I recently served as a member of the unofficial Bond Committee created by City Manager’s Office. The all volunteer committee was tasked with reviewing a wide variety of infrastructure improvement projects and making recommendations to City Council on what improvements were most needed and to identify responsible spending limits for each of these improvements. This months-long process produced a specific and fiscally responsible list of improvements in local streets, new and existing facilities and park improvements deemed worthy of financing through a bond program.
As Friendswood residents we enjoy the benefits of a small and close knit community: quiet safe streets, beautiful homes, stable property values, excellent schools, a vigilant police department and a thoughtful governing body with one of the lowest base tax rates of any of the surrounding communities. But as every property owner recognizes, occasional re-investment in infrastructure is a fact of life if those qualities of life are to be protected and passed on to the next generation.
The Streets and Drainage sub-committee met weekly between February and June this year when the greater committee made its recommendations to City Council. During this time we reviewed the City’s Capital Improvement Program and the City’s nearly 160 lane miles of streets. We reviewed the current operating and maintenance budget, alternative means of financing and the growing pressures on city streets given the pressures of population growth, increased traffic counts, the recent drought. We set established selection criteria to determine which street improvements would provide the most “bang for the buck.” The resulting list contains major collectors and minor thoroughfares judged to best distribute the benefits of this investment to all city residents.
I believe that this process was thorough and accurate; producing an affordable list of street improvements that provides the greatest benefit to our entire community. This is the commitment required to protect and extend the quality of life we enjoy in our community.
This stands in stark contrast to the unchecked federal spending as an example of responsible, locally targeted and administered, fiscally conservative re-investment in our community and its future. I urge all registered voters to vote in the bond election and to vote FOR the Street Bonds.