What is it all about?
The top issue that face our community is traffic congestion and the lack of attention that the current council has paid to solving it. The current city budget has no money allocated to easing traffic problems. Because of bad planning over the last 30 years, we are all paying a price. A trip across town on F.M. 518 can take as much as 45 minutes. While quick fixes are not meant to be long term solutions, they can help ease our current problems, while long term measures are developed, budgeted for and then implemented.
Many people blame development as the cause of our strained infrastructure and traffic problems. However, bad planning, and continued lack of focus by past council is the real culprit for our current woes. I am continually and pragmatically work to solve current problems as well as plan for the future of our community.
Clear Creek Independent School District
Another important issue is the current situation with Clear Creek Independent School District. Clearly, our outstanding school system in League City, has driven the desire for people to move here. If you dispute this, please look at single family home growth rates in surrounding municipalities that not in the Clear Creak School System. You will find that while home values in these communities have gone up, the amount of appreciation is less than homes in our city, and the rate of new development has not increased at a rate equal to League City. The school district is charged with educating the children of our community. If our city, allows growth through new multi family and single family homes, than the school district must educate the children who move into those homes. In the high growth rate areas of our town such as the west side, the options for the school district on where to place schools has been limited. Locating a school in our community will impact some residents no matter where it goes. However, we must educate our children, and we must support the school district in its mission. Our current city council has chosen to not support the school district by not willingly providing roads, water and sewer to new schools on more than one occasion. They have accused the school district of dictating its terms to the city. This is certainly puzzling. I will work to improve communication with the school district, as well as support them in their efforts to keep pace with the growth in our community. We must maintain Clear Creek Independent Schools as top notch, for the benefit of our children, and our community.
We must stop big ticket spending and have a more balanced city budget. Our Council has allowed our budget to balloon, and our debt to soar. I say, before we propose a budget with an increase, council needs to look closely at the city budget. We may be able to identify some cost savings, and if there are some savings to be found, I am sure that this can be done without impacting our current personnel or city services provided to the residents. If in fact this tax increase is needed, what is the cause?
We are running our seniors out of town by making the cost of home ownership unaffordable to retired seniors on fixed incomes. Some seniors are actually losing their homes to foreclosure, or being forced to sell their homes at fire sale prices when they fall behind on their tax or mortgage payments. When they sell their homes as distressed property, they also lose thousands of dollars of their equity on the table. In many cases, they have worked most of their lives to pay for their homes. We all have a responsibility to stop this. We must freeze City taxes that are levied against the homesteads of our Senior Citizens. Due to annual increases in the appraised value of homes in League City, freezing the tax rate is not the answer. The ideal answer would be freeze the amount that seniors pay annually to the City. Our seniors citizens are usually on fixed incomes, normally pensions and social security. The problem is that their incomes do not increase, but their taxes continue to go up! We owe our senior citizens the right to own and afford their homes.