Friendswood residents are invited to participate on a Citizen Advisory Team. The kick-off meeting for this effort will be at City Hall on Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m.
“The Citizen Advisory Team is a way for residents to hear and be heard about the future needs in our city,” said Mayor Mike Foreman. “The city council and I are seeking recommendations from residents of what they feel are the ‘big ticket’ items that the city should consider. Then, we will take the final, itemized list back to the voters for their approval.”
This “Citizen Advisory Team” process is similar to the method used in 2013. Again, the council and city staff will give interested residents some guidance on what is being asked for and how to get started. Citizens divide themselves into working groups and determine their own process and meeting schedules.
“City staff will be continually available to the team to provide data, details and historical knowledge, as requested by the Citizen Advisory Team members. They will steer themselves,” said City Manager Morad Kabiri.
“The working groups will be asked to not only come up with projects, but to also consider their cost, and potential impact that selling bonds to fund those projects has on the tax rate,” said Foreman.
The 2013 version of this process yielded a Citizen Advisory Team recommendation to city council that put four individual categories of projects on the November 2013 ballot: Fire Stations, the Library, Parks, and Streets. Voters approved all four.
Drainage issues are the impetus for forming an Advisory Team at this time.
“A drainage subcommittee has been meeting almost every week for more than six months. Soon, they will be making recommendations to the whole council. I want to make sure the Citizen Advisory Team has that information, can prioritize it, and determine what drainage projects they recommend,” he said.
The council will carefully consider all of the Citizen Advisory Team recommendations. Then council will determine if an election is warranted and what should be on the November 2019 ballot for consideration by voters.
“This process starts with the voters and ends with the voters. I hope we will have a high level of participation on the front end; the Citizen Advisory Team, so that the voters will have good options to choose from in November,” Foreman said. “I’m encouraging everyone to come to City Hall on Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. as we begin this process.”