To the editor:
Before the May 6 elections, well-crafted misrepresentations were spread via gossip, social media and other means in attempts to sway public opinion. It’s important that citizens know the truth. The following addresses some of the false claims.
Gossip: The City has no drainage plan.
Truth: There are two drainage plans (one for each watershed) and a drainage manual with which all new developments must comply. The City is working to improve drainage and detention, while obtaining FEMA funding.
Gossip: Not transferring the deed for the frontage road will cost the City $200,000.
Truth: Prematurely transferring the deed could jeopardize collecting over $256,000 the developer owes the City in construction-related costs. The unproven “$200,000” is an attempt to redirect attention from the $256,000.
Gossip: Citizens were blocked from the charter review.
Truth: Proposed amendments were discussed in publicized meetings in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act over several months. Citizens expressing a desire to speak did speak.
Gossip: Sealy is losing businesses.
Truth: Businesses, such as Prasek’s, SNC Lavalin and Sika are coming to Sealy, bringing hundreds of jobs. Southern Business & Development Magazine named Sealy as one of the top three locations in the west Houston region for manufacturing.
Gossip: The City is blocking H-E-B.
Truth: Rumors about H-E-B have been around since the 1970s. People use these rumors to rile people up. Once again, it’s just a rumor, without documentation to support it. The City openly welcomes businesses to Sealy.
Gossip: The City needs to quit spending money on the lawsuits.
Truth: The lawsuits were initiated by a developer to avoid compliance with the drainage manual and avoid paying more than $256,000 owed to the City. By court order, the developer reimbursed the City for legal fees from the first lawsuit. The City’s legal fees for the second and third lawsuits are paid by the Texas Municipal League. The court declined to hear the third case.
Gossip: The City caused an accident by not deeding the frontage road to TxDOT.
Truth: Transferring a deed won’t prevent a truck from losing its load. The truck lost its load on an on-ramp that has been in use and owned by TxDOT for decades.
Gossip: The City Manager wants to get rid of the Main Street Program.
Truth: The Program was on the agenda because it was time to renew the contract with the Texas Historical Commission. The City Manager supports efforts to revitalize downtown and was one of the founders of the Sealy Downtown Association, which supported enrollment in the Main Street Program.
Gossip: The Mayor took the Main Street Director’s office.
Truth: In 2015, a vacant office at 113 Main was designated as the Mayor’s. In 2016, remodeling created four additional offices at 405 Main. The Main Street Director and fire marshal moved to 405 Main, which houses three other department heads. The Mayor’s office has not moved.
I sincerely ask everyone to ensure they are getting the most accurate and current information available before forming opinions.
Former mayor, City of Sealy