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Harris County
Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors
by Lora-Marie Bernard and Jim Guidry
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors today voted unanimously to approve the 2014 H-GAC Budget and Service Plan, with a 2.75 percent increase in personnel compensation, after a public hearing, with no members of the public speaking; and the board voted 25 to 2, with Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark and Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack opposed, to approve the 2014 Salary and Benefit Program.  Listen (8:22)

“I believe that this salary range program will keep us competitive,” said H-GAC Executive Director Jack Steele.  “But we’re not going to be the highest payer in the area; we’re not going to be the lowest payer.  I think that’s probably what we want.”

The board voted 26-1, with Chambers County Commissioner Gary Nelson opposed, to approve a resolution permitting H-GAC to apply for Texas Water Development Board’s Flood Protection Planning Grant.  Listen (5:35)

“What I’m concerned about is we get all these plans together and all they do is collect dust,” Nelson said.  “We’ve done a lot of studying since Ike and the only way that we can improve any local drainage is build new drainage channels, and if you’ve been in Chambers County pipelines almost prohibit that process.”

He said the Texas Water Development Board should concentrate on water development projects, not drainage.

The board voted unanimously to maintain the current location for the Area Agency on Aging office at 117 Lane Drive in Rosenberg, rather than adopt a staff recommendation to negotiate the a for approximately 1,680 square feet of office space from Oak Bend Medical Office Ltd. Listen (8:37)

“The current lease provides for adequate parking, whereas the new location has to share parking with hospital visitors, etc.,” said Rosenberg City Councilor Cynthia McConathy, noting that the current lease serves as a one-stop location for several services. “The current lease also has services for Workforce, a dentist, Rosenberg Housing Authority, a pain management and rehab center, the University of Houston Small Business, the Texas Rehabilitation Services, as well as Health and Human Services.”

Mike Temple of the H-GAC staff said the current lease has expired, but he will negotiate a new lease for the current location.

The board voted unanimously to approve the Election Committee’s nominations for the 2014 Board officers: Pasadena Council Member Darrell Morrison as chair, Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald as chair elect and La Porte Council Member Chuck Engelken, Jr. as vice chair.  The election of officers will be held at the H-GAC Annual Meeting in January

The board voted unanimously to honor retiring board member Iowa Colony Council Member Kay Mudd.

“I’ve enjoyed serving on the H-GAC council off and on for a number of years,” Mudd said.  “I know you will continue your good work.”

All other agenda items were approved unanimously.  Agenda  Attendance Report

(The agenda includes links to staff documents and additional audio excerpts.)

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