ALIEF SUPER NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING
Minutes for Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Alief Super Neighborhood # 25 held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 7:00 P.M. at the CenterPoint Energy Building, 12330 Bellaire Blvd
Chairman, Michael Manning, called the meeting to order at 7:04 P.M. Anne Williams (alternate for Secretary Henry Williams) conducted the Roll Call of council members. She announced a quorum was present. (See attached.)
Hospitality: Donated by NGO Foundation. Thanks were expressed for their support of the ASNC and the Alief community. A thank you certificate was presented.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: Annise Parker (COH Controller); Donald Sampley (COH Housing Dept); Bert Magill & Brian Cogburn, (Magill Development Co).; Sara Winkler, (President AISD Board of Trustees); Ann Williams ( AISD Board member); Ernest McGowan (Councilman MJ Khan’s office); Catherine Le, (US Representative Al Green’s office); Daniel Thomas (Councilwoman Sue Lovell’s Office); Irma Hernandez, (Westchase District); Ricci Sanchez (Harris County Hospital District); Jane Nalett (TX Representative Kristi Thibaut’s Office); Robin Harrison (Alief LISC Program); Darmon Green (Westwood Super Neighborhood); Nicole Porter (Texans Together); Patrick Lee (Neighborhood Protection); Sakina Lanig (TX Senator Rodney Ellis’ office).
Barbara Quattro: to accept the January minutes. Seconded: Karen Loper. Council voted, motion passed
Michael Manning: to support the application for a subsidized apartment complex on Cook Rd. Seconded: Dorothea Pindell. Council discussed. Motion was withdrawn.
Anne Williams: to adjourn the meeting. Seconded: Michael Manning. Council voted, motion passed.
COMMITTEE & STANDING REPORTS –
CHAIRS REPORT .Tree planting in Boone Road Park on February 14th was a success. Watering trees will still be an issue in summer and volunteers are needed for a minimum of once a month. He attended the Super Neighborhood Alliance meeting. Mr. Turner of Parks and Recreation Dept. has a new concept of Citizen Park Inspector. A volunteer would be trained to go out to various parks and rate their condition on an internet web site. Michael asked for volunteers.
TREASURER’S REPORT – Barbara Quattro noted that the current balance was $4,448.85.
ALIEF COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (ACA) – Marie Lee reported that there has been additional work on the Old Alief Cemetery with Taylor High School volunteers. She also noted that 55 people attended the February Alief Business Net-working Breakfast. There will be an ACA sponsored book sale April 4th. She offered to collect donations and books people may want to sell. The International Parade will be held on September 26.
GUEST SPEAKERS: Annise Parker, City of Houston Controller – Michael asked Ms. Parker, as City Controller (for the past five years), if she got her business degree at Rice University. She said she graduated in liberal arts and worked 20 years in the oil/gas industry. The last city controller with a CPA was Kathy Whitmire. It is considered a political post and usually a city council person is elected as controller, as she did. Her job is to watch city budget, provide financial reporting, audit function, and processing checks. The budget will be announced in March. Fiscal year is from June 1 to July 1st. 70% of the budget is for police, garbage and fire department personnel overhead. The city’s income comes from: 30% sales tax, 50% property tax, 10% franchise tax and 10% “other”. She noted sales taxes are up slightly (probably from Ike spending). Ms. Parker is proud of the audit changes she brought into Houston and direct deposit for city personnel as well as improved relationship between the Mayor’s office and Controllers office. The direct deposit saved the city considerable monies. Another project she is proud of is a new one called “bank on Houston” rolled out in January. 40% of the city’s population does not have bank accounts. The goal is to get 10,000 people into bank accounts. Ms. Parker addressed questions from the floor. The city continues to seek police officer candidates and is offering a $12k signing bonus. Ms. Parker can be reached on line at the City Controllers office. There are also many reports on line for the public to view.
Bert Magill and Brian Cogburn, Magill Development Co.- proposed subsidized Park Lane Apts., Cook Road. Mssrs, Magill and Cogburn represent a proposed subsidized housing project that they would like the ASNC to support with a letter to the city. Mr. Magill noted that within an urban setting, multifamily housing and population density go hand in hand and represent those people who cannot afford single family homes. The people in need of subsidized housing have incomes of $30k or under. He outlined the various amenities that would be provided and showed other projects his company has built. Maintenance is a high priority and the company does not intend to sell these apartments. The residents are given background checks.
Donald Sampley, City of Houston Housing Dept. discussed the Federal stimulus bill of $10 billion for housing programs, especially emergency shelter grants. $13-14million was provided to the city to buy and rehabilitate certain homes, program to buy foreclosed lots and demolish (tax delinquents), and rebuild low income housing mostly inside the Loop, as well as foreclosed, abandoned apartments mostly on the NW side and the Gulfton area (heavy density). Some of that money will be used for Community Development. There are three projects in the works in Councilman Khan’s district (F) in the Alief area for senior housing. He cited the Camino Real rehab (now The Jade Stone) on Cook Rd. Mr. Sampley noted that Houston has about 14,000 homeless people which is greater than NY City. The city attempts to build subsidized housing for many of these people.
Dr. Stoerner, AISD School District Superintendent, cited the fact that Alief ISD is the second most densely populated district in the state: half the students live in apartment complexes. Within two miles of the proposed project are 12,000 units. Since there is only an 80% occupancy rate, many units remain available. Across the street from the project are two complexes with a total of 466 units. He expressed concern over so many apartments with the attendant crime, traffic and other negative problems and that such a concentration of facilities leads to deterioration into “ghettos,” of which Alief does not need more. Youens, the elementary school which would accommodate the children, is already at capacity and the district would need to rezone.
After much discussion, the ASNC declined to support the project.
v When volunteers were requested for the new Citizen Park Inspector Program, Karen Loper and Barbara Quattro volunteered to be City Park Inspectors for Hackberry and Harwin Parks respectively.
v Ms. Ricci Sanchez, Director of the Harris County Boone Road Health Clinic, announced it is scheduled to open on May 18.
UPCOMING SPEAKERS – March: Peter Brown, COH At large Councilman and Mr Brian Burks, Security Director, International Management District. Hospitality will be provided by Unity Youth Ministries.
Public Session and Announcements.
v Karen Loper reported that the state legislature will be reviewing a bill regarding an ombudsman to work with HOAs and individual homeowners. Evidently there are a lot of issues with HOAs, including not being available to homeowners and not providing the services they are charged with.
v Robin Harris discussed her proposal for the LISC Project, which if accepted will provide money for after school activities in Alief.
The next ASNC meeting will be held at 7:00 P.M. on the fourth Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at the Centerpoint building.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.
Minutes approved on _____________________
Compiled by V. M. Sugar
Respectfully Edited and Submitted
Henry Williams, Secretary