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County Commissioners

Meeting notes - Feb 9, 2010

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PUBLIC MEETING NOTES

Harris County Commissioners Court
February 9, 2010, 10 am

Meeting agenda

Houston Tomorrow publishes notes from public meetings to help local governments in their mission to provide transparency and to allow a greater pool of citizens to participate in important policy discussions. These notes are not official meeting minutes, nor do they necessarily record every agenda item.

Note: The Commissioners Court covers a wide variety of topics. Questions or comments regarding agenda items are discussed during the meeting, and some items may be removed. At the end the commissioners vote on the agenda as a whole.

Page 23 of agenda - item e, #1 - Commissioner, Precinct 4
Commissioner Jerry Eversole proposed that Harris County join the Texas High Speed Rail and Transportation Corporation, which would require the county to pay $50,000 in annual dues.  He also suggested that County Judge Ed Emmett be the main representative of Harris County, while Eversole and Commissioner El Franco Lee serve as alternates.

Eversole said that recent media accounts helped spur his interest in joining the high-speed rail group:
“My interest in this was kind of brought about by the media’s remarks about Texas not being prepared and not getting the funds; and I fail to see how Harris County can make much of an inroad if we are not part of one of the largest organizations working for mass transit and speed.”

The proposal was unanimously approved by all four commissioners and Judge Emmett.

Page 24 of agenda - section V, item #1 - Appearances before court
Finally, nine speakers were scheduled to voice their support for a Houston Dynamo stadium to be built on 12 acres of land east of downtown (instead of on land near the Galleria, which has recently been discussed).

One supporter noted that the deal the Dynamo has proposed to the city for an East End stadium (the team would pay $60 million of $80 million needed to build the stadium) is “really a no-brainer.”  Other supporters noted that a soccer stadium would help solidify Houston as an international city and help spur economic development, both through job creation and by making the city more attractive to investors.

Diane Schenke, president of the Greater East End District, also said “I think it’s a unique opportunity to continue bringing people into downtown.”

Finally, while Commissioner Eversole expressed confusion as to why the court keeps discussing the Dynamo stadium when the commissioners aren’t voting on it for another three months, Judge Emmett commented on the speakers by saying, “All I can say is the discussions are going on between the county and the city, and in light of this number of people showing up this morning, we need to sit down with our community services department to hear where those negotiations stand.”

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