Pastor Stearns of Joseph House Awarded key to City


By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – Thursday, March 9, 2023 at the regular Jacinto City (JC) Council Meeting, the mayor and city council awarded a ceremonial key to the city to Pastor R. C. (Robert) Stearns, Executive Director of the new Jacinto City Joseph House (JH) food pantry. Joseph Houses are located in several places in Harris and Montgomery County; they provide free food, clothing and other services for qualifying needy residents. They were created by Pastor R. C. (Robert) Stearns along with a host of sponsors and volunteers.

Upon receiving the award, Stearns thanked city officials, volunteers, and everyone who has made the pantry a success. He recognized the city’s liaison, Councilman J. J. Rivas, and Rivas’s mother-in-law Donna Parrott Dailey, who began the process which ended with the city and JH partnering together for the food pantry in JC. Stearns introduced Attorney Carvana Cloud; she said she is helping the JH’s with domestic violence cases.

Stearns said the pantry was also for Galena Park and the surrounding area’s residents. Anyone needing help should first make an appointment by calling 281-936-8175 or 281-652- 836. Do not go to the 1026 Mercury Drive JC facility or the main JH food bank at 7802 Jensen (Houston) without first calling and making an appointment. Joseph House Community Outreach Center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the Houston metropolitan area.

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On the agenda prepared by Joyce Raines, City Secretary, the council approved the quarterly investment report, 101-2021 – 9-30-2022. City Manager Lon Squyres said the city doesn’t invest in companies but rather in certificates of deposits.

City Attorney Jim DeFoyd gave the first reading of ordinance 2023-1 declaring unopposed candidates (mayoral & two council seats) and canceling the May 6, 2023 election. It was approved by the council.

Officer Leonardo R. Marin, a former Channelview graduate, was approved by council and sworn in as a Jacinto City police officer. Chief Joe Ayala said Officer Marin had been working in the Harris County Jail Division and recently graduated from a police academy in 2022. This will be his first patrol officer experience. Officer Marin’s parents (Rafael Martinez & Rosa Marin), family and friends were on hand to see him take the oath and see his dad pin his badge on his uniform.

Lt. M. Longrigg presented the annual police department’s Racial Profiling Report.

Police Chief Joe Ayala said he is having his officers crack down on ordinance violations of dogs running loose. Both dog and cat owners will be cited if their pets are without a collar and or wearing a city licensing tag. Also the officers will be giving citations to unhealthy public nuisances, vehicles and boats without current tags, and properties with high grass enabling mosquito breeding.

Mayor Diaz said the city would begin mosquito spraying tomorrow on Friday. However, there wasn’t any spraying, and upon checking with the public works staff, they said the city failed to get the spraying equipment approved by the county in time to catch this year’s first crop of hatching mosquitoes. The city is very vulnerable to mosquitoes since it is located on the east and south with large amount of wooded acreage holding lots of natural water ponds for mosquitoes to breed. At the time of this writing, there still has not been any help by spraying.

City Manager Squyres reported on the Union Pacific Railroad and the City of Houston beginning a pilot program to help prevent some of Houston’s most critical road crossings from being blocked more than ten minutes. He said it’s not going to help JC in the near future but maybe later. He gave an example of a train blocking every road crossing in the city from the extreme east end to the extreme west end of the city all at the same time. Thus preventing emergency vehicles from responding to emergencies in a timely manner by being unable to get to the emergency. Another example he gave was when the train’s engineer stopped the train, got out, and walked to Popeye’s Chicken for lunch.

After the meeting, a couple of citizens said the city is maintaining the same dogs for months upon months in the dog pound and that is why the dog catcher doesn’t pick up all the loose dogs. There is no room for more dogs to be impounded they said, and people are afraid to do health walks because of the at-large dogs. Squyres said they have some temporary cages to put dogs in and that is not an issue to prevent the dog catcher from picking up more loose dogs.

The city is plagued with lots of dogs running loose and getting into garbage and creating public health nuisances. Their owners won’t keep them penned up nor get them licensed as required by law; usually the owner will receive a mere warning which isn’t followed up on to make them get their tags. Citizens complain about the same dogs over and over to no avail. Mayor Diaz agreed there are too many loose dogs roaming everywhere, she said her husband has complained and said he is afraid of all the loose dogs while he is out running.

The boy’s and girl’s baseball parade is Saturday, March 25th at 9am on Market Street. The annual Easter egg hunt is April 1st at 1pm in the city’s baseball fields.

The Channelview American Legion Post 644 is having a fish fry on Good Friday (April 7 from 2-7 pm at 16417 Market St. 77530) to help fund the reopening of Jacinto City’s Post 397 which has been closed a couple of years.