterflies to rest and refuel. 

From September to November each year, more than 500,000 monarch butterflies travel thousands of miles south to warmer climates. 

Unfortunately, there may be fewer butterflies filling the skies this year. The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently listed migratory monarch butterflies as endangered, citing habitat loss from climate change, drought, and wildfires as factors in their decline. 

Despite this, you may see a few monarchs fluttering around nectar-rich gardens and local parks this fall.

Kleb Woods Preserve and John Paul Landing are great places to find migrating butterflies. The parks feature butterfly-friendly plants, like milkweed, butterfly bush, and lantana, known to attract hungry monarchs. And, with the recent rain, wildflowers may be on the way. 


Want to learn more about monarch butterflies? Join staff naturalists for a discussion on migration on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 10 to 11 a.m. and from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Kleb Woods Preserve.

John Paul Landing will host A Closer Look at Nature: Pollinators on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 2 to 3 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 to 11 a.m. 

For more information, visit

You can help track monarchs here:

Precinct 4 Events

Shakespeare’s Henry V

Multiple dates and locations

Join Harris County Precinct 4 for live Shakespeare theater performances of Henry V on Friday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. at the War Memorial Pavilion in Bear Creek Park, 3535 War Memorial St. in Houston.  

Additional performances are on Friday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Tracy Gee Community Center and on Friday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Richard and Meg Weekley Community Center.

Oktoberfest Celebration at Hockley Community Center

Thursday, Oct. 6, noon – 2 p.m.

Grab your dirndl or lederhosen and join us for this year’s Oktoberfest, featuring typical German food, non-alcoholic beverages, carnival-style games, music, and a little yodeling. A raffle will be included in the fun. Stop by the center with your $10 check made out to “All4Fun” to get a ticket. 

Fall Harvest Festival at Bear Creek Park, Pavilion 6

Saturday, Oct. 29, noon – 4 p.m. 


Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon featuring free activities for all ages. Activities include pony rides, a petting zoo, carnival games, a pumpkin patch, and more. Come in costume and join the fun. The festival is at pavilion 6 in Bear Creek Pioneers Park, 15015 Clay Road in Houston. 

Polish Heritage Day in the Park at John Paul Landing

Saturday, Oct. 29, at 10:30 a.m. 


The event includes Wawel dancers, children's activities, fishing, authentic Polish food, a tree planting ceremony, and more. Don’t miss a special program by the Nicolaus Copernicus Polish School. There will also be pierogi and kielbasa provided. Whether you want to celebrate your heritage or experience another culture, we want to see you. 

Click For More Events ⇦
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