The commissioner thanked WHA members for their advocacy efforts including their participation in the HCFCD bond election in August. The flood control district is implementing projects quickly with flood bond dollars while being fiscally responsible so that no federal funds are left on the table. Making sure that the projects provided as part of the bond package get completed in a timely fashion is still the goal of the new Harris County Commissioners, although he did mention that some attention is going to how to prioritize those projects.
Commissioner Cagle discussed that Harris County will turn its attention toward the state capitol as the legislative session is underway. Cagle reported that 25% of the county’s property taxes now go towards indigent healthcare, which drains the county tax dollars that used to go towards infrastructure. As state leaders contemplate constraining property tax growth, Commissioner Cagle hoped that they would also contemplate helping to fund ballooning healthcare costs.
Uniting as a region will be the key to lasting improvements that make Greater West Houston safe and sustainable for its residents. Commissioner Cagle stressed the effectiveness of partnerships for the betterment of the community by creating more buy-in. Harris County is currently partnering with the City on projects to reduce the amount of time required to complete them. For example, Cagle pointed out that the County can complete City of Houston road and drainage projects in 4 years instead of 9-10 years normally required under the traditional City of Houston Capital Improvement Plan process. The county is open to more partnerships and would love to explore more opportunities to partner.
Commissioner Cagle stressed that wherever we go, we should seek to help each other and understand each other. The commissioner left our group with the message that there is more that unites us than separates us and learning to communicate with each other will create citizens of good heart and goodwill.