This is a review of the minutes from a city council meeting in Houston, Texas. It took place March 8, 2017 in the council chamber, second floor at the City Hall at 901 Bagby. This essay will discuss how the proceedings from this meeting impact day-to-day life as a resident of this city, and answers four questions about Houston, Texas to help draw a clear analysis: (a) is the city a general-law or home-rule city; (b) what are the demographics of this city; (c) what is the city’s revenue and total budget; and (d) who is served most by this city government?

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After reviewing the minutes, there are 51 items the council covered, most of those being various Ordinances. In the proceedings these ordinances concern Houston and the Sugarland area: Ordinance 2017-0179; Ordinance 2017-0180; and Ordinance 2017-0181. These, in particular, have to do with water and sewage system projects. Should we be concerned about the quality of our water in Houston? The budgets set for these projects are expensive. For example, Ordinance 2017-0179, our Mayor, Sylvester Turner, has appropriated $1,003,958.00 out of Water & Sewer System Consolidated Construction Fund – awarding the contract to CSI Consolidated, LLC dba Clean Serve, LLC for Sanitary Sewer Cleaning; Ordinance 2017-0180, is appropriated for $2,012,152.74 out of Water & Sewer System Consolidated Construction Fund – awarding contract to Grava, LLC for Waterline Rehab and Replacement Project; and Ordinance 2017-0181 is appropriated for $2,606,249.00 out of Water & Sewer System Consolidated Construction Fund – awarding this contract to Texas Pride Utilities, LLC for Wastewater Collection System Rehabilitation and Renewal. This is a huge concern as a resident in this jurisdiction because of the supply and demand for water.

As a resident of Houston, these proceedings can impact my life day-to-day in the following ways. First, Houston is drawing newcomers from around the U.S. and across the world – foreign-born residents accounted for two of every five newcomers to the region in the past five years (The City of Houston 8). This challenges this city to accommodate more peoples’ demands and supplies for water. Second, with many water and sewage constructions projects under way, it impacts transportation in and around both Houston and the Sugarland area. Third, Houston faces economic uncertainty brought on by falling oil prices; rigs are idled and the City’s sales tax revenue has fallen (9). These are only a few examples of how this knowledge of city council proceedings can impact residents’ lives, including my own.

Houston, Texas is a home-rule city because the total population is over 2,319,603, and its demographics include a total area over 600 square miles comprising of 579.4 square miles of land and 22.3 square miles of water. It is the fourth most populous city in the nation and is the largest city in the southern U.S. and Texas (The City of Houston 8). With these statistics in mind, the analysis is clear why water supply will be in high demand in Houston and the Sugarland area. Also, data was found on The City of Houston’s revenues and total budgets. In 2015, actual budget was $2,513,766,803. In 2016, current budget than was $2,593,217,417. For 2016 estimate budget was $2,569,595,199 and 2017 estimate is $2,493,014,275 (The City of Houston 26). Therefore, according to the latest proceedings from this city council meeting above, in general, those who were served most were the people who work for water & sewage corporations. This draws a conclusion: Houston and Sugarland residents, including myself, will need to concern ourselves with the supply and demand for water and to learn to conserve it for future use.

    References
  • The City of Houston. Agenda Council Meeting. Web. April. 2017. http://www.houstontx.gov/citysec/agenda/2017/Mar0717.pdf.
  • The City of Houston. Official Site of Houston, Texas. Demographics. Web. April. 2017. http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Demographics/.
  • The City of Houston. Houston Demographics and Economic Conditions. Web. April. 2017. https://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/FY2017_Preliminary_Budget.pdf.
  • The City of Houston. Preliminary Budget Summary General Fund. Web. April. 2017. https://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/FY2017_Preliminary_Budget.pdf.