May 2022
Greetings!

The future shines bright in Precinct 4. We recently started construction on new cricket fields at John Paul Landing Park and formed a variety of programs this summer to keep you and your family entertained. The warm weather provides plenty of opportunities for families to enjoy the great outdoors. Cool off in Precinct 4's three public splash pads at McLendon, Zube, and Nottingham parks. Enjoy the shaded paths of Kleb Woods Preserve, or watch the sunset over the calm waters of John Paul Landing Park. We take pride in maintaining your parks, and I hope our programs and services reflect this commitment.
 
Crime is a problem. For the past three years, District Attorney Kim Ogg has requested more money to hire enough prosecutors to clear Harris County’s criminal case backlog. Until last month, the court's majority denied her requests in the name of “criminal justice reform.”
 
However, Harris County took a small step forward in the fight against crime with Commissioners Court’s recent vote to give an additional $7.5 million to the District Attorney's Office. There is much more to be done!
 
We must stay vigilant as essential services continue to come under attack. We must maintain our parks and roads and ensure that the criminal justice system functions efficiently. We can do it without raising taxes. That's good policy, and I believe that good policies benefit everyone.
 
I look forward to continuing to improve Precinct 4 and serving you. 

Thank you.
 
Commissioners Court Restores
Funding to the District Attorney's Office
New prosecutors are on the way to help clear Harris County’s criminal case backlog. The District Attorney’s Office plans to hire 50 new prosecutors after being given a $7.5 million budget supplement by Commissioners Court last month.
 
In a 4-0 vote, with County Judge Lina Hidalgo abstaining, the court voted in favor of funding for new prosecutor positions and higher starting salaries.
 
District Attorney Kim Ogg says the money will help attract fresh talent to her office by raising the annual salary for entry-level prosecutors to $87,000. The new prosecutors will focus on domestic abuse cases and sex crimes.
 
“With violent crime at a zenith, it is more important than ever to fund prosecutors, the public’s last line of defense against repeat violent offenders,” said Ogg in a statement.
Explore John Paul Landing Education Center
Looking for something fun and free to do over the weekend? Join Harris County Precinct 4 on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to celebrate the reopening of the John Paul Landing Environmental Education Center at 9950 Katy Hockley Road in Cypress.

A ribbon cutting, crafts, games, and prizes will mark the reopening celebration, as well as fishing opportunities, nature activities, food trucks, a DJ, a street performer, and archery.

Originally opened on Feb. 14, 2020, this hidden gem couldn’t receive the fanfare it deserved at the time because of the advent of COVID-19.
 
The education center offers many ways to learn about the wildlife and ecology of the area. Nestled inside the 865-acre park, the center houses several permanent displays, as well as games and activities for all to enjoy. Try your hand at the feather matching game, compare your “wingspan” to those of local birds, explore the Discovery Room, or take part in one of our many nature-related programs. Displays offer a glimpse into the eco-regions of Texas, the local watersheds, and the different layers of a lake.
 
Once you’ve learned about the local environment and its inhabitants, explore the 170-acre lake, fishing piers, trails, and playgrounds.
 
For additional information or to request special assistance, contact John Paul Landing Environmental Education Center at johnpaullanding@hcp4.net or call 713-274-3131. Visit John Paul Landing Environmental Education Center online at hcp4.net/jpl.
Precinct 4 Unveils New Historical Panels
A historical site finally received the recognition it deserved last week, when the Harris County Historical Commission and Precinct 4 unveiled three new interpretive panels at Addicks & Barker Reservoir Park.

The panels mark a crucial route along Buffalo Bayou for Native Americans, Anglo-American colonists, farmworkers, freedmen, and German immigrants. The path was originally used as a trade route for cotton plantation owners and enslaved farm workers to export cotton. German immigrants fleeing European wars later followed the road west to build new communities and farms in coastal and central Texas. After the Juneteenth Declaration of 1865, freedmen leaving plantations headed west along the route to freedom and a new life in Houston.

The panels are the first installment of a proposed program by the Harris County Historical Commission to place approximately 42 illustrated signs throughout the county, highlighting Harris County's fascinating and diverse early history.

Visitors can view the panels at Barker Reservoir Park, off Addicks-Howell Road, near the Army Corp of Engineers building. The interpretive signs were made possible by the Harris County Historical Commission, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Harris County Precinct 4.
Don't Forget to Vote
There's still time to vote in the May 7 local and constitutional amendments election.

Texans will have a chance to vote on two state constitutional amendments. One would provide property tax relief to seniors and those with disabilities, and the other would increase the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 for school district taxes. 

Depending on a voter's home address, other ballot items may include elections for municipal and school district officials, city propositions, and bond measures. 

Election Day is Saturday, May 7, and polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To find a sample ballot, visit harrisvotes.com. 

Those who want to help decide their party's candidate for several local and statewide positions can vote in the March 24 primary runoff and precinct chair election. Early voting runs from Monday, May 16, to Friday, May 20.

Find a polling location near you at harrisvotes.com/WaitTimes, or visit one of these Precinct 4 community centers:

  • Bayland Community Center
  • Tracy Gee Community Center
  • Weekley Community Center
  • Radack Community Center
  • Hockley Community Center

Super Kids Ready to Race Down Harris County Precinct 4’s Derby Hill
Children with special needs showed off their racing skills Saturday, when the Greater Houston Soap Box Derby hosted its annual Super Kids Spring Qualifier at Harris County Precinct 4’s Hockley Recreational Complex.

The Super Kids Spring Qualifier allowed children with physical and mental disabilities to participate in soap box derby racing in a safe and supportive environment. Participants rode in specially built two-person soap box derby cars guided to the finish line by experienced drivers.
The event is part of the National Super Kids Classic and included a practice run, race, and an awards ceremony. The top four winners will return on Saturday, May 7, to compete in the championship race. The winner will advance to the National Super Kids Classic at the Derby Downs track in Akron, Ohio.
Harris County Precinct 4’s derby hill has identical dimensions to the All-American Soap Box Derby’s “Derby Downs” in Akron. It spans 989 feet from start to the finish line, with an elevation of 46.5 feet above the finish line and a 16% grade at its steepest.
Volunteers with the Greater Houston Soap Box Derby have hosted soap box derby races at Hockley Recreational Complex since 2010, including races for special needs children, families, seniors, and others. To see a lineup of upcoming events, visit ghsbd.org/.
Tracy Gee Community Center Director Melissa Venegas wins Women of Westchase Award
Harris County Precinct 4 features many excellent employees, but this month we want to spotlight Melissa Venegas, director of the Tracy Gee Community Center.

Houston City Council Member Tiffany Thomas recently named Venegas a “Woman of Westchase,” based on Venegas’ track record of service in the Westchase District of Southwest Houston.

Venegas has organized townhall meetings, elected official meet and greets, educational seminars, banquets for outstanding high school students, pandemic and Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, and more at the Tracy Gee Center.

Precinct 4’s Tracy Gee Center sits in the heart of the Westchase area, a business district and neighborhood in west Houston. The district is bounded by Westheimer Road on the north, Gessner Road on the east, Houston Center Boulevard on the west, and Westpark Tollway on the south.

A longtime Alief resident and Alief ISD alumni, Venegas has worked at the Tracy Gee Community Center since early 2009, starting as the assistant director and advancing to director in March 2015.
Serving Our Communities
Help for your community is only a phone call away. Precinct 4’s Community Assistance Department makes it easier and more convenient for community groups to navigate county government. Our employees address constituent concerns, answer questions, fulfill repair and maintenance requests, and serve as liaisons with other county departments.

Wondering whether your community qualifies for road maintenance? If your subdivision is on a public road in an unincorporated area of Harris County, it most likely does. Contact CAD to request roadway repairs or maintenance projects like street cleaning or sign replacement.

Precinct 4 employees are also available to speak at community events to inform residents about all the county offers. Book a speaker today to learn how to make the most of your county government.

Speakers Bureau members specialize in the following topics:

• Your Guide to Harris County Government and Your County Commissioner
• Fun Programs for Senior Adults in Precinct 4
• How Harris County Roads are Built and Maintained
• Harris County Precinct 4’s Role in the Office of Emergency Management

Book a speaker by visiting us online at hcp4.net/speakersbureau.

Contact Information:

Phone: 832-927-4444
Email: service@hcp4.net

Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Precinct 4 Events
Police Memorial Ceremony
Join Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle and former U.S. Rep. Ted Poe for the 8th Annual Police Memorial Ceremony on Monday, May 16, at 9 a.m., at the Richard & Meg Weekley Community Center, 8440 Greenhouse Road in Cypress.
For more information, call 713-274-4050.
Memorial Day Ceremony
In tribute to those service members who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, Commissioners Tom S. Ramsey and R. Jack Cagle invite the public to join them at their 2022 Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, at 2 p.m. at the war memorial at Bear Creek Park, 3535 War Memorial St., Houston. For more information about the event, call 713-274-4050.
Summer Reading Program Kickoff
Dive into your summer of reading and experience an ocean of stories at the Harris County Precinct 4 and Harris County Public Library Summer Reading Program Kickoff on Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mary Jo Peckham Park, 5597 Gardenia Lane in Katy. Play giant lawn games, create deep sea crafts, join special guests for story time, and more.