Newsletter (November 2019)

District 2 Newsletter

 

I have been thinking about how many issues related to water involve our community. From Coastal Surge Protection and Sea Level Rise to Drainage and Beach Nourishment, the number of water-related topics is increasing from year to year.

 

Recently I had the opportunity to visit with the president of a new business that is starting up here in Galveston. The business’ primary purpose is to develop innovative solutions concerning the analysis and management of flooding and other waterborne concerns.

 

During our discussion, it was mentioned that the control of water is not only preventing its accumulation but to also develop approaches that work with water. And what better place than Galveston to serve as the home for such businesses?

 

With 10% of the world’s population living in low lying coastal areas, new paradigms are being developed when it comes to water management.

 

A new specialty, Amphibious Architecture, has developed to promote the idea that people can’t simply fight against water; they have to learn to live with it and this has spurred research and development into innovative technology that is sorely needed around the world.

 

Right now the main approach in the United States in dealing with rising water is to build higher. Even though this is a workable solution, it takes a toll on the character of neighborhoods and begs the question where does it all end.

 

One of the more innovative solutions that some communities are discussing around the world is buoyant foundations or Amphibious Structures, where a home is either retrofitted or included in a new build that allows a home to float if the water rises. In normal conditions the home looks like any other on a normal foundation but can move with the water, if needed.

 

With Amphibious Construction water becomes your friend and involves developing a symbiosis with water instead of being in competition with it.

 

Where all of these innovative ideas are heading is anyone’s guess but Galveston is a perfect incubator for Water Management Companies which will benefit the Island as well as the world.

 

Stay dry and Angela and I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Craig

Campaign Update

 

Our campaign for Mayor is building rapidly and wanted to share with you the next steps. The Website and Social Media will be live in December and ready to connect with you to get your feedback so that you are heard and involved in building a bright future for the Island we all love.

 

You may also request a yard sign to be delivered to you in February, as well as sign up to volunteer or contribute to our effort.

 

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.

Port of Galveston Budget

 

The Port of Galveston differs from the City in that their fiscal year is the same as the calendar year. Because of this the Port is currently in discussions concerning a review of this year’s budget and setting the budget for 2020.

 

The Budget for 2020 reflects a 11% increase in net revenues compared to the “actual” projected net revenue from 2019.

 

CLICK HERE to acquaint yourself with the specifics of this year’s productivity and the 2020 budget.

 

Port Director’s Report: On October 29th, Rodger Rees presented to the Wharves Board an update of the Port’s operations. The Port is growing leaps and bounds and improvements to the West End Wharves for cargo related activities and the approval of a new Traffic Study to address traffic flow for the additional Cruise and Cargo activities is moving forward. The contract with Royal Caribbean is not finalized but should be shortly and the Master Plan for the Port will be unveiled to the Public in November.

The Director’s Report can be viewed in detail, Please 
CLICK HERE.

City Flag

 

A few months ago a constituent of District 2 and a senior at O’Connell High School, Dawson Finklea, contacted me and mentioned he was a vexillologist, which he explained was the science and study of flags.

 

It was mentioned that the City does not have an official City Flag and Dawson offered some suggestions for an appropriate flag for our fair City.

 

Last month Dawson presented the concept of adopting a City Flag for Galveston to the City’s Cultural Arts Commission, which was very supportive of the idea.

 

At Council’s November 14th Meeting, the need for such a Flag will be discussed and if there is support, to ask the Commission to bring back their recommendations at a future date.

 

The saga of Galveston’s Flag will continue in subsequent Newsletters and thank you to Dawson for his interest in improving our community.

City by the Numbers
 

$182,000: Current mandated annual payment amounts received by the City from the Port

 

25%: Increase in number of Cruise Passengers in the Port’s 2020 budget as compared to 2019 budget

 

25 Million Dollars: Place holder amount in Park Board’s FY 2022-2023 Capital Improvement Plan for a new Stewart Beach Pavilion.

 

$900,000: Total projected cost for an extension of the fishing pier at Seawolf Park.

 

1.1 Million Dollars: Amount of property tax increments gained by the City by closing TIRZ 12 and 14

 

6000: Number of calls answered by the City’s animal control officers for one year

 

4-1-20: Date scheduled for the return of the Rail Trolleys

Tiger Shark City

 

On Oct. 30th I was honored to emcee the new Tiger Shark City Constitution Ratification ceremony at Rosenberg Elementary. The students from PreK through 3rd grade have worked hard to put together and write a “City” Constitution, naming their new city “Tiger Shark City”. After all the students voted “Yay” on the Constitution, they will next be electing a Mayor, City Council representatives and creating city laws where they will learn the value of their voice in government. I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and the commitment of the students and teachers to this exciting new program.

ANICO Plaza

 

After many rounds of Council and public discussions Council has approved the construction of a elevated walkway and urban park for the area on 20th street between Market and Mechanic.

 

The original version generated concerns from the business owners in the area, especially as it impacted drainage.

 

The revised concept successfully addresses the drainage concerns, provides a much needed esthetic addition to the area and will also be a potential site to have Public Art honoring our Korean War veterans.

 

Thank you to the Citizens, City Staff and especially ANICO for their time and efforts in making this project a win-win for everyone involved.

 

Please  CLICK HERE to view the details of the project.

Closure of TIRZ 12 and 14

 

On October 17th Council voted to start the process for the closure of TIRZ 12 and 14, which were for areas north of Broadway and surrounding the Airport, respectively.

 

TIRZ 14 had been the most active of the Investment Zones but by closing the Zones, property tax revenue from the areas will revert back to the City which will be revenue for infrastructure improvements and other general fund projects.

 

Please CLICK HERE for Specific details and benefits of closing the Zones.

City Manager Report

 

Too much turkey and pumpkin pie this month ? No worry, you can slim down by concentrating on the latest edition of the City Manager’s Report.

CLICK HERE

City Council Snippets

 

Interim Fire Chief Charles Olsen Appointed as Permanent Fire Chief

 

Financial Rating Firms give Galveston Strong Credit Ratings

 

Council Approves Grant Application for Funds for Water Efficiency and Conservation Projects

 

City Council to Tour Port on November 6th.

 

Code Change Proposed to Require Owners of Horses to Pick Up Their Excrement.

 

Booting of Vehicles to be Replaced by Attachment of “Barnacle” Devices January 1,2020

 

Galveston Garden Club Seeking New Members
GalvestonGardenClub@gmail.com