IslandDrumz

Welcome to our little slice of paradise! Clear Lake Shores is probably one of the best kept secrets in the entire Bay Area. Yes we are an island. We are surrounded by Clear Lake, Jarbo Bayou and the Lazy Bend canals. Plug this in to Google Maps and you'll see what I mean 29.32' by 95.01' We are about half way between Galveston Island and the city of Houston and located in north Galveston county. I will try to keep us up on all the goings on that we can walk, boat, bike or drive our golf carts to. Very few things pi$$ me off but one of them is wasting my precious time. I'll try not to waste yours. Enjoy. ab

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rainy Sunday

What a near perfect day. Light rain, not too warm for December and the Texans are up by 7. Go TJ!. I got most of the Christmas lights up yesterday and managed not to fall off a roof or ladder. WOOHOO! My 2011 New Years Resolution of "No Cops, No Hospitals" is nearly there. DANG! Atlanta just scored so it's 10-10. So who else is stoked about what's happening at Franks? I have jury duty in the morning and afterwards I'll stop by for a visit and see what else is new. Thanks Paul and Ronnie for leaning in to the yokes to keep progress from stopping dead in its tracks. I will go to my grave never understanding some folks. Like bitchin' about a dress code. The City Administrator sets our dress code and the judge setss his. Who doesn't know this? Really? Jimbob and I are poised to go makin' bacon again. We're going to tweak the cure recipe so I'll keep my fingers crossed. A couple of neighbors expressed an interest in joining in the fun but we're just not there yet. I'll keep you posted though. Speaking of I just brined my first chicken and it needs to go in to the oven. I'll be right back. WOOT! Texans up by 7!
I hope you got a chance to go see what a fantastic job they did decorating the Club House for the Christmas Party. I let things get on top of my schedule and just forgot about it. Sorry Dennis and crew.

From Neighbor Pete, Allan, I got this off the GCAD website and thought it was worth passing on to our residents. In all fairness, some of these rates may include water and sewage which we pay seperately to WCID; but I have no way of knowing which other cities have WCID's as well.
I think it's interesting that Kemah with all of their Boardwalk and Wal-Mart sales tax still has a .25 per hundred property tax. This is a credit to Paul and his staff that have managed our tax money wisely. Can you remember how Kathy and her group fought the proposal to eliminate property taxes? We can all thank Mike Bass for helping get this figured out and on the ballot. Pete

Tax per $100 appraised value City tax on $100,000 appraisal
League City 0.610 610.00
Friendswood 0.585 585.00
City of Galveston 0.554 554.00
La Marque 0.514 514.00
Hitchcock 0.472 472.00
Texas City 0.425 425.00
Dickinson 0.408 408.00
Bayou Vista 0.379 379.00
Sante Fe 0.310 310.00
Jamaica Beach 0.289 289.00
Kemah 0.250 250.00
Tiki Island 0.213 213.00
Clear Lake Shores 0.000 ZERO

From Ex Neighbor Mike, (HI MIKE!) Since he took over as City Administrator, Paul has done an excellent job, with Karen’s help, in controlling the City’s operating cost. He has also done an excellent job in obtaining grant money to improve the City’s roads. Since I moved in 2008, he has rebuilt the Entrance, East Shore, North Shore and, soon, West Shore (with the new $500K grant). This has left the City’s Road Fund virtually untouched except for the $60-$70K needed each year to maintain the existing roadways. The impact of the adoption of the Sales Tax in Lieu of Property Tax Provision was far more reaching than just the elimination of property taxes for all the residential and commercial property in the City. Over three years, this new revenue also added about $500K to the City’s Rainy Day Fund, which now is over $1 million. In 2009, this change also started contributing another $150 to $160K more revenue each year to the General Fund.

The significant improvement in City finances has allowed it to build a subsidized pool for the residents, improve its parks and to pay for all the garbage pickup. There are many cities that would love to be in CLS financial shape.
When I moved to CLS in 1995, the question was where will the City get the money it needed. Today, the question is what is the City going to do with the $2 million excess cash it has today.
It is unfortunate that all the political bickering today is masking all of this progress. City Council needs to focus more on developing short and long term plans for where the city will go in the future rather than all the infighting. If I was on Council or the EDC today, I would be ashamed that the southern commercial portion of the City still looks like a hurricane destroyed it- it is a blight and canker on the more beautiful parts of the City. If the City is not going to develop the old Okies Property, it should sell it to someone that will, and do so in a way that fits the City’s character. That was our original intention when the property was purchased.

From Ronnie
EDC Update: For now EDC is steadily working on the Phase I landscape/hardscape & relocating to the degree possible the above ground utility lines in that area. Opus is going to enlarge their building, a prospective tenant & the building owner of the stucco building on corner of Aspen & Clear Lake Road met with Jack Fryday regarding using the structure as a hamburger restaurant and Frank has proposed a restaurant/piano bar on the Aspen facing side of his business. I am attending BAYHEP prospect meetings in an effort to become educated on new businesses coming to area. Kemah was the most visited destination in Houston area last year with over 3 million visitors according to Houston Business Journal making a great story for us to tout. Without a city staff focused on economic development, a council that has 3 members that have no concept of ED and everyone's energy focused on "fixing" the police dept & city managers job which no one even thought was broken its hard for me as a volunteer and under the microscope of council to make things happen over night but I can assure you it's coming and it will be done with style and quality.

"As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the bush down in Gippsland. As I was not familiar with the bush, I got lost and, being a typical male, I didn't stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family or friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played 'Amazing Grace,' the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together.

"When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full. As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never saw anything like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

8 comments:

Michelle said...

I'll be at jury duty with you. Fun times ahead!

Allen said...

Thanks Allan for one of the best blogs yet. It certainly was great to hear from two good men Mike and Pete. You will always be winners in my book. Your business-like team efforts did so much to provide for the long term well being of our city, and I only wish that we could have a council who took their jobs as seriously as you did when you served the people. Hey current council let's get past all the goofy personal agendas and get on with it please. Allen Cruthirds

Crafty Hoosier Gal said...

Count me in for jury duty as well!

Tom J said...

I will be there too.

Roselyn said...

Let us know if any of you get picked today for Bernie's trial on the 8th. Thats one way to get out of jury duty!

Excellent blog article Allan. So proud of you! and thanks to Mike B, Pete and Ronnie. You guys will get us back on track.

Bryan said...

Pete,

If you run again I will. Then we can send a driver to the Woodlands for Mike twice a month. Working with Ronnie we can have something built on that pile of mud out front in no time.

Adelia said...

That is unless you get sued for trying to make progress or make this a better place to live!!
Thanks to Bryan, Ronnie, Mike, and Pete. You guys have put in a lot of your personal time with all these efforts and you don't get enough appreciation from those of us who stand to the side and reep the rewards.

3a57ce10-200f-11e1-8377-000bcdcb471e said...

I agree, Allan, one of your best blogs. I also want to thank Bryan, Ronnie, Pete and Mike for all their efforts to make our island a better place to live....