Missouri City residents to vote on bond package, mayor & city council position

Early voting begins April 28

By Betsy Dolan 

With early voting starting April 28, the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce recently held a forum to allow candidates the opportunity to bring their position on the issues to the voters.

Missouri City residents will be casting ballots for four bond proposals that total $40M; a mayor’s race and one city council race.  At-Large Position 1 Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem Jerry Wyatt is running unopposed.

Missouri City Mayor’s Race

AllenOwenMayor Allen Owen, 69, has been Missouri City’s mayor since 1994 and before that served on the City’s planning and zoning commission and as a city councilman.

“I’ve seen our city grow from 15,000 people to over 75,000 people”, Owen said of his 35 years of public service.  “I’ve seen it grow from a veteran community to a city with thriving commercial industry”.

In discussing his accomplishments, Owen mentioned the creation of 1,500 new jobs, improvements to Texas Parkway and $500,000,000 in new commercial development, specifically Ben E. Keith Foods and the Niagara Water bottling plant.

“My role is to convert roof tops to businesses in order to reduce property taxes”, Owen said.

Pinnock_NoelOwen’s opponent, Noel Pinnock, 40, is a City of Houston special projects manager and adjunct professor at Springfield University.  He has previously made unsuccessful runs for City Council against both Wyatt and District D Council member Floyd Emery, as well as for the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees.

Pinnock is an advocate for term limits and wants new voices in the City’s government.

“I want every citizen to have the opportunity to be heard”, Pinnock said.  “Missouri City has great potential with our strong middle class and our diversity.  We have people who want to participate.  But our mayor acts like the city manager and he is really just a legislative facilitator.”

Pinnock is also concerned about Missouri City’s high property tax rate and wants to take steps to protect it.

“When I looked at my tax bill, I noticed that it was missing a homestead exemption”, Pinnock said.  “I believe every resident deserves a homestead exemption.”

Owen disagreed with Pinnock saying that the city chose to spend the $300,000 that could have gone toward homestead exemptions, into hiring more police officers.

City Council At-Large Position 2

Nguyen_DannyDanny Nguyen, 47, owns Danny Nguyen International, a commercial real estate investment, development and brokerage company.  He is running for his third council term.

At the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce forum, Nguyen mentioned four things that he strives to accomplish in his role as a city councilman:   providing citizens with core services; making sure taxpayer money is spent wisely;  treating citizens with respect and providing opportunities for people.

Nguyen also wants to be aggressive in attracting new businesses to Missouri City.

“We have a lot of land availability on Highway 90A and the Fort Bend Tollway,” Nguyen said. “So I will be aggressively going out in different cities and countries to present the land availability and our incentive plan, so that we can attract them to come in and build and invest in our city.”

Preston_ChrisPolitical newcomer, Chris Preston, 27, is challenging Nguyen. He was not able to attend the Chamber forum.

According to his website, Preston is a 2005 graduate of Elkins High School and currently works for a non-profit that focuses on international fellowship.

He is running for city council because he doesn’t like some of the changes that he has seen Missouri City undergo.  Preston wants to revitalize Texas Parkway,  ensure that tax dollars are shared equally throughout the city,  advocate for diversity programs that encourage minority business ownership and invest in additional technology for the city’s police department.

Bond Referendum

The $40M bond package contains four proposals that voters will decide on:

•  $6.5 million for drainage projects
•  $5.7 million for public facilities
•  $5 million for Fire Station #6
•  $22.8 million for transportation

The bond package was the result of an 8 month effort by the City’s Bond Exploratory Committee which was comprised of 35 homeowners representing all areas of Missouri City.

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