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Houston Maritime Museum
Harris County
Houston City Council
by Garrett Bryce w/photos courtesy City of Houston
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Houston City Council today voted unanimously to approve an ordinance canvassing the results of the May 5 Special Election to fill the vacancy left by the death of Council Member Larry Green in District K.

Following approval of the item, Mayor Sylvester Turner administered the oath of office to Martha Castex-Tatum, who won the nine-candidate race. Listen (23:47)

Castex-Tatum introduced family members, and thanked the voters.

“This has been emotional special election, the circumstances make this victory bittersweet,” she said. “However, I cannot do anything without thanking the people who took the time to be engaged, who took the time to go out and vote on May 5.”

Castex-Tatum is only the second person to serve in District K. She noted that the day would have been Green's 53rd birthday.

Several council members spoke, welcoming Castex-Tatum to the city council and offering her support.

The city council voted 8-6, with Greg Travis, Michael Kubosh, Robert Gallegos, Mike Laster, Jack Christie and Mike Knox opposed, to approve a 3-year, $875,000 agreement with Customer Service Experts, Inc. for mystery shopping services for the Houston Airport System. The agreement also includes two one-year options. Council Member Jerry Davis had left the meeting early.

Christie opposed the item due to the cost. Listen (2:24)

The city council voted 13-2, with Kubosh and Christie opposed, to appropriate $1,955,684 from the Solid Waste Consolidated Construction Fund and award of a contract to DNB Enterprises, Inc. for the removal, remediation and installation of underground storage tanks at the Environmental Service Center – South and Stormwater Incterceptor installation at the North and Northwest Service Center.

DNB provided one of two bids on the project, totaling $1,758,266.

Christie spoke in opposition to the item, claiming it continue support for diesel vehicles in the city's fleet, which he has often opposed.

The city council took no action regarding a recommendation from the City Attorney's Office concerning a settlement in the matter of Huong Kim Pham vs. City of Houston.

The city council took no action regarding a recommendation from the City Attorney's Office concerning a settlement in the matter of Tanisha Green vs. City of Houston.

Both items were pulled from the agenda.

An amendment to increase the spending authority for the lease of high-speed document printers and associated accessories from Konica Minolta Business Solutions, USA, Inc. for the Houston Police Department was tagged by Amanda Edwards.

The city council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance revising and updating and restating the city's financial policies adopted as a result of the 2-year review.

The city council voted 12-2, with Travis and Knox opposed, to amend Chapter 44 of the Code of Ordinances relating to tax abatement guidelines. Listen (19:09)

Modifications to the current guidelines included requiring companies to commit at least one community benefit as a term of the agreement; allow tax abatement inventory for logistic, distribution and manufacturing projects; and incorporation of a reduction for the job creation requirement and minimum investment requirement for investments within complete communities.

Knox offered an amendment to include language to state “make good faith efforts to hire and employ a minimum of 30 percent of its construction workforce from local department of labor certified, or equivalent, apprenticeship programs.”

The city council voted 5-9, with only Knox, Travis, Stardig, Christie and Kubosh voting in favor of approval, to deny the Knox's amendment.

An ordinance authorizing the Public Works Department to accept a grant award from the Texas Division of Emergency Management of the Texas Department of Public Safety for administering the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program was not received by the council in time and was not considered.

All other items were approved by unanimous vote. Council members Dave Martin and Steve Le were absent. Agenda

Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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