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SPOTLIGHT – – Important Meetings and Events
2021 Proposed Budget – Take a Look
First impression – Deeper spending cuts, a more conservative fiscal policy, and efforts to reduce our bonded debt are needed. Residents can email the City with questions or concerns.
Register to Vote, Update Change of Name or Address. Download a mail-in Application. Pick up mail-in Voter Registrations in front of Bellaire City Hall on Friday, September 25th, from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. Drive in service!
Spruce and Fifth Streets
The $3.2 million in contracts for this project called for completion by February 15, 2020. Instead not even Fifth Street was completed on time. Here’s some background on this project.
- The City’s revenue from property taxes increased – from $15.42 million for 2015 to $20.53 million in 2019. A 33% increase. More than $5 million dollars in five years. Anticipated revenue in 2020 is $21.9 million.
- But no Capital Improvement Cash funds are scheduled to be paid from the General Fund in year 2020. Nothing for Parks or the Library. Why?
- Over those same 5 years our bonded debt increased almost $50 million dollars, to $127.5 million by 9/30/2019.
Recycling, organic gardening, less pesticides – all win/wins for our kids and our community. So are reusable bags!
Find informative articles here.
100 Years of Bellaire History!
And for a terrific photo history check this out:
No More City Of Homes?
According to the City manager and staff our longtime City logo, representing Bellaire as a City of Homes, will soon be gone, thanks to City Council and the $50,000 branding study. Read more here.
Author Archives: Jane McNeel
On August 20, 2020, Bellaire’s Board of Adjustment voted NO, 4 to 2, on a request from O’Reilly’s Auto Parts for a variance in the zoning of the UV-D to construct a new one-story building at their current location at … Continue reading
UPDATE 9/4/2020: A Public Hearing was held on Thursday, August 13, 2020, before the Planning and Zoning Commission, for the parking lot at 4300 Bellaire Blvd. I counted twenty speakers opposed the zoning request, no one spoke in favor. The … Continue reading
Bellaire’s Municipal budgets are dry and hard to digest. Lots of verbiage, numbers, graphs, etc. It’s understandable that most residents don’t spend time reviewing them, and so may have missed the $6 million dollar Dog Pound that was added to … Continue reading
UPDATE: The public hearing by City Council for this application has been postponed to sometime in August 2020 or whenever meetings return to Bellaire City Hall. As currently approved, the new baseball and softball fields approved by P&Z for use … Continue reading
Public Comments at the July 6, 2020, Council meeting included a call from Raquel Boujourne, the owner and president of A Status Construction LLC, the contractor responsible for the Spruce/Fifth project. Ms. Boujourne stated that her company has been blamed … Continue reading
City of Bellaire Economics in 2020 – A New Paradigm The economic damage from the current health crisis is alarming, and the City of Bellaire anticipates a decrease in revenues FY2020. At the April 6, 2020, City Council meeting Council … Continue reading
February 17, 2020 Dear Mayor Friedberg and members of City Council, The City Manager’s weekly memo of 2/14/20 … Continue reading
The January 27, 2020, council meeting, the second of the year, was eventful – and long. After discussing and approving various ordinances, some passing after minor tweaks, the meeting moved on to Items for Consideration.
In a recent weekly memo on 1/10/2020 Bellaire City Manager Paul Hofmann explained that last Fall it was discovered that the surety bonds provided by A Status Construction, LLC for three (3) City bond projects, totaling over $6.5 million dollars, … Continue reading
On January 30, 2019, Bellaire’s City engineer James Andrews of ARKK Engineers recommended a company new to Bellaire, A Status Construction, LLC, as qualified to run several construction projects funded by the 2016 bond issue, including the $2.5 million Spruce/Fifth … Continue reading
It’s time for some thoughtful reflection on our recent City Council elections. I believe the election results revealed that our Mayor and recent Council members had lost the trust of both residents and local businesses while following the lead of … Continue reading
UPDATE 12/31/2019: Notice of public hearings on January 9, 2020, for applications from HISD for revisions to the proposed sports fields at the old Gordon Elementary site on Bissonnet and from Cushman & Wakefield, on behalf of Southwestern Bell Telephone … Continue reading
UPDATE 12/14/2019: The results of the Bellaire Runoff Election are in. The new City Council members are Nathan Wesely for Position 4 and Jim Hotze for Position 6, joining Catherine Lewis on City Council in January, 2020. Here’s the Agenda.
Scan the most recent posts on this site. You’ll find articles on developer requests to rezone numerous Bellaire properties. Not requests to construct developments that comply with current zoning, but to change it. These developers want more, in essence to … Continue reading
UPDATE 12/7/19: No decisions at 12/6/19 meeting, next step is the meeting in January, 2020. Environmental issues are still a high priority with residents, as well as the scale of the proposed development. Click for background on earlier applications for … Continue reading
UPDATE: March, 2020 – Still no actual list of responses to reference checks from the City of Bellaire. A logical deduction: perhaps none were made, no one was contacted, or perhaps the responses were not positive. An Open Letter to … Continue reading
Is anyone else curious about the disparity between the proposal to purchase a new EMS ambulance for $280,000, and the fact that Bellaire leases other City vehicles instead of purchasing them?
ChristChurch Presbyterian, at the corner of Bellaire Blvd and South Rice Avenue, is for sale. Originally established as a Presbyterian church in 1919, Bellaire Presbyterian merged with Braeburn Presbyterian in 2006. According to Bellaire history the current red brick sanctuary … Continue reading
Two Bellaire residents spoke at the City Council meeting on Monday, October 21, 2019, expressing their concern about a new residential construction in their area that is elevated about 10 to 12 feet off the ground. See the photo at … Continue reading
My Comments at City Council on September 16, 2019: Good Evening, Mayor and City Council, I realize that you would prefer that we simply support you in your approval of this budget. That we hand you and the City Manager … Continue reading
Have you received notification of the free Aquahawk Alerting system? Dealt with a water leak not far from your new water meter? Do you even know that you have a new water meter? Or what an Aquahawk is?
“The plan takes care of “the basics” by repeatedly reinforcing the fundamental importance of neighborhood integrity in the City of Homes, as well as the priority residents place on parks and recreation opportunities, safe streets, and preservation of a small-town … Continue reading
Apparently the sky’s not really falling, since the proposed budget FY2020 presented by the City Manager increases expenditures in every major area and includes a million dollars for him to use to plan the next bond issue. Including the proposed … Continue reading
Click the graphic at left to review the 8 page draft of the end product from the recent City Council Workshop. It is a 5-year priority plan distributed by the City Manager, and a lot for citizens to digest. For most … Continue reading
The Council meeting on March 4th was a quiet affair with one highlight – local resident Dan Sebesta registered his objections to having his engineering qualifications questioned by the the City Manager. The highlight of his talk was his sign: … Continue reading
Cost Savings and Future Costs Council sang the praises of city staff at the January 7, 2019 council meeting for some cost savings – the cost for change orders for the Municipal Facilities was reduced to $302,516. So far the … Continue reading
UPDATE 2/18/2019: Find the breakdown for the final proposed cost of $5,200,890.50 for the Spruce/Fifth ($2.5 million) and Maple/Bolivar ($1.76 million) projects – plus $1 million to the engineering companies. About 10% of the 2016 bond issue. The project was … Continue reading
The January 28, 2019, City Council meeting went off like a rocket and just kept climbing. A link to the video of the meeting is available at the end of this article. Please watch the video, you’ll find it interesting.
Find information on Bellaire’s recycling program. The wrong items in our recycle bins cost us money! Find tips on other forms of recycling via the Our Environment tab on the menu. A Holiday Note: Did you know that MOST wrapping paper is … Continue reading
2019 Budget is Adopted – Future Bond Program Planning Session – A Possible $47 million Bond Issue in 2019
The Bellaire City Council, City Manager, and City staff discussed the possibility of another bond issue in 2019. The amount proposed by City staff is $47 million. A second bond issue in 2022 was also mentioned, at this point … Continue reading
Call for Referendum To Require a Vote on Sidewalks! SidewalkChoice was founded by a group of Bellaire residents who feel the $55 million dollar 2016 Bonds for Better Bellaire bond issue left out important facts about how the funds would … Continue reading
In response to requests for a printed version of my comments at the October 15, 2018 Council meeting I am posting it below: Good Evening Mayor, City Council, and Citizens,