May 17, 2022

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Lake Houston – Humble – Kingwood Edition

33 min read

LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION

VOLUME 6, ISSUE 12 APRIL 22MAY 19, 2022

ONLINE AT

ON THE BALLOT In compliance with changes made in 2019 to the Texas Education Code, school districts are required to divide bond elections into separate ballot propositions based on what is being ‹nanced. On May 7, Humble ISD voters will decide for or against two bond propositions. 2022 L O C A L V O T E R G U I D E Total: $775M

LakeHouston-area parents battle rising child care costs as industry faces challenges

Proposition A: 94.19% Proposition B: 5.71%

BY EMILY LINCKE

Families in the Lake Houston area are facing rising child care costs, while local early education schools are grappling with inŠated supply costs due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, child care is considered unaŒord- able if it requires more than 7% of a family’s income.

PROPOSITION B: $45M • Laptops and work stations for sta’; Chromebooks and iPads for students; classroom instructional technology • Upgrades to network infrastructure • Cybersecurity, security camera and radio system upgrades schools and Summerwood Elementary School • Outdoor playground and ‹tness equipment • Additional windows and skylights at 28 campuses • Expanded ‹ne arts, athletics and CTE facilities PROPOSITION A: $730M • Construction of Middle School No. 11 • Foster Elementary School and Ross Sterling Middle School complete rebuilds • Campus for HISD’s Mosaic Program • Additional classrooms at Humble and Summer Creek high

CONTINUED ON 22

$777 per month or $9,324 annually CARE COSTS Child care can be expensive for families, especially those with limited incomes. According to the Economic Policy Institute, child care in Texas for one child at age 4 can cost $7,062 annually, while infant care costs more. 7.8% more than annual in-state tuition for a four-year public Texas college is the average cost of infant care in Texas. COMPARED

If approved, Proposition A would include the complete rebuild of Ross Sterling Middle School. (Unocial rendering courtesy Humble ISD)

SOURCE: HUMBLE ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

NOTE: THIS LIST IS NOT COMPREHENSIVE.

Humble ISDputs $775Mbond onMay 7 ballot

BY WESLEY GARDNER

Citizens Bond Advisory Committee, which con- sisted of roughly 160 community members. Holly Ham, an HISD parent who served on the advisory committee, said one of the most import- ant factors she considered during the planning process was providing top-tier educational oppor- tunities throughout the district. “There’s no doubt that there was a tremendous

15.7% of a median family’s income is required to cover care for one infant in Texas.

15.8% of Texas families can a’ord infant care, meaning it requires 7% or less of their income.

Residents living in Humble ISD’s bound- aries will decide a bond referendum May 7 with two propositions totaling $775 million that aim to address the district’s growth and technology needs. At a Feb. 15 meeting, the HISD board of trust- ees unanimously approved a recommended bond proposal developed by the district’s 2021-22

SOURCES: ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE, LONE STAR COLLEGE”KINGWOOD ECONOMICS PROFESSOR SHUANG XU, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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LOCAL VOTER GUIDE 2022

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IMPACTS

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LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMKIM: This monthly edition is delivered to over 87,000 homes every month across the Lake Houston, Humble, Atascocita and Kingwood communities. In addition to our monthly publication, you can learn about breaking news across our area by visiting communityimpact.com as well as by subscribing to our daily newsletter and listening to our weekly podcast. As always, we welcome your feedback, and thank you for being a valued reader. Kim Giannetti, GENERALMANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROMHANNAH: Local elections are just around the corner, and voters in the Lake Houston area will be able to make their voices heard at the polls May 7. On this ballot, voters can expect to see two Humble ISD bond propositions totaling $775 million. For more information on each of the propositions, see our front- page story, which continues on Page 18. Additionally, for more information about the candidates running for Humble City Council and the Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 board of commissioners, see Pages 16-17. Hannah Zedaker, EDITOR

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LAKE HOUSTON • HUMBLE • KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

E. INDUSTRIAL PKWY.

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Grab N Go Tacos

Living Spaces

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6 Preleasing at The Gregory Apartments in Porter is now open with the rst residents expected to move into the new complex in May. Located at 22260 Valley Ranch Parkway, the community features 269 apartments with one- and two-bedroom oor plans that include stand-alone kitchen islands, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and 9-foot ceilings. Select homes may include a private den or study room, mudrooms, large soaking tubs, dual-vehicle garages and private yards. Community amenities include a resort- style pool with swimming lanes, a tness center and spin room, a cocktail lounge, a community garden, a conference center, a game room and outdoor space for pets. Oƒcials noted prices vary depending on the oor plan with preleasing price points planned between $1,400-$2,300 per 7 Living Spaces will open a new loca- tion in May at 18240 Hwy. 59, Humble. The home furnishings retailer oŒers both indoor and outdoor furniture as well as home decor, lighting xtures and art pieces. Living Spaces designs and manu- factures an assortment of products that are available both online and in store, in- cluding collections with celebrity design- ers, such as Joanna Gaines, Nate Berkus + Jeremiah Brent, and Drew & Jonathan Scott. The new location will oŒer free nationwide shipping as well as same-day and next-day delivery in qualifying areas. 877-266-7300. www.livingspaces.com month. 281-201-5192. www.gregoryapts.com COMING SOON

fusion gourmet tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas and margaritas. Originally opening in 2017, Grab N Go Tacos has since expanded to include locations in Katy, Tomball, Sugar Land and Conroe. 281-747-7675. www.grabngotacos.com 3 National BuŒalo-style chicken wing franchise Wingstop opened a new loca- tion at the Caney Crossing shopping cen- ter in New Caney on March 24. Located at 20172 Hwy. 59, Ste. E, the eatery oŒers bone-in and boneless wings with varying spice levels and avors that are available for delivery, takeout or dine-in. 346-610-9464. www.wingstop.com 4 Michael and Tegan Mead opened a new franchise location of Deka Lash in April at 12230 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. 180, Houston, with plans of hosting a grand opening celebration June 11. Locat- ed in Generation Park, the beauty compa- ny specializes in eyelash extensions and strives to provide a beauty experience that amplies clients’ natural beauty in a friendly, luxurious environment. In addition to eyelash extensions, Deka Lash oŒers eyelash lifts and eyebrow lamina- tion. 281-595-0382. www.dekalash.com 5 On Feb. 22, Electric Chair med spa and salon opened at 1414 Northpark Drive, Ste. H, Kingwood. The business is owned by Trish Humphrey and oŒers beauty procedures such as laser hair removal, microneedling, Botox, microcur- rent body sculpting, thread face-lifts and B12 vitamin shots. The salon also pro- vides customers with hairstyling services such as cuts, extensions and coloring. 346-306-4797. www.facebook.com/humphreytrish

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NOWOPEN 1 Mean Burger celebrated its grand opening in Humble on March 10. Located at 9441 FM 1960 Bypass Road W., Ste. 200, the restaurant serves a variety of 100% Angus beef burgers, chicken sand- wiches, fries and milkshakes. N . L A K E H O U S T

281-913-5234. www.mean-burger.com

2 Grab N Go Tacos , a Spring-based street taco restaurant, opened a new location at Valley Ranch Town Center in New Caney on April 11. Located at 12073 N. Grand Parkway E., the restaurant oŒers a variety of authentic street tacos,

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY WESLEY GARDNER, EMILY LINCKE & HANNAH ZEDAKER

ness specializes in disaster restoration contract work, such as re and water damage repair. The company is moving from its Humble location to the new building located on Phillip Way in New Caney, according to the East Montgomery County Improvement District. A project- ed opening date for the new location has not yet been announced as of press time. 832-225-6709. www.hallmark-mc.com ANNIVERSARIES 11 Deca Beer in Porter celebrated the one-year anniversary of its grand opening April 10. Located at 25428 Loop 494, Ste. G, the brewery features 18 diŒerent brews—including 12 that are always kept on tap—ranging from ales, porters, lagers and bitters to stouts, pilsners and IPAs. Addi- tionally, the brewery oŒers wine as well as seasonal selections, such as a chocolate milk stout and Mexican lager. The taproom features indoor and outdoor seating as well as an array of big-screen televisions. 281-747-7746. www.decabeer.com 12 Marble Slab Creamery celebrated its one-year anniversary in the West Lake Village shopping center March 31. Locat- ed at 12230 W. Lake Houston Parkway E., Ste. 250, Houston, the business features numerous avors of ice cream, sorbet and low-fat yogurt as well as sundaes, cakes, smoothies, shakes and brownies. Cookie company Great American Cookies also serves fresh-baked cookies from the ice cream shop. 281-741-7555. www.marbleslab.com CLOSINGS 13 Euro Glo & Fit Spa closed Feb. 1, according to a Facebook post by the busi- ness. The spa, located in the Centre at Northpark shopping center at 1414 North- park Drive, Ste. B, rst opened last July and oŒered members health and beauty services, such as body wraps, spray tan- ning, halo therapy and red light therapy. www.facebook.com/euroglotspa 14 The Rustic Brush in Kingwood closed March 31. Located at 1542 King- wood Drive, The Rustic Brush oŒers do-it-yourself craft experiences, allowing customers to create personalized signs and home decor. The Kingwood location opened in 2017. www.therusticbrush.com

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Deca Beer

WESLEY GARDNER«COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

8 Construction of shopping center La Marketa de Porter is scheduled to be- gin in mid-May, project developer Ameri- can Realty Group conrmed March 17. The 36,500-square-foot project will be located at the intersection of Hwy. 59 and FM 1314 in Porter, and construction is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The shopping center will include a 10,000-square-foot Teloloapan grocery store and a 3,000-square-foot bakery, which will serve as the anchor for other businesses, such as Ostioneria Michoacán Seafood Restaurant and Peruvian-Mexican restaurant Pollo Bravo, according to ARG. Other businesses to be located in the center will include a medical oƒce and a 9 Multiple delays have prevented a new Freebirds World Burrito location from opening at 3112 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood, public relations rm Dog and Duck conrmed March 17. The location was originally planned to open in September; however, a new opening date has not yet been set. Freebirds World Burrito is an Austin-based Tex-Mex chain that serves burritos, tacos, bowls and sal- ads that can be customized according to customers’ tastes. www.freebirds.com RELOCATIONS 10 Construction on a new oƒce ware- house building for Hallmark Mitigation & Construction, LLC has begun at the East Montgomery County Improvement District’s Industrial Park, according to a March 22 Facebook post from the construction contractor. The busi- laundromat. 713-439-0101. www.arg-properties.com

The East Montgomery County Improvement District announced plans to construct a 200,000-square-foot conference and events center near Valley Ranch Town Center. FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON The East Montgomery County Improvement District board of directors Additionally, the project is projected to generate around $35.1 million in sales, hotel and venue taxes to the district, according to the news release. RENDERING COURTESY EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

announced in an April 6 news release that the district is proposing to build a $108 million, 200,000-square-foot conference center near Valley Ranch Town Center in New Caney. According to the news release, the conference center will feature a 55,000-square-foot ballroom and exhibit hall that can hold more than 6,000 people. Additionally, it will contain nearly 20,000 square feet of meeting space, which o€cials said would be large enough to hold major corporate events, trade shows, local and regional youth sporting events, consumer shows, galas, wedding receptions, proms and other private events. Over the next 30 years, o€cials said the project is projected to generate roughly $1.73 billion in net new spending within the boundaries of the district, $775 million in net new earnings and more than 500 full-time-equivalent jobs.

EMCID o€cials said construction on the project, which is being designed by Helman-Hurley-Charvat-Peacock Architects, is expected to begin in late 2022 and open by mid-2024. The facility, site preparation, furniture, ’xtures and equipment is estimated to cost $90 million, while the parking structure is projected to cost $18 million. EMCID o€cials noted the project will be supported through sales tax revenue bonds.

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LAKE HOUSTON ‚ HUMBLE ‚ KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES TxDOT declares 2021 second-deadliest year for Texas roadways; trac deaths up 15%over 2020

COMPILED BY MIKAH BOYD & HANNAH ZEDAKER

UPCOMING PROJECT

NORTHPARK PLAZA DR.

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Commissioner Laura Ryan said in a news release. “This is not blame. These are facts. We all have a role. TxDOT can do more, and we accept that responsibility. The driving public can do more. For instance, in 2021, a total of 1,522 people were killed because of speed, and a total of 1,219 were killed because they were not wearing a seat belt. These were decisions made by people that could have potentially saved 2,741 lives.” The release provided information on initiatives TxDOT is researching and studying before implementing to aid in roadway safety. Some of the initiatives include tra‚c safety cam- paigns and law enforcement funding grants as well as proven life-saving roadway designs. TxDOT is also reviewing crash data to identify areas where drivers are more likely to crash and will use its ndings to focus initiatives in those areas.

The Texas Department of Trans- portation sent out a press release in March detailing its ndings that are part of a larger issue nationwide: Roadways are becoming increasingly deadly. TxDOT reported there were more than 4,480 deaths on Texas roads in 2021, only a little behind 1981, the deadliest year to date with over 4,701 deaths. Roadway deaths are also on the rise nationwide. O‚cials reported an estimated 20,160 people died from vehicular crashes in the rst half of 2021, 18.4% higher than in 2020. Texas saw an increase of 15% from 2020-21. TxDOT elaborated on the shared responsibility among Texas drivers, roadway engineers and law enforce- ment to reduce the number of deaths on Texas roads. “Driver behavior is one of the causes but also one of the most important solutions,” Transportation

TRAFFIC TRAGEDIES While most tra‚c crashes did not result in injuries, thousands of Texans died or faced serious injuries on the roads in 2021. REPORTED VEHICLE CRASHES IN TEXAS IN 2021

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Loop 494 expansion Construction is underway on a project to expand Loop 494 between half a mile north of Kingwood Drive and north of Sorters McClellan Road from two to four lanes with a raised turf median, center turn lanes and inter- sections, and sidewalks. According to Danny Perez, public information o‚- cer for the Texas Department of Trans- portation, ISI Contracting is about 76% done with project construction. Timeline: July 15, 2019-fourth quarter 2022 Cost: $15.8 million Funding sources: 80% federal, 20% state

Noninjuries

1.07M

Possible injuries

137.4K

Unknown injuries

100.4K

82.5K Suspected minor injuries 19.4K Suspected serious injuries

4.5K Fatalities

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF APRIL 13. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LHKNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

SOURCE: TEXAS PEACE OFFICER’S CRASH REPORTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2022

HISTORY

Historic Humble Cemetery to undergo restoration

BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

the organization has done what work it physically can by resetting 23 small headstones and cleaning each of the cemetery’s 300-400 headstones at least twice. However, for the bigger headstones, Grubbs said a professional would be needed, so she began working with city oœcials to make it happen. At its March 10 meeting, the Humble City Council approved a general services agreement with Texas Cemetery Restoration LLC for the restoration, repair and leveling of 34 monuments at the Humble Cemetery in the amount of $9,939.75. Grubbs said she selected the monuments that were in most need of repair to be included in this ‰rst batch. “There’s even more work; I mean that’s just a drop in the bucket of what we still need to do, so we do want to continue working with y’all,” Grubbs said. According to Mayor Norman Funderburk, of the 34 selected monuments, 13 belong to military veterans, including ‰ve who fought in the Civil War—both Union and Confederate soldiers—and eight who fought during WorldWar I. “We’re thankful that together, all of us, we can be good stewards of this cemetery, and it’s worthwhile,” Funderburk said. “We talk so much about how fortunate we are to have the rich history that we have in our community, and so much of that is embodied right here in the cemetery.”

The Humble Cemetery will soon be getting a facelift following the unanimous approval of a nearly $10,000 general services agreement between the city of Humble and Texas Cemetery Restoration LLC. Located at 391-405 S. Houston Ave., Humble, the Humble Cemetery is believed to be the town’s oldest with the earliest documented burial taking place sometime between 1867-79, according to a Texas His- torical Commission marker, which was awarded to the cemetery in 1992. Owned by the city of Humble, the cemetery is the ‰nal resting place for several Civil War andWorldWar I military veterans. In 2017, the James Tull Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution chose the cemetery as its historic preservation project. “Probably 90% of the cemetery, if not more, needs something [done],” Historic Preservation Chair Connie Grubbs said. “I’ve had a few [headstones] fall since we started this in 2017, but because they’re too big, I can’t do anything about it.” In 2018, Grubbs said she received a quote that it would cost $50,000 for a company to professionally reset, clean and level the entire cemetery. “It’s an extremely expensive job,” she said. Despite obstacles such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Grubbs said

The Humble Cemetery is located at 391 405 S. Houston Ave. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper) PRESERVING HISTORY Restoration eorts will soon begin on the Humble Cemetery, which is believed to be the town’s oldest cemetery with the earliest documented burial taking place between 1867-79.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DEVELOPMENT Residents voice concerns over proposed housing

THE VIEWAT LAKE HOUSTON The proposed 90.5-acre master-planned community would include amenities including an amphitheater, boardwalk, boat dock and lakefront trail. Single-family homes Multifamily homes

BY WESLEY GARDNER

20 residents who spoke in opposition of the development—including Humble ISD trustees Robert Sitton and Robert Scarfo—said the property would be better suited for HISD’s 11th middle school. While the district owns roughly 150 acres of property across the street from the 90.5 acres in question, HISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said she believes the additional property is necessary for the district because the area is rapidly expanding. Sitton said HISD sent a letter of intent to HCHA o’cials in January to purchase the property. Jim Brissee, Harris County assistant county attorney, said if the district had oered an amount of money that was “substantially more” than what was presented, a deal could have been possible. Sitton said the district has since submitted a second oer that is 10% higher that the initial proposal. District o’cials said they could not con™rm the amount of the oer due to ongoing negotiations. HCHA board Chair Gerald Womack said the housing authority will consider HISD’s oer but did not indicate when a decision would be made. Community response J.K. Washington, a local homeowner who has taken the lead in the community response to

More than 150 Lake Houston-area residents attended a March 23 public meeting to voice their concerns about a proposed housing development planned for a 90.5-acre tract of land located o West Lake Houston Parkway. The property, located in the 77044 ZIP code near Lake Houston, was initially acquired by the Harris County Housing Authority in February 2009 with plans to build The View at Lake Houston—a mixed- use, mixed-income, master-planned community including both properties for purchase and rent. HCHA CEO Horace Allison stressed the devel- opment is not considered public housing and will be funded through the Texas General Land O’ce, private debt and HCHA tax credits. “I want people to understand this is not … the Fifth Ward,” Allison said at the March 23 meeting. “These are new, modern, well-designed facilities.” Allison noted the housing would be available to residents meeting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s de™nition of low to mod- erate income, which falls between $26,500-$63,350 a year for a family of four. Humble ISD interest At the March 23 meeting, many of the roughly

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SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

the proposal, listed several concerns, including whether the development might contribute to added crime in the area, how the project would aect neighboring property values and who would pay for police and emergency services. Because the HCHA is a tax-exempt entity, the only properties in the development that would generate property tax revenue would be the single-family homes available for purchase. “That means that the residents who live in the general area who are being taxed are responsible for [those additional expenses],” Washington said.

WE MANAGE EMERGENCIES!

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LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2022

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Humble & New Caney ISDs

COMPILED BY WESLEY GARDNER

SCHOOL NOTES HUMBLE ISD Student programming, teacher compensation, and the needs of new and renovated campuses were among the priorities listed for Humble ISD’s scal year 2022-23 budget during a specially called March 29 budget workshop. According to HISD Chief Financial Oƒcer Billy Beattie, the workshop was held to give trustees a general overview of the district’s needs as oƒcials prepare next year’s budget. Beattie noted in†ation rates, property value growth, projected student growth and attendance rates will be taken into consideration throughout the budget process. The district will hold additional workshops in April and May before presenting a proposed budget to trustees for consideration in June. Humble ISD board of trustees will meet at 7 p.m. May 10 at 20200 Eastway Village Drive, Humble. 281-641-1000. www.humbleisd.net New Caney ISD board of trustees will meet at 6 p.m. May 16 at 21360 Valley Ranch Parkway, New Caney. 281-577-8600. www.newcaneyisd.org MEETINGSWE COVER

Humble ISD trustees approve application to join Teacher IncentiveAllotment initiative

NewCaney ISDhires newhuman resources executive director

HUMBLE ISD Trustees voted to allow Humble ISD to apply for the state’s Teacher Incentive Allotment initiative during their March 8 board meeting. Ocials noted through the program, HISD teachers can make an additional $3,500-$27,700 a year, depending on the teacher’s achievements, the school’s location and socioeconomic status. How- ever, 10% of the additional income would go back to the district to help support the initiative. Rick Gardner, HISD associate superintendent of human resources, said HISD will initially run the initiative as a pilot program that will only include Title I schools and teachers of record, meaning elementary school-level reading teachers; middle school-level English and math teachers; and high school- level English, math, science and special education teachers.

Weighted components Teachers will be measured based on observation, student growth and attendance, with scores for each correlating with one of three designations.

NEWCANEY ISD The New Caney ISD board of trustees approved the hiring of Christie Gates as the district’s new

Recognized Exemplary Master

executive director of human resources at its March 21 meeting. Gates, who boasts more than 20 years of public education experience, most recently served as deputy superintendent of administrative services at Sheldon ISD. Throughout her career, Gates has served various school districts as an elementary school principal, a chief administrative ocer, an executive director of personnel services, a director of personnel services and a coordinator of special education instructional services. She began her career in education as an elementary math and science teacher. Gates

TEACHER OBSERVATION:

3.7

3.9

4.5

STUDENT GROWTH:

55% 60% 70%

TEACHER ATTENDANCE:

95% 97% 99%

SOURCES: HUMBLE ISD, TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCYŸCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Eligible teachers will have the opportunity to achieve one of three designations with ‘nancial com- pensation increasing with each tier. Teachers will be measured based on observation, student growth and attendance.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from the city of Humble, Harris & Montgomery counties

QUOTEOFNOTE “I DONOT AND WILL NOT CAVE TOBULLYING OR POLITICAL DIRTY TRICKS.” LINA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE NUMBER TOKNOW Harris County commissioners approved the allocation of federal pandemic relief money to fund prosecutor positions at the district attorney’s o ce on April 5. This followed an update on the county’s criminal court case backlog—which consists of 24,000 misdemeanor cases more than six months old and 18,000 felony cases more than one year old. About $7.5 million will cover additional prosecutors and salary increases for existing prosecutors. District attorney’s o ce o cials said they need to be fully sta„ed to retain prosecutors and continue chipping away at the backlog. The funding was approved in a 4-0 vote with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo abstaining. $7.5M Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. April 26 and May 10 at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. 713-274-1111. www.harriscountytx.gov Montgomery County Commissioners Court will meet at 9:30 a.m. April 26 and May 10 at 501 N. Thompson St., Ste. 402, Conroe. 936-756-0571. www.mctx.org Humble City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. April 28 and May 12 at 114 W. Higgins St., Humble. 281-446-3061. www.cityo›umbletx.gov MEETINGSWE COVER

3 Harris County employees now facing felony indictments

BY EMILY LINCKE

FOLLOWING THE CONTROVERSY Harris County’s $11 million contract with Elevate Strategies for COVID-19 vaccine outreach sparked controversy, leading to the recent indictment of three county employees. June 2021: Harris County Commissioners Court approves an $11 million contract with Elevate Strategies. September 2021: Republican commissioners share concerns about the integrity of the contract awarding process, and the contract is canceled. October 2021: Texas Ranger Daron Parker begins his investigation into the contract. March 2022: Search warrants are executed for laptops, phones and Google ”les of Harris County employees. April 2022: Three Harris County employees are indicted for criminal felonies related to the contract. SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS RANGERS, HARRIS COUNTY DISTRICT CLERK¢ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

HARRIS COUNTY Three Harris County employees are facing indictments for the felony charges of misuse of o cial information and tampering with records, according to Harris County district clerk records. The indictments come one month after search warrants were rst executed in connection with a controversial county contract. Aaron Dunn, Wallis Nader and Alex Triantaphyllis are each facing warrants for their arrests for the criminal charges, according to the district clerk’s records. Dunn, Nader and Triantaphyllis serve as the senior adviser for public safety and emergency management, policy director and chief of sta for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s o ce, respectively. “I do not and will not cave to bullying or political dirty tricks,” Hidalgo said in a statement April 12.

Montgomery County establishes payroll department budget

Humble City Council unanimously denies variance request fromBarefoot RVPark LLC

BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

E

CITY OF HUMBLE The fate of 34.7 acres of property remains unclear after Humble City Council unanimously denied a variance request made by the property owners—Barefoot RV Park LLC—at the March 24 City Council meeting. Barefoot RV Park purchased the property in 2013 with plans of developing an RV park, according to Robert Saville, who represented Barefoot RV Park at the meeting. However, in December 2018, the city of Humble approved new regulations that Saville said hinder Barefoot RV Park’s ability to build an RV park. In response, Barefoot RV Park made a variance request. However, Mayor Norman Fun- derburk said the new regulations,

BY JISHNU NAIR

MONTGOMERY COUNTY Montgomery County commissioners allocated $271,289.15 toward its new payroll department at an April 12 Commissioners Court hearing. The new payroll department was created after commissioners voted to strip Montgomery County Treasurer Melanie Bush of her payroll-related duties March 8, alleging repeated errors. The funding was taken from Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts’ department budget. County Judge Mark Keough previously told Community Impact Newspaper the new department would be cost neutral to the county.

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while strict, were implemented purposefully. “We feel like if someone is going to come in here with a develop- ment, in this case an RV park, we need to set the bar high,” he said. Following a motion by Fun- derburk, Humble City council members unanimously denied the variance request.

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LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2022

L O C A L V O T E R G U I D E GUIDE Candidates and information for local elections

COMPILED BY MATT STEPHENS & HANNAH ZEDAKER

D A T E S T O K N O W April 25 First day of early voting

W H E R E T O V O T E

May 7 Election day May 7 Last day to receive ballot by mail (or May 9 if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7 p.m. at location of election)

For information on where to vote in city of Humble and Humble ISD elections, visit www.harrisvotes.com. For information on where to vote in Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 elections, visit www.esd11.com.

April 26 Last day to apply for ballot by mail (received, not postmarked) May 3 Last day of early voting

SOURCES: TEXAS SECRETARY OF STATE, HARRIS COUNTY ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR’S OFFICE, HARRIS COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT NO. 11‡COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

S A M P L E B A L L O T

*Incumbent

Proposition F Shall Article 1, Section 5 and Article II, Section 13 of the city of Humble charter be amended to increase the notice period for personal injury or damage to property lawsuits against the city and authorize City Council to give notice by posting at City Hall and on the city’s internet website? Proposition G Shall Article VIII, Section 5 of the city of Humble charter be amended to prohibit city o›cers or employees from participating in a vote or decision in which the individual has a substantial interest as provided by state law? Proposition H Shall Article I, Sections 2, 4, 8, 9 and 10; Article V, Section 1; and Article VIII, Sections 11 and 14 of the city of Humble Charter be deleted or amended to eliminate outdated and unnecessary provisions? Proposition I Shall Articles I, II, V, VII, and VIII of the city of Humble charter be amended to correct misspellings and make other nonsubstantive changes to update language to current usage?

Proposition B Shall Article II, Sections 7 and 9 of the city of Humble charter be amended to authorize City Council to set compensation of elected and appointed o›cers and to adopt and carry out plans for the improvement of neighborhoods as permitted by state law? Proposition C Shall Article VIII Sections 7 and 14 of the city of Humble charter be amended to authorize City Council to rearrange and renumber provisions in the charter by ordinance and require the periodic review of the charter by a charter commission? Proposition D Shall Article II, Section 14; Article III, Section 4; and Article V, Sections 2 and 3 of the city of Humble charter be amended to permit the audit report, budget hearings and notices, and city contracts to be adopted and made as required by state law and City Council policies? Proposition E Shall Articles II, V, and VII of the city of Humble charter be amended to make the charter consistent with state and federal law regarding the conduct of elections and quali˜cations for City Council?

HARRIS COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT NO. 11 Commissioner

HUMBLE ISD BOND Proposition A

The issuance of $730 million school building bonds for the construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, renovation, expansion, improvement and equipment of school buildings in the district; the purchase of the necessary sites for school buildings; the purchase of new school buses; the retro˜tting of school buses with emergency safety and security equipment; and the purchase or retro˜tting of vehicles to be used for emergency, safety or security purposes; and levying and imposition of taxes su›cient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and the costs of any credit agreements. Proposition B The issuance of $45 million school building bonds for the design, construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, renovation, expansion, improvement and upgrading of technology equipment and systems, technology infrastructure and instructional technology; and levying and imposition of taxes su›cient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and the costs of any credit agreements.

Joel Ocasio Kevin Brost* Christopher David Dorothy Dalton Zach Dunlap HUMBLE CITY COUNCIL Place 3 Bruce Davidson* Place 4 Paula Settle* Place 5 Linda Greenan David Pierce* HUMBLE SPECIAL CHARTER ELECTION Proposition A

Shall Articles I, II, III, V, and VIII of the city of Humble charter be amended to clarify and de˜ne the powers and duties of the city manager and the city manager’s relationship to City Council, the mayor and city attorney?

NOTE: THE TWO CANDIDATES WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF VOTES WILL SERVE FOUR©YEAR TERMS AS COMMISSIONER ON THE HARRIS COUNTY ESD NO. 11 BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS.

S T A T E W I D E P R O P O S I T I O N S

Senate Joint Resolution 2 Second special session of 87th Texas Legislature

Senate Joint Resolution 2 Third special session of 87th Texas Legislature

PROPOSITION 1

PROPOSITION 2

Ballot text

What does it mean?

Ballot text

What does it mean?

The constitutional amendment authorizing the Leg- islature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementa- ry and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reŠect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes im- posed for those purposes on the homestead.

The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000.

Although property taxes are already frozen for the disabled and those over the age of 65, this proposition would allow for additional property tax relief from school districts for the disabled and elderly. If approved, it would allow the Legislature to provide property tax cuts even to those elderly and disabled homeowners with frozen taxes.

Every homeowner in Texas is already o”ered a $25,000 homestead exemption on property taxes from public school districts—meaning the –rst $25,000 of a home’s appraised property value does not count against a homeowner’s annual property taxes. If approved, that exemption for home- owners would be raised to $40,000.

SOURCES: TEXAS SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE WEBSITE; JOSHUA BLANK, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS; DALE CRAYMER, TEXAS TAXPAYERS AND RESEARCH ASSOCIATION‡COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2022

CANDIDATE Q&A

Get to know the candidates running in the election

Incumbent

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11, commissioner

JOEL OCASIO

Occupation: owner of Command Communications Relevant experience: KEVIN BROST

Occupation: surgical sales Relevant experience: involved in health care since 2003; lived in ESD 11’s district for 37 years 832-422-6372 www.esd11election.com www.facebook.com/voteesd11 CHRISTOPHER DAVID [I will] help facilitate the continued growth of ESD 11 with quality ser- vice while maintaining one of the lowest ESD tax rates in the area. [I will continue] a forward path … to increase the number of ambu- lances on the road, [improve] response times and [maintain] high levels of prehospital care.

DOROTHY DALTON

ZACH DUNLAP

Occupation: paramedic Relevant

Occupation: executive assistant Relevant experience: worked in health

Occupation: paramedic and CEO of Ocasio Investments Relevant experience:

experience: 10 years of experience as a paramedic and ‹ight paramedic www.stopthespendesd11.com

care with cancer doctors—on the corporate side—for the last 13 years www.stopthespendesd11.com

emergency medical certied for 33 years; 36 years as chief o cer of a re/EMS agency; 15 years as ESD 11 commissioner www.esd11election.com www.facebook.com/voteesd11

current health care provider for the ESD 11 community with a background in mortgage and nance https://ocasioforesd11. nationbuilder.com

What would be your top priorities if elected?

I want to help mold the future of ESD 11 and repair the current problems within ESD 11’s commu- nication and dispatch system. We currently use Sonim cellular devic- es that ƒre departments and EMS ƒeld sta„ have reported that they cannot communicate e…ciently.

Continue growing the amazing new ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare service that we … put in place just over a year ago. Continue to be overly transparent with the spend- ing of taxpayer money. … Continue to make sure ESD 11 is providing the best medics, … equipment, etc. for [the community].

Make the public aware of how the ESD 11 board operates, and make sure this board becomes ac- countable to the taxpayers. They currently give themselves an open checkbook of taxpayer dollars. Stop the spending of millions of taxpayer dollars without putting it to vote by the taxpayers.

Provide transparency regarding the millions of dollars spent irresponsibly to create a new EMS system that has not gained the community anything at all. I will ask intelligent questions of the current EMS administration regarding their daily operations and clinical care provided. ESD 11 residents have lost access to quality clinical care they previously had. They no longer will receive blood administration if they are critically injured; they do not have access to [the] Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, … and our citizens are in millions of dollars of debt. Accountability for the public is paramount. The EMS services are now suboptimal compared to what was o„ered in the past. It is unacceptable that this continues to go unchecked, partly due to there being no EMS experience on this board.

What are the biggest challenges now facing ESD 11, and how do you plan to address them?

I will shed light to the residents on the current systems being utilized by the ƒrst responders, as there was no input from the communi- ty. There is a serious disconnect between the current commission- ers and the residents of the ESD 11 community. I hope to bridge this gap as an ESD 11 commissioner.

[I will] not [let] the board be taken over by … cronies of the former, now bankrupt, Cypress Creek EMS. There were many people … receiving very questionable con- tracts worth millions … that would like to see things go back to the way things were. I will not allow that to happen when re-elected.

Change. Many people don’t realize the change that has taken place over the last year with the local EMS provider. Misinformation, rumors and politics have been distracting fromwhat is being accomplished. I plan to listen, ed- ucate and make the best decisions for the community.

Calling 911 and ESD 11 responding is like playing Russian roulette. We don’t know if we are going to get proper emergency care.

If elected, what will you do to ensure district residents receive optimal emergency services?

I’ll halt the current $50 million development and utilize that to increase from 10 ambulances to 30 ambulances running 24 hours. We’ll partner with the ƒre depart- ments to decrease response times, bring back blood products and partner with Life Flight [for our] paramedic training.

I will continue to require that the ESD 11 command sta„ provide the commissioners all relevant performance matrices for our evaluation and continue to adjust the oversight to ensure optimal performance and monetary spending in the district.

Continue moving forward. A lot has been accomplished by a very dedicated board in a short amount of time. The community has already seen improvements in the number of ambulances on the road, response times and e…cient operations. Working with the current board … is critical.

I plan to make sure their 911 opera- tors and EMTs are properly trained and routinely evaluated. [I will] push to use whole blood and Life Flight services.

Answers may have been edited for length, style and clarity. Read full Q&As at communityimpact.com .

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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