The West Houston Association Newsletter | June 2016 | View in browser
President's Message: New Operations & Programs Director
Auggie Campbell, President, West Houston Association

West Houston AssociationI am very pleased to announce that Mary Harmon will start as the West Houston Association’s Operations and Programs Director on June 13th.

“Mary is very impressive,” said Steve Costello, the City of Houston’s new Chief Resiliency Officer. “[The West Houston Association] is making a great choice.”

Mary worked six years at the City of Houston for Councilmember Oliver Pennington. She served as his Deputy Chief of Staff, focusing on constiuent affairs, economic development, and media content. Mary also worked on all of Pennington’s campains for City Council and for Mayor, handling fundraising events, social media and website content, voter outreach, and endorsements.

As Operations & Programs Director, Mary will manage WHA’s events, office and financial matters, website, media, and general communications. She will play a key role on policy development and budgeting.

Mary is a Houston native and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado—Boulder. She worked on congressional campaigns in Illinois before coming back to Houston in 2009.

Please welcome Mary to WHA—I hope you find her as impressive as John and I have.

Op-Ed: The Tax Day Flood by David Hightower

West Houston AssociationThe “Tax Day Flood” is an appropriate name for what occurred on April 17, 2016. Like “Remember the Alamo”; “Remember the Tax Day Flood” should be a call to action.

Tropical Storm Allison holds the record for the most intense rainfall event in our history, but the brunt of its devastation was mostly limited to the Greens Bayou and adjoining watersheds. The so called “Tax Day Flood” impacted a much broader swath of our metropolitan Houston area.

Historic rainfall occurred in the upper reaches of multiple watersheds, mostly on the west side of the City. A recent Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) rainfall report states that in some areas the storm exceeded the 500 year event. The heaviest rainfall occurred over the un-developed areas of north and western Harris and County most of Waller County. Waller County is mostly rural and currently has no improved drainage and flood control facilities with a significant portion of its runoff flowing into western Harris County. read more

University of Houston—Katy Campus

West Houston AssociationThe University of Houston System has announced plans to purchase 46 acres and to build a state-of-the-art academic building in Katy. The new site will be known as UHS University Park.

On May 19th, UH System regents approved the purchase of 14.6 acres near the northwest Grand Parkway for $13.8 million. The land purchase contract with Parkshide Capital includes an option for an additional 14.6 acres for $6.3 million if purchased within 12 months. read more

Event Review: A Radack Classic at the 2016 WHA County Issues Forum

West Houston Association Commissioner Steve Radack needed little introduction in what has turned into an annual tradition: the commissioner speaking at WHA’s County Issues Forum Luncheon, serving up a lot of candid ideas with plenty of humor.

Commissioner Radack started by saying, “After years in law enforcement, it feels like I came into this job and traded in my gun for a shovel. I don’t which is harder to use.”

He stressed the need for cooperation between government entities, and gave some examples of recent successes, like the joint processing center. The Commissioner also noted that it was hard to get voters interested in the most important issues, but the audience could help. read more
Committee Updates & Related News
Education & Workforce Development:
Employment Demand Numbers
Chair: Chanda Cashen Chacon, Texas Children’s Hospital
Next Meeting: June 20th, 2pm at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus

The May 16th meeting focused on building cooperation and joint-programs between our current institutional members (e.g. Katy ISD, HCC, U of H, Texas Childrens’, etc.). The committee developed a plan to generate projections for employment in key areas: (a) healthcare; (b) engineering; (c) trades; and (d) education. We will work to engage more members, including at least one of our Rising Leaders.
Flood Control, Drainage & Wetlands:
Guidelines Completion
Chair: Lee Lennard, Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc.
Next meeting: June 13th, 2 pm at HCFCD Office (Guests: City of Houston Officials)

On April 11th, WHA’s Drainage Committee met with Harris County Flood Control District to review the Supplemental Guidelines and Criteria and for Developing in the Addicks/Barker Watersheds and the Upper Cypress Creek Watershed Upstream of U.S. 290. These guidelines passed the Commissioner’s Court on March 29th. HCFCD and WHA’s Drainage Committee will hold workshops in the next few months to address Bear Creek (1) Drainage Corridor Requirements (May-June)); and Mitigation Banking (July-August). We will meet with HCFCD staff again at the Drainage Committee’s June Meeting—we moved this up in order to accommodate the need to take care of the Bear Creek Supplemental Guidelines. We plan to meet with the City, County, and the U.S. Corps at upcoming meetings. The Technical Forum on flooding issues will take place later this year.
Parks, Recreation, & Open Space:
West Houston Master Trail Plan
Chair: Chris Patterson, RVI, Inc.
Next Meeting: July 27th, 2:00am at WHA’s Office

The Rick Rice Park Design Team, led by Rick Ellis and Tara Klein, showed the committee its project and provided a brief history of the collaboration that made the project work. The Committee will keep working to develop recognition criteria for parks and recreational space. The Committee will also work on recommended park projects as well as the parties and means necessary to implement these projects, and common standards that WHA would recommend across Greater West Houston.
Quality Planned Development:
Cane Island
Chair: Peter Houghton, Howard Hughes Corporation – Bridgeland
Next meeting: June 23rd, noon at Cane Island (pending final arrangement)

On April 21st, the Quality Planned Development Committee met at Cross Creek Ranch. Rob Bamford provided an overview of the QPD designated community. The QPD committee will play a key role in developing a framework for various parts of the 2050 plan. The next QPD meeting will pick up discussion on many of these issues and devote time to the 2050 plan framework.

The June 23rd meeting will include a community tour and detailed discussion on sustainability and different elements that could be part of the QPD designation. The committee will also look at how (and who in) the committee can work on coordinating the 2050 plan framework.
Regional Mobility:
Call For “Red-List” Project Priorities
Chair: Mark Kilkenny, Mischer Investments
Next Meeting: July 11th at noon in WHA’s office (Guests: HGAC officials)

The meeting May 9th meeting will focus on WHA’s project priorities for 2017 and creating a “red list” and “yellow list” of projects to recommend for inclusion on the HGAC Transportation Improvement Plan and applicable Capital Improvement Plans or the Regional Transportation Plan. The Red List are projects that are “quick wins”, focusing on the biggest return for the smallest, easiest investment and would include traffic management, like turn lanes, and signalization and synchronization improvement. All members are invited to send red list projects to by no later than June 30th.
Sustainable Infrastructure:
Recognition Program Development
Chair: Jim Russ, EHRA
Next meeting: June 14th, 7:30 am at EHRA’s Office

The Sustainable Infrastructure committee met on May 10th and fined the concepts for recognizing development teams that use programs from a sustainability “matrix” under development by the committee. The “matrix” program will provide applicants with recognition and provide WHA members with information on which sustainability programs are most effective.
Water Resources:
Purple Pipe Forum
Chair: Jack Miller, R.G. Miller
Next meeting: July 21st, 2 pm at WHA’s Office

Following up on the presentation by Jeff Benjamin on the City of Houston’s alternative procurement (design-build) project on Lake Houston, Jace Houston, SJRA’s general manager, provided an update on SJRA’s project on Lake Conroe. The committee will keep planning its technical forum (via email and phone calls), slated for July 14 and develop policy initiatives for the upcoming legislative session and for inclusion in the 2050 Plan.
WHA on Social Media

The West Houston Association is working to increase our presence on social media via Facebook and Twitter. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with the endeavors, events, committees and current issues of the West Houston Association.
2016 Planned WHA Events
Look for more details in 2016 as these event dates and times are confirmed.

July 14
8-9:30 am

  Purple Pipe Technical Forum
Marriot, Westchase

August 30
6-8 pm

  West Houston Delegation Reception
Westin, Memorial City

12-2 pm

  State Issues Forum
Westin, Memorial City

October 3
12-6 pm

  WHA Golf Tournament
Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club

October 20
8-9:30 am

  Technical Forum
Marriot, Westchase

November 17
12-2 pm

  14th Annual Tri-County Judges Forum
Marriot, Westchase

December 15
6-9 pm

  Annual Christmas/Year-end Party & Awards Banquet
Westin, Memorial City
*Dates and venues are subject to revision based on scheduling and contract considerations.
West Houston Association | 713-461-9378 |
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