Priorities

Keeping our tax rate low

As a City Councilman in each of the last two years, I have helped to scrub our city budget and set a property tax rate for our citizens that is lower than the rate for the previous year. We currently have the lowest property tax rate in Friendswood in almost 40 years. I will continue to work hard to be a good steward of our taxpayers’ money and maintain stable property tax rates.

Safety for our citizens

It is very important to me that we maintain our “Safest City” status with quality public safety including police, fire and EMS services. We are continually rated as one of the safest cities in Texas and we want to take steps to maintain that standing.

Economic Development

I’m in favor of smart, economic development: attracting businesses that are both what our citizens want and compatible with our values. Currently, we are at an 85/15 residential to commercial property tax mix. Experts tell us we need to continue to move towards an 80/20 mix to lessen the property tax burden on homeowners as we reach buildout. The improvements we are making to our downtown district are helping to attract quality businesses which will help us achieve this.

Sidewalks

Drainage

I’m passionate about this topic because our house flooded during Harvey, but I have been following this issue for much longer than that. I’ve been regularly attending Clear Creek Watershed Steering Committee meetings for as long as I’ve been on City Council. We have to continue our involvement with this group, the Galveston County Consolidated Drainage District, and Harris County Flood Control District to ensure our concerns are being heard. We also need to be persistent and continue to lobby our U.S. and state representatives for funding for Clear Creek drainage improvements.

EMS

Due to the steep increase in 911 calls experienced in recent years, our EMS service is currently operating in the red. I was part of a committee made up of City Council members, Fire and EMS volunteers, citizens, and city staff that studied this issue for more than 6 months. We determined that, instead of raising property taxes to pay for EMS, we should bill the residents who use the service, placing the financial burden on health insurance providers instead of property owners. We held three public forums to inform citizens of our findings and all agreed with our proposed plan. We will roll out the plan this summer.

Natural Disaster Response

During Hurricane Harvey, major flooding prevented our emergency responders and city crews from reaching residents in certain areas of Friendswood. One lesson we learned was that the majority of our equipment was on the Galveston side of Clear Creek. We have to establish an increased presence on the Harris County side of town. We are currently evaluating prospective sites to ensure we don’t have “all of our eggs in one basket.”

Friendswood Lakes Blvd

We are currently in active negotiations to get the building of this road started–we must establish a fair plan that is mutually beneficial for both our citizens and the property owners who stand to gain from this project. We will work with those property owners to determine the most equitable solution. With property owner involvement and funds from the county bond, our taxpayers aren’t forced to bear the entire cost of this road.