Brief Stance on the Issues
8 months after Harvey, there is still too much talk and too little action. Friendswood needs to lead the surrounding communities in forming a collaborative effort to work with county, state, and federal officials to develop a strategy to achieve funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to complete plans to improve Clear Creek. I would also take a seat on the Houston-Galveston Area Council, to provide a strong voice of advocacy for Friendswood.
Communication between the city and the residents about ongoing recovery efforts needs to be enhanced. I will coordinate efforts to continue clean-up efforts and address issues identified by residents including abandoned homes, and lack of funding for recovery efforts. I will lead efforts for more effective disaster planning to assure city assets are protected in future storms, avoiding losses such as incurred during Harvey.
Roads and Traffic
My first priority as Mayor is to authorize the completion of linking Friendswood Lakes Blvd. to League City Parkway, a measure already voted and approved by the taxpayers to facilitate diversion of traffic off of FM 528 to I-45. We need a concise and timely report prioritizing roads which need repair to facilitate establishing more accurate budgeting, setting priorities and timing. I will also advocate for extension and/or addition of turning lanes in place of medians and better timing of traffic lights and flashing yellow lights to facilitate movement of traffic through congested areas.
As a businessman with a successful 46-year career, I am pro-business. I will work to create an environment that is business-friendly, while maintaining Our Hometown (bedroom community) appeal. We need to increase our tax revenue from cash register businesses and support local small business owners, encouraging the right business in the right location, balancing carefully and thoughtfully the needs of residents and commercial interests.
The most critical priority is to continue to provide necessary services to the community, maintaining the current excellent level of quality while assuring good stewardship of taxpayer money. Having extensive experience managing multi-billion-dollar budgets, I will use my business acumen to analyze the budget for more opportunities for efficiencies, and evaluate portions of the budget going to non-essential functions.
We have the finest EMS service for which any community could hope. Currently we have a 70/30 split paid/volunteer providing dedicated, trusted, excellent, compassionate and timely service. We need to work in a timely manner to find sources of funding to sustain this current level of service with the current volunteers and staff without outsourcing. This issue has been drawn out long enough, leaving those affected uncertain. We need an urgent and effective resolution.
The process of deciding plans for future development in Stevenson Park is critical. I am not in favor of placing a carousel at the proposed location with the currently proposed approval process. I believe we need to take a more community-inclusive approach with increased transparency.