Stafford mayor and councilmembers take oath of office
By Karen Daniels
Though no one ran against Mayor Leonard Scarcella and councilmembers Wen Guerra, Felecia Evans-Smith, and Fred Woolridge in the May election, at last week’s City Council meeting they each spoke for a moment to thank the citizens of Stafford for their ongoing support before taking the oath of office. Mayor Scarcella addressed the audience of the upcoming challenges and opportunities facing Stafford over the next two years.
• Transformation at Stafford MSD. The 49.9 million dollar bond project that was approved in May of 2011 will be completed this September of 2013, bringing a “very unique” situation as the district makes their mark as a top rated school.
• Commuter rail. The Mayor is “still fighting the good fight 13 years later.” There will be much more on this topic as the second track is installed later this summer.
• Technology weak spots. Stafford has some areas that are technologically challenged. This could be a very costly fix, but one the Mayor is determined to address.
• Enhance City’s economy. Fortunately this is an area that Stafford is very strong at. However keeping this in their vision plan and attending to matters such as sustaining their Class 1 ISO rating will keep insurance costs low.
• Texas Instruments’ property. Redevelopment of this 192 acres will be huge for Stafford. The Mayor stated that he has met with several developers that have the resources, knowledge and vision to create an attractive city center. (Though he stressed that the final decision remains with T.I.)
• Bring quality retail to FM 1092 and Highway 90A. Improvements to these areas on these convenient roadways will enhance not only the City’s economy, but residents’ quality of life.
• Work on aesthetics of Stafford. Plans are ongoing to add attractive landscaping that will thrive in the area, while enforcing zoning requirements.
• Commercial zoning changes. Next month on the planning and zoning committee agenda is the topic of changing a commercial area to a residential area. This should be a lively debate and citizens of Stafford are encouraged to attend.
• Reduction of lot size. Currently homes are built on 72K sf. The Mayor stated that for some people who would like to downsize, this area is too large. He would like to consider a smaller area for the potential of patio homes and townhouses.
• Protect and maintain zero city property taxes. Eliminated in 1995, the City of Stafford receives at least 3 calls per month from other cities asking how they do it.
• Promote Stafford Centre. Looking forward to their 10 year anniversary next March, 3 million people will have gone through the doors of this performing arts complex and convention center.
• Debt free in 2014. Currently the City only owes $235K. With cities across the nation in debt and facing potential bankruptcy, this is an accomplishment of fiscal responsibility to be proud of.
Short URL: http://www.fortbendstar.com/?p=31107