January 2021

Many of us experienced loss, financial hardship, sickness, or emotional turmoil in 2020. But we also celebrated a few triumphs along the way, made sweeter by the struggles.

Although we stayed physically apart, many of us came together to help friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers struggling with the pandemic's physical, emotional, and financial tolls. 

I take great pride in your Precinct 4 staff members who overcame countless obstacles to continue serving residents. We completed two new roads, expanded our trail system, and responded to thousands of work order requests from people like you. In addition to their usual duties, your Precinct 4 team worked with community partners to provide masks, hand sanitizer, and food to vulnerable first responders and the public.

To reduce flooding in Kingwood's Elm Grove neighborhood, Commissioners Court unanimously approved an agreement with the City of Houston to buy land in Montgomery County linked to flooding in downstream communities. We hope to use the land for flood mitigation projects to protect Harris County residents long into the future. I'm proud of all the work that went into this agreement, and I look forward to seeing these flood mitigation projects come to fruition.

Although I view these accomplishments with peace, I also look forward to a new year filled with opportunities of joy. My colleagues and I welcomed Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey to Commissioners Court on Jan. 1. As many of you know, Tom served as the mayor of Spring Valley Village and spent decades as a civil engineer. I'm confident the court will benefit from his leadership and expertise in flood control and other areas. 

I also want to recognize the contributions of Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack. Steve has been a fearless advocate for Harris County residents – especially for those in his Precinct 3 -- for more than 30 years. A former police officer and constable, Steve was an unwavering friend to law enforcement and crime victims throughout his career. I also count him as a friend and ally for the nearly 10 years I have been honored to serve beside him on Commissioners Court. Happy “retirement” to him as he straps on new and exciting ways to serve our community.  

Read more below to discover some of the ways we have grown in 2020 and our plans for the new year.

State Parks Department to Deliver
Thousands of Trout to Precinct 4 Parks
Holiday gift-giving continues in style for Harris County anglers in January, with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department delivering 7,500 rainbow trout to six Precinct 4 parks to keep local fishing amply supplied during the otherwise slow winter season.

State parks officials have scheduled the following drop-offs for Thursday, Jan. 14, and Friday, Jan. 15, although exact times are not yet available. 

  • Bane Park, 9600 W. Little York Road in Houston – 1,070 trout.
  • Burroughs Park, 9738 Hufsmith Road in Tomball – 1,430 trout.
  • Dennis Johnston Park, 709 Riley Fuzzel Road in Spring – 1,430 trout. 
  • Meyer Park, 7700 Cypresswood Drive in Spring – 1,070 trout.
  • Pundt Park, 4129 Spring Creek Drive in Spring – 1,430 trout.
  • Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve, 20215 Chasewood Park Drive in Houston – 1,070 trout.

Delivery times will vary, depending on the parks department’s schedule. Anglers are encouraged to take advantage of rainbow trout fishing opportunities while they last, as rainbow trout are only available during the winter. Parks officials recommend using cheese, kernel corn, nightcrawlers, red wigglers, and meal worms to catch trout. Suggested lures include a small inline spinnerbait or a spoon. 

Precinct 4's Year in Review
From building trails to improving traffic, Precinct 4 had a busy year in 2020. Despite COVID-19-related hardships, staff members came together to bring new roads, recreational amenities, and protective gear to residents.

Here are just a few of our most significant accomplishments:

  • Processed 7,666 resident requests, as of Dec. 9.
  • Completed 4,422 work order requests, ranging from repairing potholes to replacing missing signs.
  • Distributed tens of thousands of masks and hundreds of gallons of hand sanitizer, served in multiple food distribution events, and worked with local businesses to distribute personal protective equipment.
  • Upgraded more than 3 miles of roadway and completed four traffic signal and intersection improvement projects and one corridor improvement project.
  • Completed two major road projects: Champions Drive between FM 1960 and Cypress Creek; and Gosling Road Segment 2 between West Mossy Oaks and West Rayford Road.
  • Planted 2,018 trees throughout Precinct 4 and gave away 1,679 trees to residents.
  • The Texas A&M Forest Service designated Precinct 4’s Kissing Tree a "Famous Tree of Texas" in April 2020.
  • Built nearly 5 miles of new trails and replaced and rejuvenated at least another 10 trail miles at Jones Park, Mercer Botanic Gardens, Collins Park, Faulkey Gully, Matzke Park, and along the Spring Creek Greenway.
  • Completed the restoration of the pond behind the D. Bradley McWilliams YMCA along Highway 249.
  • Broke ground on Alabonson Park and installed 4,000 feet of water line and 1,000 feet of electrical pipe there.
  • Worked with the City of Tomball to complete Broussard Park, which adjoins Precinct 4's Mathews Park.

Five Overwintering Animals at Jones Park
Now that winter is here, the days are shorter, temperatures are lower, and many plants have died back. While some animals migrate south or enter a hibernation-like state called brumation, others remain active.

Jones Park features plenty of wildlife to see throughout the winter. So next time you visit the park, look out for these five types of visitors.

Commissioners Court Vote Paves Way for Flood Mitigation Projects in Unfinished Montgomery County Development
Woodridge Village to Become Stormwater
Detention Facility, Wastewater Treatment Plant
Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously on Dec. 15 to partner with the City of Houston to buy Woodridge Village, a 268-acre unfinished development north of Kingwood in Montgomery County. The vote came after Houston City Council approved the agreement at its Dec. 9 meeting.

The agreement will provide relief for residents in Kingwood's Elm Grove subdivision. An investigation in 2019 found that the Woodridge Village development contributed to flooding in the subdivision in May 2019 and during Tropical Storm Imelda, affecting approximately 600 residents.

To reduce flood risk, Harris County plans to build a regional stormwater detention facility on the property, and the city will build a wastewater treatment plant. The city and county pledged to jointly maintain most of the land, except for 73 acres that will be owned solely by the city. 

As part of the agreement, the county will buy the property for $14 million, about $5 million below its appraised value, from Figure Four Partners, a subsidiary of Perry Homes.

The deal also requires the city to implement tougher drainage restrictions within its borders and extraterritorial jurisdiction. A stipulation of the agreement requires the city to adopt detention and fill requirements based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's “Atlas 14” data, which the county implemented in 2019. The data reflects rainfall rates updated by NOAA for the first time in more than 60 years.

To view the agreement, click here.
‘Operation Finally Home’ Surprises Veteran at Meyer Park
The best gifts are often the most unexpected.

Army Staff Sgt. Stephen Netzley and his daughter were visiting Precinct 4's Meyer Park in November when they noticed a parade of decorated vehicles approaching.

Their surprise quickly turned to joy when representatives with Operation Finally Home, the Houston Texans, Perry Homes, and The Howard Hughes Corporation emerged to inform them that they would receive a custom-built, mortgage-free home in Cypress.

Netzley said knowing that his family will always have a home offered him peace of mind and security.

"It's going to be in an amazing neighborhood in a very safe place," he said. "Hopefully, a place we can live in at least the rest of my life. It's everything I could have asked for."

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Moves
Global Headquarters to Texas
Hewlett Packard Enterprise recently announced plans to move its global headquarters from San Jose, Calif., to a new campus in Spring, fueling jobs and boosting economic growth across the region. 

The new campus will open in early 2022 in the master-planned Springwoods Village community. HPE already has a significant presence across Texas, with locations in Austin, Plano, and Houston. Its Houston campus is home to more than 2,600 employees and is the company's largest employment hub. 

Founded in 2015 following its separation from HP, Inc., the global information technology company ranks No. 109 on the list of Fortune 500 companies. It joins more than 50 other Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Lone Star State, including 22 in the Houston area.
Tom Ramsey Joins Commissioners
Court as Precinct 3 Commissioner
Commissioner R. Jack Cagle welcomed Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey to the Harris County Commissioners Court on Jan. 1. Ramsey replaced Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack, who announced in late 2019 that he would not seek reelection.

Ramsey was endorsed by Cagle, Radack, and Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman, and was elected in the Nov. 3 general election with 52% of the vote.

Ramsey says he supports lower taxes, better flood control infrastructure, and safer communities. 

Ramsey has served as a civil engineer, senior executive, and mayor of Spring Valley Village since 2012. He is also a businessman who has led companies over his 42-year career. 

Ramsey and his wife, Marsha, are longtime Spring Branch residents, residing in Precinct 3 for 30 years. Five of his seven grandchildren are also Precinct 3 residents.  
Upcoming Events
Precinct 4 Encore! Presents All Shook Up Virtual Concert
Harris County Precinct 4 Encore! invites everyone to sing, party, and dance along to a virtual performance by the king himself, Elvis impersonator Ralph Elizondo. Tune in to the All Shook Up Virtual Concert on Friday, Jan. 8, at noon on Precinct 4’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HCPrecinct4. For more information, call 713-274-4050.
Pioneer Campfire at Jones Park
Spend an evening around the campfire on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 5:30 p.m. at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center as renowned storyteller Dan Gordon leads an interactive journey through Adventures in Storyland. Reservations required beginning Wednesday, Dec. 30. Park Volunteers (JJPV) welcomes applications from interested participants. For more information, call 281-446-8588 or visit www.hcp4.net/jones.