At the April 14 Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority and Tax reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) Directors Meeting, Houston City Councilman/Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Martin briefed the directors on the status of Houston’s City Council redistricting process. He also expressed his thoughts regarding any impact it will have on Kingwood. Over the next two years, Houston will embark on a process to adopt new City Council district boundaries using the information from the 2020 US Census. There will be multiple opportunities to comment and be updated on the process. The complete process including public meetings and decision dates in the process are available to the public from the City of Houston at: https://www.letstalkhouston.org/redistricting. On January 1, 2024 the new council district boundaries will go into effect.
“I don’t think it is going to be that big of a deal for Kingwood. The reason is because it (Kingwood) is the majority.” Martin said. He explained his belief is because Kingwood represents the majority of the people in northeast Houston, not only in Kingwood, but also in those areas contiguous to it. All of the people both in and around Kingwood have generally similar needs and priorities.
Martin noted the size and area within each of the 11 city districts is based on each representing approximately the same number of people. Some districts now exceed the new targeted goal as a result of the 2020 census and many have fewer people.
“We (Kingwood) are above the target so that puts us in a really good spot. The target is roughly 210,000 people in the census report. We were one of, I think, four districts above. A bunch were below so they have to look to those districts to add more population. So where do you go? I am not sure on that, but I think Kingwood is going to be fine.” Martin said.
He explained his other major area, Clear Lake City, may be a completely different story and he worries about that area of his responsibility. The reason is because the contiguous area around Clear Lake is much different from Clear Lake itself.
“You’ve heard me say this before, but I love Clear Lake. It is a great area and I have come to really love it. But they have less population than Kingwood does.” Martin said. He also noted the people of Clear Lake have always said: “We need our own person from Clear Lake.”
“I get that, I totally get that. But if you look at it, the contiguous area to Clear Lake is District D and District I.” Martin said. He pointed out those districts currently have less population than the target number of 210,000.
“So, the population represented will definitely move north because there is no south to go to.” he said and explained those adjustments will totally change the district from what it has been in terms of priorities and interests. He did not say where he thought the boundary lines would end up but expressed his personal viewpoint about the area:
“If I was the next Councilmember, I would really like to have Clear Lake because there is so much to do.” Martin said. He concluded his explanation by extending an invitation to anyone in the Kingwood area thinking about running for his city council seat.
“I only have a year and a half left. It’s a lot of hard work. I am still waiting for that person to raise their hand to run for City Council.” Martin said. He explained Kingwood needs someone who will have the passion he has for Kingwood and for getting things done.
“I’ve met with a couple of people but when they look around, they get scared of all the work that needs to happen. So, I am ready for somebody to start being by my side.” Martin said. He asked everyone in the room to spread the word.
“Anybody that wants to be a City Council Member, come talk to me. I’ll tell them the good, the bad and the ugly. We need somebody to step up to make sure we continue all the stuff we have going on here.” Martin said.
In other business, the directors:
- Approved $152,330 for bills due and $247,211 spent for Capital Projects submitted for work and services in conjunction with TIRZ projects and Services.
- Approved the termination and release of a Public Improvement Agreement with Kellington Investments limited. Ralph DeLeon, Administrator for the TIRZ explained the inactive agreement had been in place since before the creation of TIRZ to start a project in 2019, but which had not been cancelled when the project was cancelled. As a result, by formally terminating it, current financial statements of the TIRZ and its liabilities are more truly reflective of reality.
Adopted its Fiscal 2023 Operating Budget of $88,795,406 and its 2023-to fiscal year 2027 Capital Improvement Plan Budget (CIP.) of $71,442,161. Deleon explained the 5-year CIP Plan is updated annually to reflect work and monies estimated for anticipated Capital Improvements for each year in a five year projection.
The next Lake Houston TIRZ 10 Directors Meeting will be on May 12, 2022, at the Kingwood Community Center, 4102 Rustic Woods Dr, Kingwood, TX 77345.