Tag Archive for: Hidalgo

Harris County To Reconsider Colony Ridge Impacts

On Tuesday, 1/9/24, Harris County Commissioners court will consider a motion by Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey, P.E. to monitor the potential flooding, housing, and environmental impacts of Colony Ridge on Harris County. (See Item 282 on the Agenda.)

Ramsey submitted a similar item for the 10/10/23 session of Commissioners Court. The Court took no action at that time, but agreed to revisit the issue. Now is that time. And the political landscape has changed.

How Tuesday’s Discussion Will Differ from October’s

The discussion on Tuesday will probably differ radically from October’s.

First, Tuesday’s agenda item is broader; it includes housing and environmental impacts, not just flooding.

Second, in October, the discussion quickly devolved into an argument about the credibility of media allegations that triggered a special session of the State Legislature. Among other things, the media allegations concerned illegal immigration. At the time, County Judge Lina Hidalgo characterized them as “conspiracy theories.” Things went downhill from there.

Ultimately, the State Legislature decided not to do anything about Colony Ridge except build a DPS substation there to beef up law enforcement.

But since then, things have changed.

DOJ/CFPB Lawsuit Changes Political Landscape

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have filed a lawsuit against the developer for predatory lending practices targeted mainly at Hispanics.

The 45-page lawsuit alleges that the developer violated the:

  • Fair Housing Act
  • Consumer Financial Protection Act
  • Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act

It also offers specific examples of alleged abuses, including:

  • Sky-high interest rates
  • Untrue statements in marketing materials
  • Omitting material facts
  • Failing to provide required accurate translations
  • Failing to report and disclose other required information
  • Marketing in Spanish but providing legal documents that buyers couldn’t understand in English
  • Foreclosing on properties multiple times

The inclusion of housing issues in Tuesday’s agenda may broaden the base of support for action re: Colony Ridge. Suddenly, we’re talking about people allegedly abusing Lina Hidalgo’s, Lesley Briones’ and Adrian Garcia’s core constituents. All three are Hispanic.

The lawsuit has already motivated LULAC (the League of United Latin American Citizens) to join the fight. The headline of this press release on their website says, “LULAC SUPPORTS FEDERAL ACTION IN MASSIVE REAL ESTATE FRAUD CASE THAT TARGETED LATINOS IN TEXAS.” As a result…

Commissioners may now see Colony Ridge as abusing immigrants, not helping them achieve the American Dream.

Plus, Colony Ridge is expanding into Harris County. That brings the issue much closer to home for Commissioners. We could soon be talking about how the Colony Ridge developer affects voters in Harris County, not voters in Liberty county.

Putting a Finer Point on Upstream Flooding Study

Even though Commissioner’s Court did not approve Ramsey’s Colony Ridge motion last October, the other commissioners didn’t totally ignore him. Commissioner Rodney Ellis also expressed concern about flooding issues originating outside Harris County.

On December 5, 2023, Commissioners Court approved a study of several watersheds including the East Fork San Jacinto River, which drains Colony Ridge. The purpose: to identify potential flood impacts due to unmitigated flows coming into Harris County from upstream counties and to evaluate the impacts of the increased flows on erosion and sedimentation issues.

If approved, Ramsey’s agenda item for next Tuesday, could put a much finer point on that. Instead of looking at flooding issues that originate in surrounding counties in general, it would specifically look at erosion issues originating in Colony Ridge. That could potentially lead to more legal action against Colony Ridge depending on what they find.

At a minimum, I hope it stimulates a discussion about two things:

In regard to the latter, I would point out that Harris and Liberty Counties have almost identical regulations for construction of drainage ditches. However, we get very different results.

The image on the right was taken over Colony Ridge. Such erosion contributes to the buildup of sediment that reduces the conveyance of rivers and streams, contributing to flooding.

For more information and issues relating to Colony Ridge, see this post.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/5/2024

2320 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Smoking Guns Buried in Harris County 2022 Primary Election Report

This week, Harris County is releasing to the public a final report on the botched March 2022 primary election – a year after the report’s completion. That’s almost a year after a second botched election last November that has mired the County in lawsuits over election results.

For full 3 mb report, click here.

The report recommended a number of changes in election processes. Had the then newly appointed Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum implemented the recommendations before the November election, many of the problems experienced by voters might have been prevented. But no one has explained why Tatum didn’t.

Most of the problems detailed in March also happened in November.

Fifty pages of election-worker survey data buried at the end of the March election report quantifies the magnitude of the problems that voters experienced.

As you read the numbers below, keep in mind that County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s official margin of victory was 1.65%.

Key Takeaways from Data

The following results jumped out at me.

Question 18 on page 100

Quantified the percentages of poll workers who experienced the following types of equipment problems:

  • Almost one third (31.4%) of workers had problems with the Duos (machines that create both electronic and paper versions of voters’ choices).
  • One fifth (19.3%) of workers had problems with the Scanners.
  • One tenth (9.8%) of workers had problems with the ePollBooks.
Question 17 on page 99

Delved into who (among election workers) had the problems and when:

  • One third (36.5%) of workers had problems with equipment during setup and operation.
  • The degree of problems did not vary significantly by the amount of election experience that the worker had, suggesting the problems were not caused by inexperience.
  • The problems virtually doubled on Primary Election Day compared to early voting (24.2% for early voting compared to 46.3% for Election Day).
  • 45.8% of Republican election workers experienced problems compared to 29% of Democrats.
Question 10A on page 66

Measured the rough estimates of election workers as to voters who experienced problems:

  • 6.5% of election workers felt most voters had problems recording votes on new machines.
  • Another 13.5% felt “less than half” of the voters had problems recording their votes.
  • So, 20% of election workers saw more than “a few voters” experiencing problems.
Question 9 on page 65

Measured how long it took election workers to get help via phone:

  • Twice as many Republicans (21.4%) had to wait longer than a half hour on the help line compared to Democrats (11%).

This contributed to long lines during the November election.

Question 7 on page 63

Measured how long it took election workers to pick up supplies:

  • 22.7% of Republicans said they had to wait longer than an hour for their supplies compared to 13.7% of Democrats.

This contributed to many polls opening late in November.

Question 24 on Page 105

Looked at Political Affiliation of poll workers:

  • Democratic workers outnumbered Republicans by 12.1% (51.5% to 39.4%).

Vague Recommendations Don’t Get to Heart of Issue

The recommendations by the consultant performing the analysis focused mainly on processes and process improvements. Their recommendations on page 108 include:

  • Refine and prioritize desired objectives and outcomes;
  • Identify performance measures to meet outcomes;
  • Inventory the data assets available to measure outcomes;
  • Identify gaps in available data assets;
  • Establish clear lines of responsibility among EAO staff for each outcome or category of outcomes; and
  • Design processes to monitor the progress toward meeting outcomes.

Nowhere in the 114 page report did the consultant use the word “fair,” as in “conduct a fair election” to describe an outcome.

Results of word search in PDF

“B Certified”

The consultant’s report did, however, give us a clue about their company values.

A “B certified” watermark showed up on virtually every page of the ForsMarsh report. I didn’t know what that meant, so I looked it up.

BCorporation.net, a company that B-certifies other companies says, “Certified B Corporations are leaders in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. Unlike other certifications for businesses, B Lab is unique in our ability to measure a company’s entire social and environmental impact.”

In choosing a vendor to audit the election, it would seem that Harris County selected a vendor that was more concerned with social impact than fairness. Their report demonstrates that.

Little Fanfare for Long-Awaited Report

The ForsMarsh Group delivered its report to Harris County on August 31, 2022. It’s now available to the public as the backup to Agenda Item 313 for the August 8, 2023, Commissioners Court meeting. That’s little fanfare for a long-awaited report.

By the way, #313 is a simple transmittal of the report to commissioners. No context or explanation is provided.

Too bad we didn’t have the report in a timely way before the November election last year. So much for transparency!

And little wonder that County Election Administrator Clifford Tatum is playing dodgeball with depositions. At the end of June this year, Tatum failed to appear for a scheduled deposition. And now, attorneys representing Judge Lina Hidalgo filed a motion to quash any further depositions of Tatum.

One Final Qualification and a Question

Harris County has also stonewalled production of records related to the November election. Data in the just-released report finally quantifies issues in the March primary election. However, it does not measure November election problems directly, i.e., those over which Tatum presided.

Regardless, the Primary data parallels independently compiled evidence of similar problems found on Election Day in November. That raises one final question: Nine months after the November election, why haven’t we seen an official report on it yet?

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/7/23

2169 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Hidalgo Accuses Legislature, Governor of “Murder Plot” against 5 Million Harris County Residents

Of all the things Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo could have picked on in Austin this year, she chose to get hysterical over a bill that would return the control of Harris County elections to … ta da … two elected African-American Democrats!

Hidalgo is complaining bitterly about SB 1750, a bill passed by both the House and the Senate – now on its way to the Governor’s desk and likening it to a “murder plot.”

She made her comments in this 7 minute and 40 second YouTube Video. And she embellishes them in this second video lasting more than 17 minutes.

Investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino produced his own video based on Hidalgo’s comments.

In addition to SB 1750, Hidalgo also complains about:

  • SB 1933, a bill that would give the state the right to investigate election administration problems.
  • SB 1039, a bill designed to guarantee explanations for election irregularities – without concerned citizens having to challenge the entire election.
  • SB 1993, a bill allowing new elections if enough polling places run out of ballots long enough. (However, it has no chance of passing in this session.)

I won’t try to discuss every statement made in Hidalgo’s rambling rants. You can watch the videos and form your own opinions. I will, however, point out some of Hidalgo’s more exaggerated claims.

County Judge Lina Hidalgo accusing Legislature and Governor of plot to murder 5 million people

Hidalgo Likens System that Elected Her to Murder

SB 1750 would take the next election out of the hands of an administrator appointed by Judge Hidalgo, Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Commissioner Adrian Garcia. It would restore the previous system run by the County Clerk and Tax Assessor-Collector. By the way, that’s the same system that elected Hidalgo over the previous County Judge, Ed Emmett.

Yet Hidalgo says she “can’t think of something more anti-democratic” than putting elections in the hands of elected officials rather than someone appointed by her.

She also claims Austin is “declaring war on Harris County.” And that legislators and the governor are engaged in a “murder plot” against every resident of Harris County. Yep, all 5 million of them.

As if that’s not enough…

Hidalgo calls the attempted murder of 5 million people “not normal.”

Then the master of understatement accuses the Legislature and Governor of “Orwellian double-speak” and “attacking democratic ideals.”

She blasts election audits, claims they are an abuse of the system, subvert her authority, and disenfranchise millions of voters “whose voices will be silenced.” After they destroy Harris County’s economy.

“They’re coming after us,” she says. She doesn’t specify whether “they” includes people with gavels or straight jackets.

Excuse me, Judge. But how is returning local elections to locally elected Democrats attacking democratic ideals? Who’s guilty of the Orwellian double speak?

Oh wait! You didn’t personally appoint the elected Democrats! The People did. Is that why it’s “anti-democratic?”

Hidalgo’s Selective Perception

Hidalgo still hasn’t complied with lawful Texas Public Information Act requests relating to the last election by turning over the emails concerning voting problems and voting machine maintenance records.

Nor in her rants did she remind people how her previous election administrator lost 10,000 votes.

But Hidalgo did double down on the “murder plot” accusation. She went on to say the Legislature’s common sense measures were tantamount to “a murder-suicide pact” that would take down Texas and every other state.

Of course, maybe we should cut her some slack. After all, Hidalgo is under pressure. She also informed us that she expects the County’s District Attorney, Kim Ogg (another Democrat), to hand down a criminal indictment against her soon in the $11 million Elevate Strategies scandal. An entire grand jury deliberated that issue for five and a half months. But that might have been a Democrat plot by a Republican Governor, too.

Hidalgo’s Other Gripes

Hidalgo claims SB 1750, SB 1933 and SB 1093 amount to “election suppression,” a “takeover” by the state, and “a power grab.” She also says that she’s appealing to the Federal government for help.

Judging by Hidalgo’s hysteria, she seems to equate these bills with genocide and the end of Western civilization. She also seems to believe that her power should remain absolute and beyond question.

That might explain why her administration has a problem retaining people. If Cliff Tatum, the election administrator, leaves as a result of SB 1750, that will mean 24 departments in Harris County have had at least 48 heads under Judge Hidalgo in a little more than four years. And many of the current heads have “interim” in their titles.

I have to compliment Judge Hidalgo on one thing, though. She has more imagination than Shakespeare, Orwell, and Machiavelli put together. I’m sure she would have inspired them to new heights.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/24/2023

2094 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Best Hope to Fully Fund Flood-Bond Projects Just Vanished into a Political Black Hole

Harris County’s best hope to fully fund the 2018 Flood Bond just vanished into a political black hole. Watching the video of Commissioners Court on Tuesday made one dizzy. My head was spinning so quickly with all of the contradictions, that it reminded me of a Chucky horror movie.

Almost 2 Years After Leaving the Starting Gate…

After almost 2 years, the County’s Community Services Department (CSD) still has not even started working on a process that would define where $750 million in Hurricane Harvey Flood Mitigation money would go.

But its new director, Thao Costis, did recommend taking 58% of the money away from Harris County Flood Control District. County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Precinct Two Commissioner Adrian Garcia, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones all voted FOR CSD’s vague proposal that gave $326.5 million to “Harris County” and almost $100 million to “planning and administration” with no further definition.

Ramsey Reminds Court of Purpose of HUD Money

Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey PE reminded his fellow Court members that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) grant was originally intended to fill a funding gap in the flood bond.

For those who may not remember, roughly a third of the $2.5 billion 2018 flood bond was designed to attract matching funds from state and federal entities such as HUD. Harris County Flood Control District hoped to double taxpayers’ money that way. The bond actually had projects in it totaling roughly $5 billion.

At the time, HCFCD saw HUD dollars as the best way to support the hard-hit Halls Bayou watershed where 71% of the residents have low-to-moderate incomes (LMI).

Not Even Enough Left for HCFCD to Complete Halls Projects

But the money remaining with HCFCD after commissioners voted to divert more than half of the $750 million won’t even be enough to complete Halls projects.

The Flood Bond included Halls projects estimated at almost $383 million. Halls has already received projects worth $48 million, leaving a $335 million need. But giving only $326.5 million to HCFCD would leave Halls more than $8 million short.

That would leave no money for flood control projects in other watersheds. They would vanish into a political black hole.

The good people of Halls Bayou have had their projects lined up for years. Yet at 6:28:40 into the meeting video, Director Costis admits, “Our focus is to get projects lined up.”

For Halls Bayou residents who follow Commissioners Court, the video of Tuesday’s meeting will have their heads spinning faster than Chucky’s.

Commissioners Ellis and Garcia have complained bitterly about projects in LMI neighborhoods having to wait for federal funding that might never arrive. Then they voted to take $425 million away from HCFCD when it did.

Partnership Funding Merry-Go-Round

Commissioner Garcia, who couldn’t wait on partnership funding to get started on projects, demanded a partnership policy. Ditto for Commissioner Ellis.

But Ellis didn’t want to back away from the county’s “equity principles, because some cities might not have a match.” This could further reduce funding.

At 6:34:20, Ellis, who often brags about transparency, introduced a motion to prioritize projects using unspecified criteria before CSD comes back to Commissioners Court on March 3 with final recommendations.

Admission of Funding Gap

Then Ellis complained, “Even with this money, we don’t have enough money to do everything in the 2018 Flood Bond.” Where’s the other $425 million going, Mr. Ellis, that you’re diverting from HCFCD? Into that political black hole?

More Delays Could Jeopardize Funding

At 6:41, Dr. Tina Petersen, Executive Director of HCFCD, complains, “We’ll need to get an extension.” That’s something the Texas General Land Office (GLO), which manages HUD grants in Texas, has feared. The GLO worries that additional delays could cause HUD to take its money back. Harris County has been dragging this process out for almost two years.

Garcia again asks, “Is a partnership process in place?” (6:41)

Costis admits, “No. We’re starting that process now.”

Hidalgo abruptly cuts off the embarrassing discussion, takes a vote, and moves on to the next agenda item at 6:43:48.

Saying One Thing, Doing Another

Actions speak louder than words, especially in politics. It’s one thing to say flood mitigation is a top priority and that you want to help the county’s less fortunate first. But the figures below clearly show that…

…Ellis, Garcia and Hidalgo help our least fortunate residents the least.

To get a clear picture of political priorities, let’s visualize flood-mitigation spending as a percentage of the total value of projects in the flood bond for each watershed. This shows important differences in the progress toward completion of promised projects. See the table and map below.

Compiled from data published by HCFCD in December 2022 Flood Bond Update and March 2021 Flood Bond Update

In case you’re unfamiliar with the location of these watersheds, see below.

Greens has received 74.9% of its funding and Brays 79.4% of its. But both have lower LMI percentages than Halls, Hunting, Sims and Vince.

For instance, Sims has the third highest percentage of LMI residents in the county (65%), but has only received 4.4% of its anticipated funding.

Eight watersheds in Harris County have majority-LMI populations. But the LMI percentages have little to do with the percentage of money actually spent out of their anticipated budgets.

Contrary to promises, some of the least affluent watersheds are being prioritized last.

Brays and Greens have received more funding to date than the other six LMI-majority watersheds put together.

This is, in large part, because Commissioners Ellis and Garcia have constantly tweaked their equity-allocation formula to ensure money goes where they want it to go.

High Price of Turnover

The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) learned of its $488 million allocation from the GLO the same day in May 2021 that Harris County learned of its $750 million. But H-GAC developed its distribution plan and received final approval from the GLO by September of 2022. And H-GAC had to coordinate more than 100 entities!

This comparison shows the high price of turnover in the executive ranks. Costis is the sixth executive director at CSD under Hidalgo. Ms. Costis previously ran a charity for homeless people. While admirable, that’s no qualification for managing hundreds of millions of dollars. And certain commissioners have not helped the process by making it more complicated than it already is with constantly changing demands.

If Harris County wants this money, it needs to hire leaders with business acumen, wall them off from political interference, and prohibit political patronage hires. Now that would really make people’s heads spin! It would also eliminate a political/financial black hole.

Posted by Bob Rehak on February 23, 2023

2004 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Last Chance

Harris County is electing a new County Judge this year. For the Lake Houston Area, it’s arguably the most important race on the ballot. It represents a chance to win a majority on Commissioners Court sensitive to the Lake Houston Area’s needs. We’ve been de-prioritized for four years. Tomorrow, November 8th, is your last chance to change that. It’s Election Day.

Why This Race is So Important

I don’t want to downplay the importance of other races. But this particular race is about your quality of life. Getting your fair share of flood-mitigation funding. Keeping your tax bill stable. Restoring public safety. Rebuilding competence in local government. And increasing transparency.

Turnout in Early Voting was Dismal

County wide, only 750,000 out of 2.5 million registered voters voted. That’s 30%. After 12 days!

Kingwood had 18,872 early voters out of 44,000 registered. That’s 43%. A little better.

But four years ago, 63% of all ballots were cast during the early-voting period. So turnout on Election Day will be critical this year.

The number of people who have not yet voted in the Lake Houston Area have the power to swing this election. By all accounts, it will be close.

Overview of Candidates: Problems Vs. Potential

The two candidates are incumbent Lina Hidalgo and challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer.

Hidalgo (D), left; Mealer (R), right

Let’s look at their respective records.

Hidalgo’s only real-world job experience before assuming the helm of a 16,000-employee organization was reportedly as a medical interpreter. Her rookie errors were predictable. I’ll detail them below.

Mealer is also a newcomer to politics, but comes to the job with vastly more real-world experience. She:

  • Graduated from West Point
  • Was a Captain in the Army
  • Commanded a bomb squad in Afghanistan for a decade
  • Obtained MBA and JD degrees from Harvard
  • Put together billion-dollar deals in the oil-and-gas sector as a VP for one of the nation’s largest banks.

More About Hidalgo’s Record

Hidalgo had no management experience when elected. And it showed. Under Hidalgo, the County’s budget increased along with employment. She created six new departments. Hired thousands of new employees. And paid for the largesse by drawing down the county’s reserve funds.

She also replaced the heads of 19 departments. One department had three leadership changes under Hidalgo. And four had at least two. Some departments, such as Engineering, have lost 4-5 layers of management. Whole capabilities, such as disaster relief, were wiped out. And every group head in the IT Department (Universal Services) left.

Political credentials became more important in hiring decisions than professional competence. Knowledgeable, capable employees left county employment in droves. Some are still there. But it’s reportedly getting harder and harder for them to keep things running.

One Misstep after Another

I’ve learned to judge Judge Hidalgo by her actions, not her words.

She talks about serving the entire county, but I’ve only seen her break ranks with her Democratic Commissioners twice in four years. In fairness, there may have been more times. But it’s hard to sit through meetings that have lasted up to 16 hours. Robert’s Rules of Order are not her strong suit.

Much to her discredit, Hidalgo led efforts to:

Destroying Trust in Government

But Hidalgo’s greatest sin, in my opinion, is that she destroyed trust in county government by misleading people. For instance, she:

  • Tried to minimize the impact of a tax rate increase without projecting the impact on a family’s tax bill, given large increases in valuations during her tenure.
  • Argued for “worst first” in flood mitigation. But her definition has nothing to do with depth of flooding, deaths, loss of critical infrastructure, or the percentage of damaged homes and businesses in a community.
  • Redefined “equitable” distribution of funds in voter-approved flood-bond language, so that equitable has nothing to do with the dictionary definition.
  • Says she can’t rely on partner funding for flood-mitigation projects, when she has had $750 million in HUD funding sitting on the table for 17 months. Her Community Services Department (which changed leadership three times under Hidalgo) still hasn’t submitted one project for approval to the GLO or HUD. The $750 million could fully fund every project in the flood bond.
  • Trumpets her transparency, but routinely fails to provide backup for tens of millions of dollars in spending and hasn’t defined one project for proposed bonds totaling $1.2 billion on the ballot.
  • Says she values community input but has never attended a Community Resilience Flood Task Force meeting.

As far as I can tell, after four years, Hidalgo still has not figured out how to run Harris County. She’s just a bad manager. She came to the job with no experience and has not learned along the way.

More about Alexandra del Moral Mealer

Mealer has actual leadership and job experience. Her military and business background is far more qualifying than Hidalgo’s. Mealer has Harvard MBA and JD degrees, and years of experience as a VP of a bank that has almost two trillion dollars in assets. She’s more equipped with the skill sets needed to be a county judge than Hidalgo ever was.

Mealer also has a laser focus on the things that matter to people at the county level: Crime. Courts. Jails. Flooding. Roads. Budgets. Taxes. She refuses to get bogged down in national issues that she has no control over.

She has a conservative fiscal stance on how to spend OUR money. And it doesn’t involve creating jobs for political cronies through a vast expansion of the bureaucracy.

Virtually every law enforcement agency in the county has backed Mealer’s plan for addressing crime.

She hopes to lower or maintain taxes and tax rates by eliminating wasteful spending.

Finally, having met and talked to Mealer at length several times, I believe she cares about all areas of Harris County regardless of their economic status. Said another way, I think she would treat all people and neighborhoods fairly. Mealer has integrity.

November 8th – Your Last Chance

Tomorrow is your last chance to make a change if you want one. If you’re happy with having the deepest flooding in Harris County and seeing flood-mitigation funding go elsewhere, then by all means, vote for Hidalgo. If you’re happy with soaring crime and revolving-door jails, vote for Hidalgo. But if you want to change that, vote for Mealer.

Their race is far down the ballot, buried between family court and criminal court judges. Here’s how to see a sample ballot. And here’s how to find your polling place.

Please forward this link to all of your friends, neighbors and family members…and VOTE! Remember, tomorrow is your last chance for change.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/7/22

1896 Days since Hurricane Harvey

So Far, Early Voting Turnout Dismal

Early voting turnout this year rates a D for “dismal.” At the close of polls on Wednesday 11/2/22, only 566,006 of the 2.57 million registered voters in Harris County had voted. That’s 22% with just Thursday and Friday left for early voting. By comparison, during the 2018 mid-terms (the last comparable election), 63% of Harris County voters voted early. With two days left in early voting, we can make up some ground, but not that much.

Kingwood Slightly Better than Rest of Harris County

The nightly totals show that the Kingwood Community Center has had the fourth highest turnout in Harris County so far this year.

Yet Kingwood has had only 14,000 residents vote out of the 44,000 registered in 77339 and 77345. That’s 31.8 percent so far, and much better than this year’s county-wide average of 22%. However, Kingwood’s 31.8% is still only half of the county’s 63% early-voting rate in the 2018 mid-terms.

Total 2018 Turnout Doubled Countywide Turnout to Date

During all 13 days of voting in the 2018 mid-terms (early and Election Day), 1,219,871 voted compared to 566,006 so far this year. So, 2018 turnout more than doubled turnout to date in this election.

To equal 2018 turnout, we need as many people to vote in the three days left as have already voted in the last ten!

And don’t think we’ll make it all up on Election Day. In the last mid-term, almost 63% of those who voted voted early.

So far this year, we’re about 250,000 votes short of 2018 early-voting totals. We only have two days of early voting left and the County is averaging a little more than 50,000 votes per day so far. So, even if we get another 100,000 in the last two days, we’ll still be about 150,000 early votes short of 2018.

To put that in perspective, Ed Emmett lost to Lina Hidalgo in 2018 by 20,000 votes county wide. And 30,000 people have yet to vote in Kingwood alone.

And that doesn’t even include Huffman, Spring, Humble, Atascocita, or Crosby.

A Chance to Regain Fairness on Commissioners Court

If you vote in one race in this election, vote for Republican Alexandra Mealer instead of Lina Hidalgo. Mealer offers a chance to get better balance on Commissioners Court and some measure of fairness in flood-mitigation expenditures. Right now, Democrats have a 3-2 majority and consistently vote as a block in favor of their own constituents.

Since Harvey, Harris County has spent $1.6 billion on flood mitigation projects. As of today, Harris County Flood Control District shows $234 million in capital improvement construction projects underway. NOT ONE is in the Lake Houston Area. Of the 20 active projects, 18 have gone to Democrat Commissioners Garcia and Ellis. The two Republican-leaning precincts have one each.

Screen capture from HCFCD.

Yet we had the highest flooding in the county during Harvey.

worst first
Chart showing feet above flood stage of 33 gages of misc. bayous in Harris County during Harvey.

And we’ve been one of the most heavily flood-damaged areas in Harris County dating back more than 40 years.

From MAAPnext.org. Cumulative flood losses since 1979.

Yet under Hidalgo all the money goes elsewhere in the name of “worst first.”

To All Who Flooded – Three More Days Left

Ten days of voting are behind us. Three are left: the rest of today, Friday and next Tuesday.

Get out the vote, folks! Walk your block. Knock on doors. Forward this link to everyone you know. And remember this dismal turnout the next time you flood. This election is the best chance you have to reduce flood risk to your family and property.

The Mealer/Hidalgo County Judge race is buried halfway down the ballot in the middle of judicial races – between family and civil court judges.

While you’re at it, remember the three county bond issues totaling $1.2 billion also on the ballot. And remember that the Dems already voted to distribute this money unequally, favoring Precincts One and Two by a wide margin. But you won’t see that on the ballot language. So much for transparency!

To find your sample ballot and the nearest voting location, go to HarrisVotes.com.

Yes, you will have to wait in line. But while you’re waiting, remember how long you’ve waited for flood mitigation help that has yet to arrive!

Looking east from the south side of the West Fork of the San Jacinto during Harvey

Posted on Bob Rehak on 11/3/22

1892 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

County COVID Money Buys Democratic Campaign Software Instead

The Elevate Strategies scandal tied to County Judge Lina Hidalgo just keeps mushrooming. For those who missed it, earlier this year, Hidalgo recommended hiring a 1-person company operating out of an apartment to do “COVID outreach” for $11 million. That person reportedly didn’t do any COVID outreach before public outrage about bid rigging forced the County to cancel the contract and seek a refund.

But according to a news report released yesterday, the county rushed payment for Elevate’s initial invoice of $1.4 million. With it, Elevate purchased Democratic campaign software for $538,057.

Now, according to Bill King, the company refuses to give the money back and the County Attorney, a Democrat, is fighting an Open Records request concerning the matter. For a detailed discussion of these allegations, read King’s post in its entirety. A brief summary follows.

County Attorney Fights Open Records Request on Unusual Transactions

After “winning” the lucrative $11 million contract, Elevate immediately invoiced Harris County for more than $1.4 million. The County then rushed to pay her. That’s very unusual in itself. It took Harris County five months just to cut a purchase order for the Atascocita Drainage study after commissioner’s approved that contract!

Greg Groogan of Fox26, who has been investigating this story, asked the County Attorney how he was doing in recovering the money paid to Elevate. But the County Attorney’s accounting just didn’t add up. So, Groogan filed an Open Records request. The County Attorney suddenly clammed up, said the records were not subject to the Open Records Act, and requested an opinion from the Texas Attorney General.

Meanwhile, Bill King did obtain the records – from the County Auditor’s office. Those records showed that of the $1.425 million paid to Elevate, only $208,000 was returned so far. What happened to the missing COVID money?

King found $538,057 went to buy non-refundable, nontransferable software licenses from companies that promote themselves to Democratic political campaigns for fundraising, field organizing and voter targeting.

Where Money Went

The payments include:

  • $356,093 to Civis Analytics, Inc., a data firm that grew out of Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and has ties to President Biden.
  • $172,964 to NGP Van and OutreachCircle
    • NGP Van promotes itself as the “leading technology provider to Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations.” It also claims “Nearly every Democrat running for office is powered by NGP Van.”
    • OutreachCircle boasts about its voter file management, targeting expertise and grassroots organizing capabilities.
    • OutreachCircle was recently acquired by Political Data Inc., “California’s largest provider of voter information to political campaigns.”

The County Auditor also shows that Harris County has paid another $460,000 directly to Civis Analytics since Hidalgo was elected.

Under Hidalgo that brings total payments by taxpayers – Republicans and Independents included – for Democratic political organizing capabilities to about $1 million. The County Auditor says the county never did business with any of these firms before Hidalgo.

King concludes his essay with an excerpt from a text message from one of Hidalgo’s staffers. The Texas Rangers obtained it after the scandal first became public.

Probably good for campaign purposes in her mind, but anyway, if she has some intricate picture in her head, I say F it and let her define it . . .” (Emphasis added.)

As King says, “Draw your own conclusions.”

I say, “…on your way to the polls.”

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/25/22

1883 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

The Real Inequities in Flood-Mitigation Funding

Data obtained via a FOIA Request shows that the watersheds where three top Harris County Democrats live are consuming 25% of flood-bond funding. Meanwhile, those Democrats are starving their Republican opponents and supporters alike of flood-mitigation money.

Harris County Flood Control’s website also shows there are currently no active capital-improvement construction projects in Kingwood, Humble, Huffman, Spring, Atascocita or Crosby. Yet half of all active construction project dollars are going to just three watersheds where the three top Democrat leaders live.

Largest Watershed Among Least Funded

Harris County’s largest watershed – the 215-square-mile San Jacinto – ranks #18 out of 23 watersheds in flood-mitigation funding per square mile under Lina Hidalgo’s administration. That’s according to data obtained from Harris County via a FOIA Request that shows funding through the third quarter of 2022. Neighboring watersheds in the Republican-leaning far northeast part of the county are similarly starved for funding.

Watershed Map of Harris County

Consistent Funding Bias

San Jacinto-watershed residents are not alone. Spring, Jackson and Luce watersheds comprise most of the rest of the northeast portion of the county. They are among the least funded watersheds under Hidalgo whether you measure “total flood-mitigation funding” or “funding per square mile.”

The San Jacinto received only $37 million during Hidalgo’s administration. Spring received $10.1 million. Jackson received just $2.7 million. And Luce received a minuscule $1 million.

These watersheds respectively rank:

  • #12, #18, #20 and #23 in total flood-mitigation funding
  • #18, #19, #21 and #23 in funding per square mile.

Backyard Fringe Benefits

Contrast that with the following totals under Hidalgo in three other watersheds:

  • Buffalo Bayou (91.7 square miles) is less than half the size of the San Jacinto Watershed. It received more – $39.5 million. That’s where County Judge Lina Hidalgo lives. It ranks #12 in total post-Harvey funding.
  • White Oak Bayou ranks #6 in total post-Harvey funding at $94 million. It’s half the size of the San Jacinto (111 sq. mi), but received 2.5X more flood-mitigation funding. Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia lives there.
  • Brays Bayou ranks #1 in total post-Harvey funding at $171 million – more than 8 times as much as the San Jacinto. Yet it’s only a little more than half the size (114.2 square miles). That’s where Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis lives.

Hidalgo, Garcia and Ellis spent $305 million in the three watersheds where they live. That’s six times more than the $51 million spent for the San Jacinto, Spring, Jackson and Luce Watersheds.

Buffalo, White Oak and Brays watersheds are all in the lead for flood-tunnels, too. Those could add billions more to the backyard benefits received by Hidalgo, Ellis and Garcia!

Funding-Per-Square Mile Comparison

Now, let’s compare what the watersheds above have received in funding per square mile under Hidalgo:

  • Brays = $1.5 million
  • White Oak = $845 thousand
  • Buffalo = $431 thousand
  • San Jacinto = $172 thousand
  • Spring = $169 thousand
  • Jackson = $104 thousand
  • Luce = $45 thousand

The first three above comprise 246 square miles and received $305 million under Hidalgo to date. The bottom four comprise 323 square miles and received $51 million.

So under Hidalgo, Brays, White Oak and Buffalo averaged $1.2 million per square mile. Meanwhile, the Republican-leaning San Jacinto, Spring, Jackson and Luce watersheds averaged only $158 thousand per square mile! That’s about one eighth as much.

Notice a trend? I thought the three Democrats were trying to help the poor with their equity plan. Were they really just trying to punish political opponents through funding inequities? Looking out for themselves all along? Or both?

Parts of the San Jacinto and Spring Creek watersheds experienced water more than 20 feet above flood stage during Harvey while parts of Brays and White Oak didn’t even come out of their banks.

No Active Capital Improvement Projects in Lake Houston Area

And to think! Hidalgo, Ellis and Garcia conned dozens of members of the Northeast Action Collective into requesting Commissioners Court to shift money from Kingwood to Halls Bayou. They said Kingwood was getting all the money! It hasn’t and isn’t.

At the moment, Harris County Flood Control shows NO active capital improvement construction projects in Kingwood, Huffman, Crosby, Humble, Atascocita or Spring.

Screen capture from HCFCD.org on 10/20/22. Capital improvement projects have purple markers. Orange = maintenance projects.

Yet HCFCD is spending $224 million elsewhere in the county on active construction. That includes another $71 million in Brays and $36 million in White Oak for another $107 million total. Almost HALF of the active construction projects in the entire county are going to the watersheds where Ellis and Garcia live!

And that’s in addition to the $305 million that White Oak, Brays and Buffalo already received under Hidalgo.

It takes a lot of chutzpah to spend $412 million protecting your own homes while Low-to-Moderate Income residents elsewhere flood. Now I know why the three pretend Kingwood is getting ALL the money. It’s a diversionary tactic.

Out of $1.65 billion flood-bond dollars spent to date, the watersheds where Hidalgo, Ellis and Garcia live have consumed 25%.

More news to follow as I continue to analyze the latest spending data through the third quarter of 2022.

For the complete response provided by Harris County to my FOIA Request, click here.

This summary worksheet combines funding with other factors such as population, area, damage, etc.

What You Can Do

We have a chance to do something about these inequities starting in a few days. Early voting starts on October 24. You can find polling places here.

Posted by Bob Rehak on October 20, 2022 and updated 10/21 to include spreadsheets and improve clarity.

1878 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Lessons from Florida and Ian for Harris County

Best-selling Florida author/journalist Craig Pittman penned a poignant post for the Florida Phoenix about the state’s problems evacuating coastal communities before hurricanes. While the article uses evacuation to make a point, it’s really about a political culture that permits developments that put people’s lives at risk. It’s a cautionary tale for Texas, especially Harris County where flooding is such a huge issue and where the current leadership seems to have lost interest in mitigating it.

Ignoring Evacuation Standards

The title of Pittman’s article is “Development on Florida’s barrier islands made Ian evacuation virtually impossible.”

The story traces the approval of a high-rise development on a Florida barrier island that sought building permits, despite warnings that population density would lead to a 96-hour evacuation time.

Florida has a 16-hour evacuation standard. But only 9 of the state’s 45 counties can meet it. 

Florida Phoenix article by Craig Pittman

A loophole in Florida law lets developers mitigate evacuation delays with storm shelters. “They can do that by building new storm shelters, donating land for storm shelters, or donating money for storm shelters. In other words, it’s all about shelters, not about making it any easier to get off the island,” says Pittman.

“Dial a Prayer” for Buyers after Rebuilding

Then along came a hurricane named Ian – almost a Category 5 storm. Lee County (three barrier islands) didn’t issue evacuation orders until 24-hours in advance and at least 119 people died. 

Pittman ends with this sage advice regarding rebuilding in the same place. “You know the elected officials will be bowing to whatever those developers want. So, here’s my suggestion. They should approve building in those areas that Ian destroyed, but with one requirement. Every single would-be buyer should get a photo showing exactly what that spot looked like after Ian hit.”

“Then, if they still want to buy there, give them the phone number for Dial-A-Prayer. They’re going to need it, because if another Ian hits, the only one who can help them is Jesus.”

Similarities with Texas: Ill-Advised Political Decisions

Houston had a disastrous experience with evacuation during 180 mph Hurricane Rita. Evacuation attempts were tied to 107 deaths of Houston-area residents alone. Now, we don’t even try to evacuate from wind anymore. But as I read Pittman’s article, I thought of posts I have written about our ill-advised development practices that put people in harm’s way or that contribute to flooding. Some of the highlights include:

Light pole along evacuation route for Hurricane Harvey. A proposed high-rise development (that failed) would have had thousands trying to evacuate through this area. Photo by Jim Balcom.

How soon we forget!

Lessons for Harris County

Five years after Harvey, we’ve squandered an opportunity. Articles like those above are becoming more common, not less. As fear of flooding has receded, so has the zeal to hold developers to higher standards. And the pace of flood-mitigation efforts has slowed. We’ve squandered our best chance – perhaps ever – to address flooding.

For example, fourteen months after the Texas General Land Office notified Harris County that it would get $750 million to mitigate flooding, the County has yet to submit a plan for how it would spend the money. 

In fact, the county has yet to identify a single project in the plan. Lina Hidalgo, the Harris County judge, gave the project to her Community Services department instead of Flood Control. So far, Community Services has only identified a process for determining the plan. The department is still waiting on “direction from leadership” to identify projects that add up to $750 million. 

Duh! Did someone think of listing all the unfunded flood-bond projects? This is what I mean about the loss of zeal on the part of the county leader. 

The Public-Safety Threat and What to Do About It

Potential flooding is as much of a public-safety threat as crime. Harvey stole $125 billion from people and businesses. That’s more than $30,000 for every person in Harris County. It’s time we took flooding seriously again. We need to regain our sense of urgency about flood-reduction efforts. That’s why ReduceFlooding has endorsed Alexandra del Moral Mealer for County Judge. She is laser-focused on the issues that matter most in Harris County.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/18/22

1876 Days since Hurricane Harvey 

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.

Chronicle, ReduceFlooding endorse Mealer over Hidalgo

The Houston Chronicle has endorsed Republican Alexandra del Moral Mealer for County Judge over incumbent Democrat Lina Hidalgo. I won’t recap the lengthy Chronicle article here; you should read it firsthand. But I will expand on it, especially vis-a-vis flood control, which the Chronicle touched only lightly.

Let me start by saying that after watching four year’s of Hidalgo’s missteps in flood mitigation, I support Mealer, too. It comes down to concerns about Hidalgo and the promise I see in Mealer. Let’s discuss Hidalgo first.

Hidalgo Slights Area With Worst Flooding

The person in the driver’s seat has a huge influence on where flood-mitigation money goes. And more than half of all flood-bond money spent to date has gone to Brays, Greens, White Oak, Halls, and Hunting Bayous. Those five have received more than $550 million from the flood bond through May. That’s more than half of all bond money. See below.

Flood Bond Spending through May 2022. Data obtained from HCFCD via a FOIA Request.

Here’s how that looks in a graph. Keep in mind that the San Jacinto watershed is the largest in the county.

The San Jacinto also had the highest flooding in the county during Harvey – more than 20 feet above flood stage.

worst first
Chart showing feet above flood stage at 33 gages on misc. bayous in Harris County during Harvey, including the 5 LMI watersheds listed above.

And as a result, the San Jacinto was among the most heavily damaged.

Flood-loss heat map during Harvey. From MAAPnext.org.

So, you would think this would get Judge Hidalgo’s attention. Instead, she brags about her equity prioritization framework. She claims it gives preference to the “worst first.” The only thing is, she doesn’t define “worst” the way most people would. She ignores severity of flooding and damaged structures.

Hidalgo’s Definition of Worst

Hidalgo’s formula measures Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) residents, the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, and population in an area. But many of those densely populated neighborhoods are crowded with apartments. So …

People who live above ground level and don’t flood get prioritized over people who live at ground level and do flood.

But Hidalgo can’t even tell how many residents in a watershed live with different degrees of flood risk. So, Hidalgo’s “worst first” mantra is clever but misleading. It intends to deceive.

While rewarding her core constituents with mitigation projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the entire Lake Houston Area has only $2,000 of capital-improvement flood-bond construction projects underway.

Compare that to the half billion dollars you saw above. She’s proud of that disparity. Watch the video interview embedded in the Chronicle article.

Meltdown at Universal Services

Flood-control spending is just one of the county’s “disaster areas.” Consider the County’s IT department, Universal Services, which is in meltdown. The reason you see five-month-old data above is that the county has gone through a disastrous change in its IT systems.

The department has been dogged by incompetence since Hidalgo appointed Rick Noriega to take over. He has no IT background and has pushed out people who do. The managers of every group beneath him have turned over.

Employees complain Universal Services now hires new people for their political affiliation, not professional qualifications.

The incompetence is widespread, according to multiple sources. Things have gotten so bad that many qualified staff are burning out from having to shoulder more and more of the workload. And they are quitting.

As a result, accurate, timely information is rare. And yet, Hidalgo keeps bragging about “transparency.”

Lacking Leadership, Direction on $750 Million Flood-Mitigation Allocation

Universal Services is not alone. See the org chart below.

Changes under Hidalgo. Red X’s represent changes in leadership. Green boxes represent new departments.

The Community Services Department has had three different leadership changes under Hidalgo.

So whom did she choose to develop a plan for spending $750 million in Harvey flood-mitigation funds? Community Services, not Flood Control!

Community Services may be knowledgeable about disaster relief. That’s about helping individuals recover from past floods. But flood mitigation is about lessening the severity of future floods. One requires social workers; the other requires engineers, like they have in Harris County Flood Control.

The Texas General Land Office (GLO) administers those flood-mitigation funds for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The GLO signaled its intention to allocate $750 million to Harris County on August 23, 2021, but Community Services hasn’t even started compiling a list of potential projects yet.

They are still waiting on “direction from leadership,” according to an internal memo obtained by ReduceFlooding. In 14 months, Community Services has only defined a “process” for determining the list.

Community Services has, however, determined that it wants to spend almost a hundred million of the $750 million on planning and administrative costs.

From CSD Planning Meeting Presentation for the $750 million.

Meanwhile, H-GAC which covers a much larger area and includes many more governmental entities received notification of a $488 million allocation – also on 8/23/21. Yet H-GAC has already submitted its project list, received approval, and is working with sub-recipients to secure and validate bids.

Brain Drain Continues

Some of the departments shown above have been gutted. For instance, Engineering lost 4-5 layers of management. They don’t even have a disaster relief capability anymore.

Also, their “Fix Flooding First” program lost its leader and has reported no progress in months. Fix Flooding First was especially important to people on the periphery of the county. Its objective was to get neighboring areas that drain into Harris County to adopt minimum drainage standards.

What you see in the org chart above is the wholesale replacement of highly credentialed professionals by political cronies. And often, the cronies have no experience or qualifications.

Many managers under Hidalgo have described the environment as “chaotic.”

And then there’s Elections Administration. Hidalgo hired a political activist who had never run an election. She missed key deadlines and lost 10,000 votes. So, Hidalgo replaced her … just weeks before early voting starts for the upcoming election.

Management Mayhem Under Hidalgo

In my opinion, Hidalgo’s biggest problem is that she’s just a bad manager. She:

  • Doesn’t attract and retain top talent
  • Pushes out those who disagree
  • Hires people based on political affiliation, not qualifications
  • Doesn’t value experience and institutional knowledge
  • Blatantly discriminates against Republican-leaning precincts.

Hidalgo repeatedly says that she’s proud of what most would consider screw-ups.

Hidalgo never “owns” her problems. She just waves them away. In my opinion, another four years of Hidalgo would leave the county in disastrous and unrecoverable shape.

County spending is up. Crime is up. Taxes are up. And virtually all the flood-mitigation money promised to the Lake Houston Area has so far gone elsewhere.

About Alexandra del Moral Mealer

Mealer comes to the job with much more life and leadership experience than Hidalgo did. She has a way of confronting the truth head on.

You would expect that from a West-Point-educated Army Captain who commanded a bomb squad in Afghanistan. Mealer understands:

  • The necessity of accurate intel
  • That peoples’ lives and livelihoods depend on the decisions she makes.
Alex Mealer
Alex Mealer spent days touring the Lake Houston area to understand local flooding issues first hand. Hidalgo has not.

Mealer also has MBA and JD degrees from Harvard. She was a VP at Wells Fargo where she helped put together billion-dollar oil-and-gas deals before deciding to run for County Judge. In flooding as with law enforcement…

Mealer’s focus is making sure the county spends money wisely.

Straight Talk Vs. the Flood-Control Fairy Tale

Before this campaign, Mealer acquired a wealth of knowledge about how the county works. And she has surrounded herself with experts on various subjects.

The Chronicle described her as a data wonk. In my opinion, that’s what the county needs: someone grounded in reality. In one commissioner’s court meeting after another, Hidalgo, Garcia and Ellis, have spun a flood-control fairly tale.

It goes something like this. “Flood control has ignored poor neighborhoods. Rich ones like Kingwood get all the flood-mitigation money.” Why? They point to institutional racism!

If we had a judge who knew where her money was actually going, she could have challenged this myth. The reality is that LMI neighborhoods have consistently received the lion’s share of flood-mitigation funding going back decades.

By ignoring reality and blaming flooding on racism, Hidalgo has divided people. Worse, she has diverted attention AWAY FROM the REAL causes of flooding.

Laser Focus on Results that Benefit All

I have discussed flooding issues with Mealer a dozen times since the primary last spring. In my opinion, she is laser focused on accurately diagnosing problems. National and state issues over which she has no control do not distract Mealer.

Mealer is determined to provide a safe and secure community with well-maintained public infrastructure that support growth and opportunity for all.

Accurately diagnosing problems is the key to fixing them quickly and cost effectively.

I, for one, don’t plan to support Hidalgo. She continually says she needs more money when she doesn’t know where billions of flood-mitigation dollars have gone. Nor does she seem eager to deploy another $750 million already in her hip pocket. I’m voting for Mealer.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/16/22

1874 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.