Galena Park, TX. – May 23, 2017 — After months of my writing news articles for the North Channel Star, I felt it was time for me to have a first-hand look at the community center. I felt I owed it to both the citizens and the city to take a photo tour even though I knew I’d be entering an environment which could be a health hazard. The explanations given to the citizens by the city needed to be verified or found to be over exaggerated and without merit.
I contacted Robert Collins the Galena Park City Attorney and asked if it was okay for me to take a photo tour of the center. After a few days Collins said I could contact the City Secretary Mayra Gonzales and she’d make the tour possible.
Tuesday morning May 23rd I called Gonzales and she said I could go take the tour. I went to the closed community center and was met by Commissioner Barry Ponder and Gustavo Mendez a recreation department employee.
We entered the facility and I immediately could smell a musty odor. The appearance of the inside looked like a typical remodeling job that was stopped in progress before completion.
I observed and photographed mold, termites, rotten supporting studs, dangerous electrical wiring in the breaker box, the broken emergency rear exit door to name a few things to make the place appear a very long ways from being used again.
I could have taken thousands of photos but my personal health was of a concern since my throat was already beginning to feel sore. I hope these photos will help everyone be better informed for I’m not involved politically to help or hurt anyone. I’m not going to point the finger or blame anyone for the disastrous condition I saw, that’s not my interest.
As a former mayor of Jacinto City I knew from my experience a mayor is first and foremost responsible for the health and safety of the citizens. No mayor should allow the citizens to enter the facility until it’s been inspected by a qualified inspector and declared safe for the public.