Tag Archives: City Events

Pearland Connect: December 2015

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Pearland Connect is the communications vehicle that the City of Pearland is using to keep you informed. We do our best to provide you with the information you want and need and we want to hear from you. We welcome your input via email.

2016 Calendar and Annual Report coming to your mailbox

Look for the 2016 Calendar & Annual Report in your mailbox. The Calendar & Annual Report is being mailed to individuals in the Pearland City limits during the month of December.

The calendar features: 2015 accomplishments, information relating to the City’s financial standing and City-related meetings and special events. Click here for more information.

City continues its effort to improve mobility in the City

As part of the City’s ongoing effort to improve mobility in the City of Pearland and to ease traffic congestion, the Traffic Operations Division adjusted the traffic light lengths along FM 518, from Kirby to Sunrise in order to better handle the holiday traffic.

Additional adjustments have also been made to the signals on Cullen Parkway, from FM 518 to Brookside in order to better handle the morning and school traffic. These changes are part of a mobility effort that began earlier this year with the City’s “Don’t Block the Box” campaign.

Recycling Center Operations transition to KPB

Keep Pearland Beautiful (KPB) will soon assume operations of the Stella Roberts Recycling Center. The change, slated to begin Jan. 1, 2016 is occurring through a joint agreement with the City of Pearland and KPB.

Over the years, Keep Pearland Beautiful has played a vital role in educating and increasing participation in the city’s recycling program and now will play an even more critical role in ensuring Pearland residents recycle. Click here for more information.

Pearland City Council approves new Parks Master Plan

Pearland has new written guidelines for planning proposed park & recreation changes during the next 5 years after City Council approved an updated Parks Master Plan.

The Parks and Recreation Department completed the new long-range planning document after an 11-month comprehensive process aimed at shaping the direction, development and delivery of parks and recreation services in the City. Click here to learn more.

Attend the Toys for Tots basketball game and toy drive

Support a great cause and watch some basketball at the Annual Pearland Toys for Tots “Guns and Hoses” basketball game and toy drive on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. at the Pearland Recreation Center, 4141 Bailey Road.

The charity basketball game will feature the Pearland Police Department taking on the Pearland Fire Department. Please bring one new, unwrapped toy to gain admission. Click here for more information.

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Pearland Christmas Parade entertains hundreds

5667217d95a01.imageHundreds of people gathered along Broadway to watch the 2015 Hometown Christmas Parade Saturday (Dec. 5). The weather was beautiful and a larger-than-usual crowd cheered the floats, marching bands and of course, Santa Claus, who arrived in his sleigh.

A contest was held and city officials recognized floats for their originality and creativity. In addition, one float received a “People’s Choice” award that was decided via input from residents on the city’s Facebook page. The parade was organized and sponsored by the City of Pearland and the Pearland Parks and Recreation Department.

The float created by Girl Scout Troop 21305 was recognized as the best overall float.

The runner-up for the best overall float award was given to a float created by Epiphany Lutheran Church. An award for the best use of this year’s parade there, Candy-Coated Christmas was given to Girl Scout Troop 27574. A float created by Alvin Community College won an award for the best use of lights.

The People’s Choice award went to a float created by Girl Scout Troop 21305.

Pearland Connect – September, 2015

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Pearland Connect is the communications vehicle that the City of Pearland is using to keep you informed. We do our best to provide you with the information you want and need and we want to hear from you. We welcome your input via email.
Mayor’s 90th Birthday Celebration

Join the City of Pearland to celebrate Mayor Tom Reid’s 90th Birthday on Monday, Sept. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m at the Pearland Recreation Center & Natatorium located at 4141 Bailey Road. Everyone is invited. The Mayor will be happy to see you! Log on to pearlandtx.gov/mayorreid for more details or to RSVP.
Annual Planning Day Presentation
The City of Pearland Planning Division facilitates the development process in the City, mainly by meeting with developers, property owners, and other interested parties and developing and maintaining short and  long range plans for the growth of the City, in order to create and maintain a desirable land use pattern for an enhanced quality of life for our citizens. Meet division representatives on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8 a.m. for an update on the City’s Development Processes! Get the latest information on the Development Handbook, Unified Development Code Updates and Platting. Read more here
Bailey Road construction award
Pearland City Council awarded a bid for the construction of the Bailey Road Extension Project to Texas Sterling Construction. The construction award was for $21.3 million of which the City of Pearland will be reimbursed 80 percent of the costs from the State. The reconstruction project will expand the roadway to a 4-lane concrete curb and gutter boulevard with raised medians throughout and dedicated left turn lanes from FM 1128 to Veterans Drive. The extension is expected to open in summer 2017. Read more.
Organize a National Night Out event
National Night Out is the nation’s night out against crime. This year, Texas residents will celebrate the 31st Annual National Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Every year, Pearland residents come out by the hundreds to join their neighbors at neighborhood block parties all across the city. Residents throughout Pearland and across the nation are asked to turn on their porch lights, lock their doors and spend the evening outside with their neighbors, police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Register your neighborhood block party today.
Operation “Back to School” 
The Pearland Police Department recently conducted an online sting, designated as operation “Back to School,” in an effort to identify and arrest suspects engaged in the online sexual exploitation of juveniles. The operation resulted in the arrest of sixteen (16) adult male suspects and was conducted in conjunction with the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (HMICAC).

Council sets tax rate, debates public safety staffing

Pearland City Council held a Special Meeting at City Hall Monday (Aug. 17), along with three joint public hearings with the Planning and Zoning Commission. Among the topics discussed were the adoption of a new tax rate and police staffing issues.

Consideration of the proposed budget was added to the meeting agendas of Sept. 14 and Sept. 21. Council also set the required public hearing on the budget for Aug. 31.

TaxBillCompCouncil passed a resolution, with a vote of four to one, to set the tax rate for the next fiscal year to .7053, which is lower than the current rate of .7193. Councilmembers Gary Moore, Derrick Reed, Tony Carbone and Greg Hill were in favor of this new rate; Councilmember Keith Ordeneaux was opposed.

As a result of the lower tax rate, the balance of the General Fund was decreased by $617,000. Council and staff discussed ways to offset expenditures.

City Manager Clay Pearson pointed out that the Streets and Sidewalks budget is a flexible, even though the original idea was to add to that number.

“We can’t add to streets and sidewalks like we wanted to because of the lowered tax rate from what had been projected,” he said. “Our streets are in pretty good shape now, but we need to be investing in a mix of fixes to keep them that way. The sidewalks need some work and have gaps as we are a growing city.”

Director of Finance Claire Bogard proposed an increase in garage sale permit revenue, which would add $36,000 to the General Fund. She also suggested reducing Street Maintenance by $581,000.

Public Works Assistant Director Michael Leech suggested a program that would solely focus on local streets to save money.

If these changes are adopted, any funds in excess of the General Fund balance policy on Sept. 30, after the yearly audit, would be used to replenish the Street Maintenance account.

PD ReStructurePearland Police Chief J.C. Doyle presented proposed departmental changes to Council. He emphasized the creation of a “proactive unit” that would require some re-structuring of the agency, such as moving a Lieutenant from the Crime Investigations Division and a Sergeant from the Person’s Crimes Unit.

The changes would include implementation of Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS), which uses location-based crime and accident data to determine the most effective way to use departmental personnel and other resources.

Other needs mentioned were in-car and body-worn cameras, improved radio communications, better fleet maintenance, ongoing training, Animal Services needs and adequate staffing.

Chief Doyle said that he had no problems with the budget as presented. “I didn’t see anything negative that couldn’t be worked through with the proposed budget of four officers and two sergeant position promotions,” he said.

Councilmembers Hill, Carbone, Moore and Reed expressed concern about police department staffing.

“We have 13 guys or less a third of the time spread out among 30 square miles,” said Carbone. “If we have a big incident, it’s not uncommon to see three or four units responding. It’s unacceptable to have such little staffing for such a big city. Houston folks come here just as we go there. I don’t want to fall behind the curve and have to play catch up when it comes to crime rates. We’ve been lucky so far.”

“I agree with Councilmember Carbone,” said Reed. “We just had that Kroger incident. Houston folks are coming down here. We have been lucky, especially at night when there’s more than one unit responding. It’s stretching folks thin. We’re down to budgeting for three officers because Pearland ISD is paying for one. It’s unfathomable to imagine we only need one new officer on the street because the others are promotions.”

Chief Doyle added that there are three officers currently in Field Training and seven more in the academy, expected to graduate in November.

Carbone reiterated that, “Public safety is primary concern of most of Council. The Police Department requested 16 officers last year and eight were funded. We need more officers. Even citizens say that. It’s been a clearly communicated goal for last two years and I can’t understand why this budget only proposes one additional patrol officer.”

Ordeneaux said, ”Everyone would like to see more officers, but how do we pay for it? I haven’t heard any answers. I hear lower the taxes. We turned down several opportunities for funding. How much longer are we going to put things off? We’re cutting one-time expenses and adding re-occurring ones. This will snowball to bigger issues.”

Mayor Reid added, “Law enforcement is changing. People seem to want to come to town and help themselves. There’s a fine veneer between the good guys and the bad guys. We can’t put a gate up. We can’t put enough patrol on street to eradicate crime, but what is proposed should be good enough.”

Because of some confusion about the actual number of officer positions proposed and the promotions to sergeant positions, Chief Doyle explained how officers move up in the department.

“Everyone starts in patrol, which is our manpower pool. Anyone who gets promoted or moved must come up in patrol first. We have 18 officers in A Squad, 17 in B Squad, 18 in C Squad and19 in D Squad. We have recently started looking at the numbers generated by officers instead of software. We are hoping staffing will get us better tools to predict how many officers we will need in the future,” said Doyle.

“I expected that we’d get the other eight officers left over from last year,” said Reed. “Either crime has gone down or something else significant has changed.”

“Any crime is too much crime,” replied Doyle. “I put a lot of stock in DDACTS. We look to our Crime Analyst for help in patrol. We can do things differently that won’t need so much manpower. We need a third party study to tell us what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong.”

“The fact is that we are bringing in new additional public safety people and they’ll be filtered in over time,” said Pearson. “We’re making a concerted effort with recruitment to deliver the numbers of positions of what was budgeted. The budget shows that in June 2015 there were 228 police and fire on the payroll, 32 more from the same payroll two years prior.

“We will start to see the benefits of new officers soon. Chief Doyle showed there are seven cadets in the academy and three more in the field training officer program coming on in April. In addition, Fire will be adding on nine full-time fire department personnel.

“We were at 100% staffed for a while in June, which is a first in several years. One person since resigned to go work for the U.S. Marshal’s Office. We had a civilian fill the Quartermaster position when he retired and dedicated an officer working with IT to detectives. We are a lot closer to where we wanted to be now,” Pearson said.

Deputy City Manager Jon Branson explained the costs. “Eight new officers would cost approximately $647,000 more in the budget and would have an impact on equipment and vehicles as well. This year, we heard it loud and clear and included four officers in the budget, which is what we thought was asked for,” he said.

“It’s too late now, unfortunately,” said Ordeneaux. “This is the third year in a row we have looked at health benefits and gone middle of the road. We’ve done well on raises for staff. If we’re not raising the tax rate or cutting spending, we are looking at $1.2 million in total cuts from the proposed budget. I don’t see where the money will come from. We tied our hands when we set the lower tax rate.”

Pearson said that the public safety discussion would continue on Aug. 31, giving staff time to look at the budget numbers again and make new recommendations.

The three public hearing topics were the adoption of the 2015 Comprehensive Plan and two zone change requests. No action may be taken at public hearings, so decisions will be made on these issues at future meetings.

To learn more about the proposed budget, the Comprehensive Plan and future meeting dates, visit PearlandTX.gov.

Mayor recognizes Sherman for service to Pearland

55ccba675c23e.imageThe first item on the City Council meeting agenda on Monday (Aug. 10) was a Resolution of Appreciation for former Councilmember Scott Sherman to recognize his contributions and service in Position 2.

Sherman’s term expired in June, and Derek Reed took over Position 2 on Council.

Sherman served Pearland as a City Councilman from 2009 – 2015 and held the position of Mayor Pro Tem in 2010 and 2012.

“There are TV shows on Mondays!” Sherman exclaimed. “I never knew that!”

Sherman thanked the mayor, Council and residents in attendance for the Resolution, his nameplates, a handsome plaque and his portrait.

“Look! I had hair,” he laughed, pointing at the six year-old portrait. “Just wait. You guys will see,” Sherman said, pointing at the current Councilmembers, who instinctively touched their heads.

ScottResolutionTextSherman said that he had found a new purpose since exiting City Hall in volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, an organization that, “Makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (Bigs) and children (Littles), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country to develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people,” according to their website.

Sherman exited Council Chambers to a standing ovation.

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit http://www.bbbs.org/.

Pearland Connect: August, 2015

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Pearland Connect is the communications vehicle that the City of Pearland is using to keep you informed. We do our best to provide you with the information you want and need and we want to hear from you. We welcome your input via email.

Pearland: Before 518

In partnership with the Pearland Historical Society, the City of Pearland is proud to release Pearland: Before 518, a short documentary that embraces the past and links it with present day Pearland. Through interviews and photographs used in the documentary, viewers see the city transition from a rural farming community to a booming municipality as Pearland residents, leaders and officials recount memories of the City’s beginning. 

City budgeting process continues

 The 2015 – 2016 budgeting process is underway. The budget will be reviewed with City Council through a series of workshops at Pearland City Hall, 3519 Liberty Dr. Pearland, Texas 77581. The schedule of budget-related meetings is online. The budgeting process process begins annually in March with a special City Council work session to provide early budget input.  Before and since that meeting in March, City staff from across the organization has researched and examined their operations and budgets. View the proposed budget along with highlights, helpful links and more.

Pearland Parkway opens

On Aug. 19, the Pearland Parkway extension, from Oiler Drive to Dixie Farm Road, will open for traffic. The project includes a bridge across Cowart’s Creek, a shared path along the north side of the roadway and completes a segment of the Major Thoroughfare Plan providing another route for travel to FM 518 and Beltway 8 from SH 35 and Dixie Farm Road, relieving traffic flow on FM 518.

Can you say #pearlandselfie?

Pearland Selfie Day is Aug. 15. Be sure to use the hashtag #pearlandselfie. We want everyone in Pearland to take selfies around Pearland!

 Take a selfie in front of Pearland landmark, building, house, or whatever comes to mind. Have fun with it and take a selfie in your own creative way. We will repost the selfies on Instagram for individuals who use the hashtag #pearlandselfie. Three years from now, on August 15, 2018, we will ask you to take the same “selfie” in the exact same location. Did you or Pearland change? Read more.

Volunteers needed for Teen Court

Beginning this month, Pearland Municipal Court will be offering a new program for teen offenders. Eligible participants will have the option of attending Teen Court for their Class C Misdemeanor violation(s) where teen volunteers will sit as a jury panel to determine the sentence of the teen violator. Both teen and adult volunteers are needed for this program. Read more here.

Council begins budgeting process

Pearland City Council will meet tonight (Monday, August 3) at City Hall, located at 3519 Liberty Dr., at 6:30 p.m. for the first of three Budget Workshops.

The issues on the agenda are: Overview, highlights, property tax, debt service, General Fund, Multi-Year Plan and other funds.

Future meetings include a second Workshop on August 10, in which the topics to be discussed include the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and a review of effective tax rate notification; a meeting on August 17, in which Council will set a Public Hearing on the budget, set a Public Hearing on the tax rate and vote on the proposed tax rate; a Budget Workshop on August 24, which will address the Water/Sewer Fund, the Water/Sewer CIP and water/sewer rates; a Public Hearing on August 31 on the Budget and tax rate; a second Public Hearing on September 8 on the tax rate; a first reading of Ordinances on September 14; and the second reading of Ordinances, as well as the adoption of the 5-Year CIP 2016-2020.

For more information about the budgeting schedule, visit http://pearlandtx.gov/departments/finance/proposed-fiscal-year-2015-16-budget.