Cypress Edition | February 2023


News from Harris County


Harris County officials target 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

Report calls for elections systems upgrades, resources

Alexandra del Moral Mealer, other Republicans file midterm election contests

Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. Feb. 9 at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. 713-274-1111. Harris County ESD No. 9 will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at 10710 Telge Road, Houston. 281-550-6663. MEETINGS WE COVER “THE COUNTY WILL NOW HAVE TO SPEND SUBSTANTIAL RESOURCES HANDLING THESE CONTESTS— TIME THAT COULD INSTEAD BE SPENT SERVING THE PEOPLE OF HARRIS COUNTY.” HARRIS COUNTY ATTORNEY CHRISTIAN MENEFEE ON REPUBLICAN ELECTION CONTESTS

TAKING ACTION The climate action plan has three focus areas, each of which has two subgoals and corresponding quantifiable targets for 2030, including the following:


within 45 days of the canvass of an election, according to Sec. 232.008. “It is inexcusable that after two months, the public is no further along in knowing if, and to what extent, votes were suppressed,” del Moral Mealer said. In a Jan. 6 statement, Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee called the election contests “frivo- lous attempts” by the Republican candidates to overturn the votes of over a million residents.


HARRIS COUNTY Alexandra del Moral Mealer, the Republican candidate for Harris County judge, filed a lawsuit Jan. 6 to contest the results of the election that saw incumbent Judge Lina Hidalgo win a second term in office. Del Moral Mealer was among a slew of Republican candidates to file on the last possible day allowed by the Texas Election Code: Losing candidates must file petitions

as a leader in this regard, and I’m very excited about the progress we’ve made.” Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey voted against the plan, saying it did not adequately address the financial costs and the timeline associ- ated with objectives. “We need to be sure we get the most bang for our buck when we’re trying to solve a problem and not just have a plan that looks good on paper, sits up on the shelf and it’s impossible to implement,” Ramsey said at the Jan. 10 meeting. The plan is divided into three focus areas: build- ings and energy, clean fleet and commuting, and sustainable procurement and waste management. Those three areas have two subgoals each, along with corresponding quantifiable targets for 2030. Lisa Lin, director of the office of sustainability, told Community Impact her office went for short- er-term 2030 targets to make goals more actionable and easier to implement. The county will establish a sustainability coordi- nating council to guide the plan’s implementation and provide feedback to adjust the plan’s goals, targets and timelines as needed.


HARRIS COUNTY In a split 3-1 vote, Harris County commissioners approved a new climate action plan for the county’s internal operations during their Jan. 10 meeting, in turn setting a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. Framing the impetus for the plan around recent climate hazards such as Hurricane Harvey, Winter Storm Uri, and extreme heat and drought during the summer of 2022, the 24-page report outlines a cost-benefit analysis of a lower-emissions future. According to the report, the total emissions from the county’s operations in 2021 were 179,445 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent with 67% of emis- sions associated with its facilities and infrastructure. Through the climate action plan, the county will aim to reduce that chunk of the county’s emissions by 50% without the use of offsets by 2030 as well as reducing electricity usage by at least 5% per year. “This plan does set some ambitious, albeit flexible goals, but we’ve got to set those goals to shoot at and shoot for, otherwise we won’t move,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said. “But without a doubt, this is positioning Harris County

BUILDINGS AND ENERGY 2030 TARGET: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% across building and facilities without the use of offsets

HARRIS COUNTY The Harris County Office of the Elections Admin- istrator said its elections systems are in “immediate need of upgrades or replacements” in its postelection report released Dec. 27. The report echoed Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum’s Nov. 15 request for a “revamped” communications system among the election judges, his office’s call center and technicians performing main- tenance on voting machines. It also stated the office needed additional full-time personnel. Election Day issues from the report included delayed openings of polling locations, paper ballot jams and inaccurate wait time updates at polling locations. Discussions of next steps include a voting system software upgrade.


2030 TARGET: Electrify 50%-75% of light-duty fleet and increase the percentage of hybrid and fuel- efficient vehicles SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 2030 TARGET: Reduce 50% of landfilled waste from county operations and increase the proportion spent on green procurement

ELECTION CONTESTS FILED Several Republicans have filed lawsuits contesting their elections following the November general election, including County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s opponent. 21 Republican candidates filed lawsuits contesting elections. 17 of those lawsuits were filed on the last possible day, Jan. 6. Margins of defeat range from 0.04% - 3.26% SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY OFFICE OF THE ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR, HARRIS COUNTY DISTRICT CLERK/ COMMUNITY IMPACT

Jersey Village City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at 16327 Lakeview Drive, Jersey Village. 713-466-2100.


CYPRESS ROSEHILL 14315 Cypress Rosehill (281) 373-2999

SPRING CYPRESS 22508 Hwy 249 (281) 379-7383 BARKER CYPRESS 17996 FM 529 (281) 656-4200

HUFFMEISTER 8945 Hwy 6 N (281) 859-5879

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