Spring | Klein Edition - January 2020

COUNTY

ANNUAL COMMUNITYGUIDE

Updates on the biggest issues facing local entities

OTHER PROJECTS TO FOLLOW IN 2020

TOP LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORY OF 2020

County studyingmobility funds

A mobility study in Harris County is aimed at making the process of allocating mobility funds more data- driven than the existing method. CURRENT FORMULA

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For the rst time in its history, Harris County is taking an inventory of the condition and life expectancy of every county-maintained road before deciding how mobility funds should be distributed in 2020. The study, launched this summer, is expected to take about one year to complete. However, county ocials said they plan to make some funding recommendations in February based on early ndings to allow county commissioners to set their budgets before the start of the new budget year in March. Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, who voted against the study in July, said he fears it could be used as a “power play” to divert funds from Precincts 3 and 4 under the guise of improving eciency. Several road projects are being studied in Precinct 4, such as the Gosling Road Segment 3 expansion, BY SHAWN ARRAJJ AND HANNAH ZEDAKER

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and previous goals for the design and construction timelines for those projects have been put in question as precinct ocials wait to see how the mobility study could aect funding, Cagle said. “We’ll have to wait and see what occurs with regard to the raw grab of money,” Cagle said. “If the raw grab of money occurs, then we’re going to have problems in terms of how we take care of the responsibilities that we need to take care of.” Based on the previous funding formula, in 2019 precincts 3 and 4 combined to make up 52% of the population, 65% of the lane miles and 62% of the thoroughfare miles, which resulted in those two precincts getting about 59% of mobility funds. The study will include new data obtained through an analysis of every road maintained by Harris County, which will be included in the coun- ty’s new formula going forward.

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Opening of Harris County Animal Shelter’s new facility pushed to 2020 Originally expected to open in late 2019, Harris County’s new animal shel- ter is now slated to open by midsum- mer 2020, said Michael White, Harris County Animal Shelter director. The new facility, funded by a $24 mil- lion bond approved by Harris County voters in 2015, will replace the existing shelter. Construction began in January 2019, and both facilities are located on the same property. White said the new facility is expected to alleviate overcrowding issues the shelter faces on a daily basis, as it only has the capacity for about 150 animals. By comparison, the new shelter will properly house 525 animals.

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Toll road fund Precinct 1: 18% Precinct 2: 25% METRO funds Precinct 4: 30% Precinct 1: 20.2% Precinct 2: 14.3% Precinct 3: 27% Precinct 3: 32.5%

Precinct 4: 33% SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

WORTHWHILE CONVERSATIONS APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING…

UNDER THE FIDUCIARY STANDARD, DOES PAYING A FEE FOR FINANCIAL ADVICE ASSURE AN ADVISOR IS ACTING IN YOUR BEST INTEREST? People assume that to be the case, but not necessarily. Just because a financial advisor is associated with a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm does not mean all advice will be in your best interest. Many financial advisors working under an RIA firm also affiliate with a broker-dealer and routinely “switch hats” from advisor to broker when working with clients. This switch may be unapparent, but it means the legal standard for advice has been lowered. OFFERING RECOMMENDATIONS UNDER A LOWER STANDARD – IS THAT LEGAL? Yes, it is completely legal, if disclosed as a conflict of interest. But disclosures are oftentimes buried in the fine print of agreements, and some advisors fail to make the written disclosures clients have a right to expect. The brokerage firms are supposed to police this, but just last summer, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (more commonly known as FINRA) fined one of the big-name national brokerage firms more than $1 million for dragging their feet in omitting important disclosures like this.

ARE THESE VIOLATIONS RARE? Not as rare as one might hope, and regulators cannot intercept all of these. FINRA, the regulator for brokers, levied a fine of $550,000 last year on a brokerage firm that did not properly supervise its employees and prevent excessive trading in customers’ accounts. HOW CAN CLIENTS PROTECT THEMSELVES? The best defense is to ask your advisor to answer one question, in writing: “Will 100% of the recommendations you make to me in our business interaction be subject to the fiduciary standard and therefore made in my best interest?” Imagine how a “Yes” response can eliminate a myriad of concerns in the client-advisor relationship. This is the model we follow at Linscomb & Williams. Now in our 49 th year of business, our experienced team is ready to meet and restore your confidence in a truly client-centered wealth management relationship, right now, at our office in The Woodlands and the Houston Galleria area.

J. Harold Williams and Lantz Bowman discuss the importance of using advisors who advise clients exclusively under the fiduciary standard. (Left to right: J. Harold Williams, CPA/PFS, CFP ® ; Lantz Bowman, CFP ® ) Linscomb & Williams is not an accounting firm.

For more information, or a copy of our Form ADV, Part II, with all of our disclosures, call Grant Williams at 713 840 1000, or visit www.linscomb-williams.com.

1400 Post Oak Boulevard, Ste. 1000 Houston, Texas 77056 713 840 1000 www.linscomb-williams.com

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SPRING  KLEIN EDITION • JANUARY 2020

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