At the Kingwood Town Hall meeting on October 17th, 2019, Mayor Sylvester Turner read a letter from lawyer J. Carey Gray who represents Perry Homes and its subsidiaries against hundreds of flooded Elm Grove homeowners. The letter laid out a timetable – extending more than 2 years into the future – for completion of the detention ponds on the troubled Woodridge Village subdivision. The first step: finish the S2 pond, which was already substantially complete. Perry Homes gave itself 30-45 days for that task. As nonsensical as that sounded on October 17, they managed to miss the deadline … by not showing up … until after the deadline.
Deadline Expired Yesterday With No Improvements to Pond
Yesterday marked 45 days since Lawyer Gray delivered his letter to the Houston City Attorney. Since then crews have worked several days on adding a concrete lining to a small portion of Taylor Gully. They also replaced some eroded dirt along the northern edge of S2. Still incomplete, however are:
- Excavation of the remaining dirt
- Grass to stabilize the soil on the banks
- A perimeter road required by the Montgomery County Drainage Criteria Manual
- Lining for a severely eroded spillway between Taylor Gully and S2
- Drainage of the detention pond
- Backslope interceptor swales
Photos Demonstrate Lack of Progress
Here’s how the pond looked in September, two days after Imelda.
Here’s what it looks like today, 46 days after J. Carey Gray’s letter to the City Attorney. They had made some progress on lining the Taylor Gully channel behind the pond. But as far as the pond itself went, there was a lone excavator moving dirt that had eroded into the pond back up on the banks. That’s because they failed to establish grass there.
Only 735 more days before all the detention ponds are complete … assuming they can meet any of their own deadlines.
Questions Raised by Lack of Performance
The failure to meet this first deadline raises questions:
- Is Perry Homes sincere? Can they ever be trusted for anything ever again?
- Has Perry Homes lost its ability to deliver? Is the company financially crippled beyond repair?
- Did Sylvester Turner extract terms from Perry Homes designed to get him through the general election?
- Or did Perry Homes play Sylvester Turner to torpedo his chances in a runoff election?
- Did Kathy Perry Britton, CEO of Perry Homes, think no one would remember?
- Is Perry Homes holding the threat of future flooding over Elm Grove residents to force a settlement of their lawsuits?
If it’s the latter and there’s another flood – with this record of foot dragging – they’ve nuked themselves. It’s a Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School case study that will go down in the Annals of Corporate Stupidity.
What can explain this level of ineptitude?
This has to be a huge embarrassment for the City of Houston and Montgomery County. It’s also a PR debacle for Sylvester Turner … in the middle of a hotly contested runoff election. Turner can’t do anything about that now except to tell the City Attorney to sharpen his spurs.
But if I were MoCo, I would claim Perry Homes’ performance bond and finish the work myself.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/3/2019
826 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 75 since Imelda
The thoughts expressed in this post represent my opinions on matters of public policy and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.