Recently I attended an all day forum sponsored by the City of Galveston, the Galveston Independent School District, the Galveston Police Department and facilitated by the Department of Justice. The goal of the forum was to develop a plan to strengthen Police and Community Partnerships.
The attendees represented the many diversified segments of our community and throughout the day the participants divided into different study groups to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Police - Community relationships, to make recommendations for improvement and develop an implementation plan to make the recommendations a reality.
The discussion was lively and at times very frank but always respectful.
Strengths were many and included the identification of Police Officers as dedicated, hardworking and respectful of the community. One common strength that was identified by almost all of the participants was the support and respect that the community has for our Police Chief, Vernon Hale, and the positive impact that the Citizens Police Academy has on our community.
Weaknesses that were identified included the need for better communication between the Police, City Management and the Community. Concerns such as the retention of officers and the need to determine the adequate number of officers, taking into consideration available funding, were identified. The desire to have improved resources for individuals with mental health concerns was also part of the discussion.
The findings and an action plan for implementation will be presented to the City, UTMB and other organizations soon to better our community.
For me the Forum was not only educational but also inspiring. It confirmed what I think we all realize and that is that we live in a very diversified community that is respectful of each other and is always striving to make things better for us all.
Angela and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays filled with wonderful Partnerships !
Thanks to all who attended our first Volunteer meeting and a special Thank You to Becky Major for hosting. Our campaign kick-off party will be on January 9th at The Conservatory of The Bryan Museum and we will be sending out more information and invites in December.
Recently Council made new appointments to the Cultural Arts Commission and amended their ordinance to include the management of all Art Projects for the City of Galveston.
At that same Council meeting the topics of allocating more funds for Public Art and the selection of an official City Flag were discussed.
Council was supportive of both topics and asked the Commission to come back to Council with specific recommendations within 90 days.
To view the revised ordinance establishing the goals of the Cultural Arts Commission please CLICK HERE.
Port of Galveston
The Port is extremely busy and as a result of these activities many Port related projects have come before Council recently. The following are just a few of the many projects that are currently being discussed.
Port Master Plan: The Master Plan for the Port has been discussed with the Wharves Board, Council and the Public and will continue to be discussed with all entities this month. Once approved, the Plan will serve as the guiding document for future growth of the Port. Currently Cruise Line activities are expanding, but once the third Cruise Terminal is completed the funds from the Cruise Business will be leveraged to expand the cargo and industrial components of the Port, to maintain a diversified revenue stream.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal: The contract governing the construction of the new Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal at Pier 10 is almost finalized. The final approval should take place by the Wharves Board and the Council in December. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in April of ‘20 with completion in November of ‘21.
Port Payment to the City: When the Royal Caribbean Contract is finalized for a Third Cruise Terminal, the City will initiate a Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU ) that obligates payments from the Port to the City. Council has supported a minimum of $300,000 annually from the Port or more if a passenger tariff generates an amount over the base amount. The payment would begin once the first ship arrives at the new Terminal.
For more details on all these subjects and more, please CLICK HERE to review the Port Director’s Report.
City Manager Report
Ho Ho Ho ! I know you have all been good this year so look what Santa brought you, the latest version of the City Manager Report. Please CLICK HERE.
Holiday with the Cranes
One of the best events of the year will take place this month. Holiday with the Cranes, sponsored by the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council, will take place December 14 -15. Sharing your Holiday Season with our own Sandhill Cranes is a wonderful experience for all ages.
At a recent Park Board meeting and at a presentation to Council in November the Park Board presented its Capital Improvement Plan for this fiscal year
The Plan focuses on over 1 million Dollars of Improvements at Seawolf Park, Drainage Improvements at Stewart Beach and upgrades to the East End Lagoon.
For more details of the Park Board’s planned expenditures for this year please CLICK HERE.
Gulf Coast Water Authority
At Council’s November 14 meeting Brandon Wade, General Manager and CEO of the Gulf Coast Water Authority ( GCWA ), visited with Council to update us on the status of our water supply.
Established in 1965 by the State Legislature the GCWA supplies water to Brazoria, Fort Bend and Galveston Counties from the Brazos River Basin.
The City of Galveston uses approximately 21 million gallons of water per day and the recent water conservation measures enacted by Council recently have been very successful in lowering the amount of water used.
Water is a valuable commodity and Mr. Wade mentioned that rates will increase in the future but Galveston does have the privilege of paying less for water than other communities.
CLICK HERE to view the main points of Mr. Wade’s Presentation.
Coastal Barrier and Ring Levee
Over the month of November I have attended multiple presentations by the Army Corps of Engineers concerning the Coastal Barrier and Ring Levee.
On November 19th the Corps gave a very comprehensive presentation to the Wharves Board as to the current status of the project. Public input is still being taken and more public meetings are planned for October of ‘20, with the completion of the Plan scheduled for May of ‘21.
To view the latest information from the Corps please CLICK HERE.
The City is in the process of developing an updated Master Drainage Plan for the Island and one step in this direction is Council’s recent approval of the acquisition of land at 10 South Shore Drive on English Bayou and the approval of a firm to perform hydraulics and hydrology studies for 14th Street.
These projects are designed to develop more successful outfalls and provide preparatory information for the acquisition of pumps to assist drainage.
More details concerning this Drainage Plan will be forthcoming in future Newsletters.
City Council Snippets
A Big Thank You to the Moody Foundation for a $500,000 Grant to the City for a Park, West of City Hall
Congratulations to Dr. Jackie Cole for Receiving the Deep Roots Award From the Galveston Island Tree Conservancy
Funds for a New Gymnasium Floor at McGuire Dent Recreational Center Approved by Council
World AIDS Day Recognized by Council on November 14th
City Applying for a TxDot Grant for Airport Runway Repairs
A Statue of Bernardo Galvez is to be Discussed by the Cultural Arts Commission
Council to Review and Amend City Codes for Parking and Animal Control Next Month