GALENA PARK – The business of the city moved ahead at two City Council meetings last week. A large agenda was heard and acted on with efficiency and cooperation between the Mayor and the new Council on June 7, and then on June 9 at a special called meeting Council took action on replacing the Police Chief.
In her first term, in 2014, Mayor Moya had attempted to replace the city administrator, police chief, city attorney, and some department heads. Unsuccessful then, she achieved all of those changes in her second term, this year, with the support of a totally new Council.
At the June 9 meeting, Police Chief Jonathan Rader was demoted to Sergeant, and an interim Police Chief, Sgt. Andrew Scroggins was appointed.
Moya also announced that she had assumed the managerial duties of running the city, since the City Administrator position had been eliminated.
Improvements in the city were announced in several presentation. Stephen DonCarlos, mayor of Baytown and board member of the Port of Houston Authority, presented a plan to Council that will build new sidewalks and walkway lighting along Mercury Drive and Holland Avenue.
The Port has offered to pay most of the cost, asking for a small contribution from the city. The project will be built in phases, with one street receiving a sidewalk, and the other later. When complete, a walking/jogging/biking trail completely surrounding the Port’s property will exist, DonCarlos said.
Council also heard a proposal from Attorney Owen Sonik of the law firm Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins &Mott LLP to take over delinquent tax collections for the city, which they approved.
Next the Council heard a proposal from CenterPoint Energy, to replace all the streetlights in the city with new more efficient LED type fixtures. Shelton Mitchell of CenterPoint explained how the change would be made at no cost to the city initially, with a small monthly charge later that will be offset by reduced energy costs. There are 349 streetlights in the city, he said, and all will be replaced and another 5 new ones added.
In other business, Jonathan Castrejon of Harris County explained a program to test and replace lead in houses, at no cost to qualifying residents.
After the Council meeting, the Mayor invited everyone to join her in the lobby, where she was serving home-made cheesecake and chocolate cake.