By Nicole Jones
Friendswood City Council on Monday made official the results of Nov. 5 bond election and heard from citizens.
Connie Ratisseau was among several residents addressing the council during the public comment period to request that the city appoint a citizens oversight committee regarding the bond projects.
“There are quite a few school districts that have these; they are not anything new,” she said, adding that cities and counties use them as well. “They are used as a mechanism to ensure efficiency, equity, timeliness, accountability, also transparency, public support and confidence. I think that’s very important for us to have.”
Voters on Nov. 5 approved half of the city’s six bond proposals.
The council on Monday met in open session to canvass the results of the election, paving the way for $41 million in drainage and flood control projects, $2 million for a public works building renovation and $9.1 million in public safety building upgrades. These include a municipal public safety building and a new fire station and training field to replace Fire Station No. 2.
The largest proposal also passed by the largest margin — 2,954 to 1,398, as Hurricane Harvey is not a very distant memory for Friendswood residents. The $41 million for Proposition F is the city’s portion of a package of drainage projects that are expected to unfold over the next decade, city officials have said. These partnerships will include the Harris County Flood Control District and the Galveston County Consolidated Drainage District.
Proposals rejected were a $9 million community center and emergency shelter, $7.6 million mobility and transportation package and $8 million in parks improvements that included a new $2.5 million city swimming pool.
“The citizens have spoken on what they want to spend their money on or not,” Councilman Steve Rockey said. “In terms of process and the way people selected which passed and which don’t, it was awesome.”
The six proposals combined were the largest bond election in city history, totaling $76.7 million.