Cy-Fair Edition | October 2020

CYFAIR EDITION

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 2  OCT. 1OCT. 31, 2020

ONLINE AT

crisis A local hunger Local ocials said the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue of food insecurity—which can be directly tied to economic insecurity. Prior to the global health emergency, nearly 48,000 Cy-Fair residents were eligible for grocery assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Terms to know

SNAP The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programoers grocery assistance to low-income families.

Food insecur i t y A lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life due to nancial constraints

in Cy-Fair Food insecuri ty

11% of population 47,779

39%

55% of total 26,464

6%

Harris County forms toll road corporation IMPACTS

6

of total 18,573

of total 2,742

med i an i ncome : $107,072

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 5.9%

Rece i ve SNAP :

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 12.5%

Rece i ve SNAP :

med i an i ncome : $66,983

of that

of that

60%

63%

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249

290

TRANSPORTATION

9

1960

VOTER GUIDE 2020

Percentage of popul at i on el i g i ble for snap benef i ts

med i an i ncome : $109,155

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 6.1%

Rece i ve SNAP :

of that

med i an i ncome : $70,324

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 14.6%

Rece i ve SNAP :

of that

69%

66%

5%-10% 10.1%-15% 15.1%-20%

med i an i ncome : $56,362

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 16.6%

Rece i ve SNAP :

of that

66%

CANDIDATE Q&A’S SAMPLE BALLOT

15 12

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SOURCES: FEEDING TEXAS, U.S. CENSUS BUREAUCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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Nonprof i ts increase output to meet local needs INSIDE 28

med i an i ncome : $94,290

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 11.1%

Rece i ve SNAP :

med i an i ncome : $56,974

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 17.1%

Rece i ve SNAP :

of that

of that

50%

79%

JOBS SAVING Loans to Cy-Fair

PPPmoney helped thousands of Cy-Fair businesses, butmanywonderingwhat’s next XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

businesses from the Paycheck Protection Program have saved over 68,000 jobs.

TXR PAINTBALL

26

13,076

14,416

experienced their fair share of chal- lenges, including Hwy. 290 road con- struction which has been ongoing in the area for more than ve years. When the coronavirus pandemic forced the business to close in late CONTINUED ON 30

Find deals in a snap: Point your camera to the QR code or visit communityimpact.com/deals .

9,765

9,599

8,653

Harry and Tammy Chambers have been in the restaurant industry for 33 years. As the owners of Harris County Smokehouse at the Hwy. 290 and FM 1960 intersection, they have

7,119

5,916

SOURCE: U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER JOBS SAVED AS OF AUG. 8

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CY-FAIR EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS IMPACTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

6

Now Open, Coming Soon &more TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 9 Harris County creates corporation for toll road authority CITY& COUNTY 11 Jersey Village adopts property tax rate

FROMEMILY: The beginning of fall brings cooler weather and election time. In this issue you will nd our annual Voter Guide with several pages dedicated to election coverage to prepare you ahead of Election Day. We also look closely at the food insecurity problems aecting our community and the eects the Payment Protection Program has had on businesses in Cy-Fair. To keep up with election results Nov. 3, be sure to follow our online coverage at communityimpact.com. Emily Heineman, GENERALMANAGER

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Emily Heineman, eheineman@communityimpact.com SENIOR EDITOR Shawn Arrajj SENIOR REPORTER Danica Lloyd SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kaitlin Schmidt ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Karen Nickerson METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Tessa Hoee CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, TX. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across ve metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMPATRON CONTACT US 8400 N. Sam Houston Parkway W., Ste. 200 Houston, TX 77064 • 2814696181 PRESS RELEASES cyfnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

VoterGuide

SAMPLE BALLOT

12

FROMSHAWN: With early voting slated to begin Oct. 13 in Texas, Community Impact Newspaper has reached out to candidates running in a wide variety of races that aect the Cy-Fair area, from U.S. Congress to the Texas House of Representatives to Harris County Commissioners Court. We also took a look at how Harris County is preparing for the upcoming election. Our Voter Guide starts on Page 12. Shawn Arrajj, EDITOR

National, state and local candidates GOVERNMENT Election Day preparation underway CANDIDATE Q&A’S

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15 Local candidates weigh in on the issues DINING FEATURE 27 Trattoria Pizza & Pasta REAL ESTATE 33 Commercial market data IMPACT DEALS 35 Local coupons CORRECTION: Volume 12, Issue 1 On Page 20, the demographics of Texas students should be 12.6% African American, 0.4% American Indian, 4.7% Asian/Pacic Islander, 52.6% Hispanic, 2.4% multiple races and 27.4% white. On Page 9, Bishop Square Business Park does not have an ocial address. The address listed—14914 Mueschke Road, Cypress—is the location of Webb’s Automotive of Cypress. CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE All content in this print publication, both editorial and advertisements, was up to date as of the press deadline. Due to the fast-changing nature of this event, editorial and advertising information may have changed. Please visit communityimpact.com and advertiser websites for more information.

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Local sources 50

New businesses 11

Candidate Q&A’s 25

35-acre paintball course 1

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CYFAIR EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

through third grade and sixth and seventh grades with plans to add another grade level each following year until becoming a full-scale K-12 campus. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the campus is cur- rently offering both in-person and remote learning opportunities. 832-844-4200. www.ideapublicschools.org/ our-schools/idea-spears 5 Holly Mendoza opened Esthetix Skin Care at 118 Vintage Park Blvd., Ste. 12, Houston, in August. Mendoza said she is a licensed esthetician who has practiced in the Cypress area since 2013. The new business specializes in facial treatments for men, women and teenagers. Services include consultations, skin analysis, cleanses, exfoliations, specialty masks, extractions, Celluma LED light therapy, collagen stimulation, deep hydration and customized skin care treatment plans. Esthetix also offers lash lifts, lash and brow tints, and facial waxing services. 281-650-6556. www.esthetixskincare.com 6 Officials with Frost announced the Blackhorse Financial Center opened Sept. 14 at 13201 Fry Road, Cypress. The lobby is currently open by appointment only, but the site’s ATM operates from 6 a.m.-midnight daily. Frost offers financial services for consumers and businesses and operates 51 financial centers in the Greater Houston area with plans to open six additional locations in the coming months, officials said. 713-388-7222. www.frostbank.com 7 Chiba Hot Pot celebrated a grand opening Sept. 17 at 12426 FM 1960, Houston. The all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant offers customizable hot pots with vegetables, seafood, noodles, rice and specialty ingredients such as oysters, lamb, pork belly and quail eggs. Pricing is per person at $14.99 for lunch and $23.99 for dinner. 281-653-9883 8 Pizza Guerrin opened this summer at 21350 FM 529, Ste. 100, Cypress, where Sbarro was formerly located. The pizza shop offers full pizzas, slices, stromboli, wings, pasta and desserts. Delivery is avail- able through apps, including Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash. 281-815-7833. www.pizzaguerrin.com 9 Smart Living at Cypress Creek opened in late August at 12850 Perry

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5 VINTAGE PARK BLVD.

249

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MILL

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99 TOLL

N. BRIDGELAND LAKE PKWY.

N . H O U S T

R E S S

WINDFERN RD.

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TM; © 2020 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN 1 A new location of Burlington opened Sept. 21 in the Fairfield Town Center at 28930 Hwy. 290, Cypress. The business offers designer and name-brand merchandise, including home decor items, coats, clothing, and shoes for men, women and children. A Baby Depot department offers baby merchandise, including baby bottles and cribs. www.burlington.com 2 Local educator and business owner Danai Strother held a grand opening for Division One Nutrition on Sept. 19-20 at 17960 FM 529, Ste. B, Houston. Strother

previously partnered with a local gym to offer low-calorie smoothies, energy teas and iced protein coffee, and this is the first brick-and-mortar storefront for the nutrition business. In addition to nutrition drinks, Division One offers a free weekly fitness camp. Strother said she will also provide resources for SAT and ACT exams, college admissions and financial aid. 281-256-5319. www.facebook.com/donenutrition 3 In-N-Out Burger opened its newest Greater Houston-area location at 7611 FM 1960 W., Houston, on Sept. 4. First announced in April 2019, the long-anticipated Willowbrook restaurant

serves the brand’s signature hamburgers, shakes and french fries, which are also available “animal style.” According to a Sept. 3 news release, the new location in- cludes indoor seating for up to 74 guests, a covered patio with outdoor seating for up to 42 guests and one drive-thru lane. 800-786-1000. www.in-n-out.com 4 IDEA Public Schools opened its newest North Houston campus for the 2020-21 school year Aug. 13. Located at 2010 Spears Road, Houston, construction on the new charter school began in No- vember. The new charter school opened in August with 450 students in kindergarten

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & DANICA LLOYD

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In-NOut Burger

Ti’s Treats

COURTESY IN-N-OUT BURGER

COURTESY TIFF’S TREATS

Ocials with the Houston-based Star Cinema Grill opened the theater chain’s rst drive-in location Sept. 3 at 8920 Fry Road, Cypress.

Road, Houston. The apartment complex offers one-, two- and three-bedroom units with energy-efficient appliances and community amenities such as green spac- es, an outdoor grill area, a fitness center and a resident lounge. 281-731-9199. www.smartlivingatcypress.com 10 A grand opening was held Sept. 25 for a new Towne Lake-area location of Your Best Body Today at 9955 Barker Cypress Road, Ste. 200, Cypress, within the Salon Reserve. The office specializes in noninva- sive body sculpting procedures designed to tighten skin, reduce wrinkles and reduce cellulite, among others. 832-781-0405. www.yourbestbodytoday.com 11 The Oaks Veterinary Clinic celebrat- ed a grand opening Sept. 18 at 16615 Mueschke Road, Cypress, and offers walk-in visits as well as appoint- ments. The clinic is located on the same site as The Oaks Dog Ranch—a dog board- ing, training and day care facility—and is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. 832-539-8160. www.theoaksveterinaryclinic.com COMING SOON 12 The Comic Vault owners plan to open a second location in October in the Copperfield area at 15210 West Road, Houston, the former location of 8th Dimension Comics & Games. Matthew and Marisol Crowell opened the original location on Fry Road in May 2017, offering comic books, cards, games, collectibles and toys. The new location will offer the same products as the existing space with more gaming items and a gaming space,

Matthew said. 832-220-6509. www.thecomicvault.com

COURTESY STAR CINEMA GRILL

13 A new location of Tiff’s Treats will open in November at 13126 FM 1960, Ste. 145, Houston. The shop specializes in fresh-baked cookies, brownies and frozen treats. The menu touts classic cookie flavors such as chocolate chip, snicker- doodle, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter. Baked goods are packaged and delivered warm upon request, and party packs are 14 Tomball residents Tamara and Jon Hamilton will open Just Love Coffee Cafe at 13727 Sunset Canyon Drive, Ste. 400, Tomball, in October. The neighborhood cafe will offer hand-roasted coffees and a full menu, including breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Many of the cafe’s menu items are “waffleized,” meaning dishes are cooked in a waffle iron. The cafe will also feature a drive-thru, complimentary Wi-Fi, a 16-person meeting room for rent, a small children’s play area, and a retail area with bagged coffees and K-cups for sale. www.justlovecoffeecafe.com 15 Juanita’s Mexican Kitchen is open- ing a new location soon at 29110 Hwy. 290, Ste. 500, Cypress. The eatery also has a location on Louetta Road in Cy-Fair and offers enchiladas, fajitas, seafood and other Tex-Mex cuisine with homemade tortillas. 281-251-0206. www.juanitas.us 16 Officials with Nekter Juice Bar said they hope to open their new location at the Boardwalk at Towne Lake, 9915 Barker Cypress Road, Ste. 165, available for large groups. www.cookiedelivery.com

FEATURED IMPACT EXPANSION Ocials with the Houston-based Star Cinema Gril l opened the theater chain’s rst-ever drive-in location Sept. 3 at 8920 Fry Road, Cypress. Films will be shown on the drive-in screen at 8:15 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Another screening will take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. Films will be a mix of new releases and old-school classics. Screenings over the rst weekend included “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” “Trolls World Tour” and “Jurassic Park.” “Being able to put together a drive-in theater and show new release movies is really exciting,” said Jason Ostrow, Star Cinema Grill’s vice president, in a statement. “We have heard the demand from our guests and responded, as we always do.” Cypress, in late October or early November. The business offers fresh juices, smoothies, acai bowls, cleanses and catering. www.nekterjuicebar.com CLOSINGS 17 After running Cy-Fair Lawnmower at 11907 Windfern Road in Houston for

Guests who attend drive-in screenings can purchase menu items from their vehicles, including concessions, beer, liquor and wine. Star Cinema Grill is partnering with Karbach Brewing Co. and Silver Eagle Distributors to provide drink specials, according to the release. Guests are allowed to leave their vehicles but are required to practice social distancing between other guests. Admission is $19.95 per vehicle, and tickets must be purchased online or through the mobile app. Gates open 30 minutes prior to the showtime. 832-497-5140. www.starcinemagrill.net/drive-in

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42 years, owner Louis Niklas said he plans to close the business and retire from the world of lawn care. The last day of opera- tion for the shop, which sells lawnmowers, lawn care equipment and parts, will be Oct. 31. Niklas said he wanted to thank the community for its patronage over the years. 281-955-5575. www.cyfairlawnmower.com

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CY-FAIR EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

8

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

Newcorporation coulddivert Harris County toll road revenue to other nonmobility projects

COMPLETEDPROJECT

SPRING

A new limited government corpo- ration formed by Harris County on Sept. 15 could result in surplus revenue from the Harris County Toll Road Authority going to other county needs outside of the realm of transportation and mobility. The corporation was formed following a conversation at a Sept. 15 Commissioners Court meeting about renancing the authority’s debt. As a key part of the corporation’s inception, the authority will pay the county a one-time $300 million franchise fee as well as roughly $90 million in annual franchise fees moving forward, money that will be eectively removed from the author- ity’s budget and given to the county. The court’s ve commissioners will initially serve as directors. The three Democratic members of the court who supported the motion— Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Precinct 1 and 2 Commissioners Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia—said they saw value in the added exibility in how that money can now be spent. “I think in the midst of the worst health challenge in 100 years and probably the worst economic challenges since the Great Depres- sion, we can’t solve all our problems, but I think we should not handcu ourselves,” Ellis said. The motion was opposed by Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle. Cagle said he did not see a need to rush the decision on what

ocials believe is the largest nan- cial transaction in the history of the county, instead calling for a second opinion and public input. Radack said the move lacked transparency and argued money collected from toll roads should not be used to fund projects that otherwise would have to be funded by an increase in property taxes. Leaders with several local chambers were among those who called on commissioners to refrain from diverting funding away from infrastructure. “We are the fastest-growing precincts in Harris County, and to take this money away from our infrastructure will not only crumble our streets, but will hurt our busi- nesses and communities,” Cy-Fair Chamber President Leslie Martone said, referring to precincts 3 and 4. The toll road authority brought in just over $900 million in revenue in scal year 2019-20, which ended Feb. 29, according to budget docu- ments. Harris County Budget Director Dave Berry said he expects the $90 million franchise fee to make up about 10% of the toll road authority's annual revenue each year. Expenses came in at $438 million last year, meaning the total surplus was around $463 million. About $137 million was transferred to Harris County’s four precincts to use for local mobility projects. With the cre- ation of the corporation, Berry said that funding would not be decreased.

EXIT

ENTRANCE

249

JONES RD.

Spring Cypress Road ramps The Texas Department of Trans- portation’s reversal of the Hwy. 249 northbound entrance and exit ramps between Jones Road and Spring Cypress Road wrapped up in September with the new conguration opening the weekend of Sept. 12-13, accord- ing to TxDOT Public Information Ocer Danny Perez. The project reversed the existing entrance/ exit ramp conguration to an exit/ entrance conguration and shifted the new exit ramp to the south to eliminate the queue of vehicles that previously formed from the frontage road back to the Hwy. 249 main lanes, as Perez said previously. Timeline: April 20-Sept. 12 Cost: $2.2 million Funding source: TxDOT ONGOING PROJECT

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Louetta Road extension and bridge

Construction began on schedule Sept. 14 on an extension of Louet- ta Road as a a four-lane concrete pavement section between Telge Road in Harris County Precinct 4 and Stablewood Farms Drive in Harris County Precinct 3. The project, which includes twin bridges over Little Cypress Creek and drainage improvements, is slated to be completed by March 2022 by Angel Brothers Construc- tion Co. The project will be jointly funded by precincts 3 and 4. Timeline: Sept. 14-March 2022 Cost: $8.8 million Funding sources: Harris County precincts 3 and 4

DOLLAR DIVERSION

The creation of a limited government corporation to run the Harris County Toll Road Authority will allow the county to free up hundreds of millions of dollars in toll road revenue for new uses.

HCTRA REVENUE FROM2020 TOLL ROAD PAYMENTS $901M $438M $463M Expenses Surplus

$300MILLION franchise fee paid from the toll road authority to the county as a maintenance and operations expense $90MILLION to be paid in annual fees moving forward Harris County can use the money on NONMOBILITY PROJECTS

About $137M of toll road surplus revenue was transferred to Harris County’s four precincts last year for commissioners to use on local mobility projects.

$137M

$326M

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF SEPT. 18. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT CYFNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY BUDGET OFFICE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

9

CYFAIR EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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October is Fire Prevention Month and we want to spread the word about fire safety to help keep your family safe. FIRE PREVENTION MONTH

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020 Cy-Fair Educational Foundation Celebrating 50 Years

Have smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home.

Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

Make a home escape plan and practice it. Get low and go to your exit. Close the door as you leave your home. Never go back in for any reason. Meet at your meeting place.

Make sure everyone in your home knows how to call 9-1-1 and give the dispatcher the address in the event of an emergency.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Jersey Village & Harris County

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

Livestreams can be accessed via websites. Jersey Village City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19. 713-466-2100 www.jerseyvillagetx.com Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. on Oct. 13. 713-698-1102 www.harriscountytx.gov MEETINGSWE COVER COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS HARRIS COUNTY Harris County Emergency Services District No. 9 announced it was canceling its November election after two board members chose to resign, freeing up spaces on the board for the two newcomers seeking to be elected. Commissioners Bob Janusaitis and Jessica Rivas both stepped down prior to an August meeting. Janusaitis already declined to run for re-election and would have stepped down at the end of his term in November either way. New Commissioners Bevin Gordon and William McDougal were sworn in at the board’s August meeting. Commissioner David Langenberg, who was running for re-election, will retain his seat as well. HARRIS COUNTY Harris County Commissioners Court approved $2.2 million to support survivors of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic at a Sept. 15 meeting. The funding will establish a Harris County COVID-19 Domestic Violence Assistance program to bridge gaps in assistance for survivors by providing an array of services. Funding may be used by eligible nonprots to support needs such as child care, food assistance, transportation assistance, living supplies, and rental and utility assistance. More information on the application process and criteria is expected to be released in October.

JerseyVillage to lower tax rate, increase total taxes collected

Facility planned to help homeless inHouston area HARRIS COUNTY A partnership launched in September between the city of Houston and Harris County to open a new facility to help the area’s homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Respite, Rehabilitation and Re-entry Center targets individuals who are homeless and have signif- icant mental health issues, Harris Center CEO Wayne Young said. It will serve roughly 108 people at a time with services such as rehabil- itation, counseling, mental health services, and help with housing and employment. Young said the facility will also help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The goal is to have a grand opening in November, he said. “The timing is critical so we can diminish the impact of COVID[-19] in this population,” Young said. The location targeted for the facility is 6160 South Loop E., Houston, within the former Pine Valley Spe- cialty Hospital. The city of Houston and Harris County are looking to contribute $5 million each to purchase and renovate the property and cover the cost of services for one year.

A CLOSER LOOK The property tax on a home of average value in Jersey Village will increase by about $60 in 2021.

JERSEY VILLAGE Ocials with the city of Jersey Village have pro- posed a scal year 2020-21 property tax rate that is lower than the FY 2019-20 rate but will raise roughly 4.8% more property tax revenue because of increases in property value within the city. City Manager Austin Bleess said the city is proposing a tax rate of $0.723466 per $100 of valuation, down from last year’s rate of $0.7245 per $100 of valuation. The new rate will bring in roughly $7.96 million in property tax reve- nue, up from $7.6 million last year, according to budget documents. The proposed tax rate is the high- est allowed under a state law the went into eect this year before city ocials would be required to host an election to get voter approval. As of press time, a public hearing on the proposed tax rate was slated for 7 p.m. Sept. 28, after which the Jersey Village City Council was to vote on the rate.

FY 2019-20 FY 2020-21

TOTAL TAX RATE (per $100 of value) $0.7425 $0.723466

$0.019034

AVERAGE HOMESTEAD TAXABLE VALUE $207,590 $221,344 6.62% TAX ON AVERAGE HOMESTEAD $1,541 $1,601 3.89% TOTAL TAX LEVY ON ALL PROPERTIES $7.6M $7.96M 4.8%

SOURCE: CITY OF JERSEY VILLAGE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Harris County resumes in-person jury duty

HARRIS COUNTY Harris County District Clerk Marilyn Burgess announced Sept. 14 the resump- tion of in-person jury trials in the county’s district courts. Burgess laid out the precautions in place to try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during jury trials, which include ensuring space for social

distancing, temperature checks, and the use of hand-sanitizing stations and face masks. Jury selection takes place at NRG Arena, and jurors who are selected for jury duty attend trials that take place in a downtown courtroom. Over 90 juries have been requested in cases through October.

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CYFAIR EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

GUIDE

Candidates and information for November elections

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

DATES TOKNOW OCT. 13 First day of early voting OCT. 23 Last day to apply for ballot by mail*

WHERE TOVOTE

VOTER GUIDE 2020

OCT. 30 Last day of early voting NOV. 3 Election Day *DATE RECEIVED, NOT POSTMARKED

Harris County residents can vote at any polling place within the county both on Election Day and during the early voting period. Each voter’s ballot is determined by where they live.

SAMPLE BALLOT

*Incumbent

D Democrat

G Green

I Independent

L Libertarian

R Republican

Supreme Court, Chief Justice R Nathan Hecht* D Amy Clark Meachum L Mark Ash Supreme Court, Place 6 R Jane Bland* D Kathy Cheng Supreme Court, Place 7 R Je Boyd* D Staci Williams L William Bryan Strange III Supreme Court, Place 8 R Brett Busby* D Gisela D. Triana L Tom Oxford

Texas House District 130 D Bryan J. Henry R Tom Oliverson* Texas House District 132 D Gina Calanni* R Mike Schoeld Texas House District 135 L Paul Bilyeu R Justin Ray D Jon E. Rosenthal* HARRIS COUNTY Harris County attorney D Christian Dashaun Menefee R John Nation

Harris County clerk D Teneshia Hudspeth R Stan Stanart Harris County sheri R Joe Danna D Ed Gonzalez* Harris County Commissioner, Precinct 3 D Michael Moore R Tom Ramsey Harris County Constable, Precinct 4 R Mark Herman* D Je McGowen Harris County Constable, Precinct 5 D Mark Alan Harrison R Ted Heap*

NATIONAL

LOCAL U.S. House District 2 R Dan Crenshaw* D Sima Ladjevardian L Elliott Robert Scheirman U.S. House District 7 D Lizzie Fletcher* R Wesley Hunt L Shawn Kelly U.S. House District 10 L Roy Eriksen R Michael McCaul* D Mike Siegel Texas House District 126

President R Donald J. Trump* D Joseph R. Biden L Jo Jorgensen G Howie Hawkins U.S. Senate G David B. Collins R John Cornyn* D Mary “MJ” Hegar L Kerry Douglass McKennon STATEWIDE Texas Railroad Commission

D Chrysta Castañeda G Katija "Kat" Gruene L Matt Sterett R James “Jim” Wright

R E. Sam Harless* D Natali Hurtado

For more election information, visit communityimpact.com/vote .

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GOVERNMENT

2020 Voter Guide

VOTING Harris County gears up for potential record turnout inNovember election

The Harris County Clerk’s Office has taken on a number of initiatives to make voting safer and more accessible to voters during the coronavirus pandemic. DURING COVID-19 Harris County voters can cast ballots at any of the county’s polling centers during the early voting period and on Election Day. There are 2.4 MILLION registered voters in Harris County, and officials projected as many as 70%—or 1.7 MILLION —could cast ballots in this year’s election. WHERE TO VOTE

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

mail—those who are ages 65 and older, those who are disabled, those who will not be in the county during the voting period, and those who are in jail but are otherwise eligible to vote. In his Sept. 11 ruling, Judge R.K. Sandill said Paxton’s argument “ring[ed] hollow,” and Hollins himself has called the lawsuit “baseless” and “friv- olous.” Hollins said the county is complying with the Supreme Court stay but is prepared to move forward if a ruling comes down in their favor. Any mail ballot applications sent out would also include educational information explaining who is and is not eligible to vote by mail, Hollins said. “Fortunately, all vote-by-mail applications have already been delivered to Harris County voters aged 65 and above,” Hollins said in a Sept. 15 state- ment. “My office is prepared to send applications and educational materials to remaining registered voters at the conclusion of this baseless litigation.” Prior to the July primary runoff election, the county sent out nearly 400,000 mail ballot appli- cations to registered voters age 65 and older, and Hollins said about 50,000 of those were returned. About 80,000 people voted by mail during July elections, Hollins said. “The success of our outreach efforts in June and July is a clear indication the voters are concerned about their health at the polls,” Hollins said. The effort to boost mail ballot infrastructure is part of a larger $27 million plan to both prepare for and carry out the November election, including the implementation of 10 polling locations where voters can use drive-thru voting. A total of 121 early voting locations will be open starting Oct. 13, triple the number of early voting options in 2016. Hollins said he is aiming to have a record 808 locations open on Election Day. “We have a critical need for large facilities to serve as voting centers, and we left no stone unturned in our search,” he said.

Harris County is moving forward with prepara- tions for the November election, which officials said could feature record-breaking turnout in the middle of a pandemic. However, plans put in place by the Harris County Clerk’s Office to send mail ballot applica- tions to the county’s 2.4 million registered voters have been put in question after a lawsuit was filed and a stay issued by the Texas Supreme Court on Sept. 15. Harris County Clerk Christopher Hollins has identified mail voting as a crucial tool for voters to help keep people safe from the coronavirus. “This also makes it safer and more convenient for in-person voters. [It is] one less person to wait behind in line and one less person they might be exposed to at a voting center,” Hollins said at a Sept. 10 press conference. The Sept. 15 stay was the latest in a back-and- forth battle between the county and the state over whether Harris County has the legal authority to send mail ballots to all registered voters. After the clerk’s office first announced its plans in an Aug. 25 tweet, the Texas secretary of state’s office sent Hollins a letter ordering those plans to be halted. By Aug. 31, the Texas attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit. A state district judge and an appeals court have both sided with Harris County, but the Supreme Court’s stay will remain in place throughout the appeals process, which means the county’s plans are blocked until the case fully plays out. Paxton has argued sending applications to all registered voters would confuse voters and poten- tially cause people who are not eligible to vote by mail to attempt to do so. Texas is one of six states that is not allowing all registered voters to vote by mail during the pandemic, Hollins said. Under state law, only certain voters are eligible to vote by

up from 46 in 2016 locations 121 early voting

projected Election Day voting locations 808

up from 785 in 2016

Drive-thru voting will be available at 10 LOCATIONS .

24-hour voting will be available overnight Oct. 29 at SIX LOCATIONS , including one in Cypress:

JUERGENS HALL COMMUNITY CENTER 26026 Hempstead Hwy., Cypress

290

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VOTING BY MAIL

Under Texas law, voting by mail is limited to people: ages 65 and older disabled outside of the county throughout the voting period in jail but otherwise eligible to vote

DATE TO KNOW

Mail ballot applications must be received by OCT. 23 .

NEW THIS YEAR

In addition to mailing ballots in, voters can drop off mail ballots at any of the county’s 11 ANNEXES on or before Election Day.

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

13

CY-FAIR EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CANDIDATE Q&A

2020 Voter Guide

Get to know the candidates running in the general election

Democrat D

Green G

Independent I

Libertarian L

Republican R

Incumbent

COMPILED BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

Harris County sheriff

ED GONZALEZ

JOE DANNA

Occupation: master peace officer Relevant experience: 27 years as a law enforcement officer in Harris County 409-449-1564 • www.dannaforsheriff.com

Occupation: Harris County sheriff Relevant experience: Four years as sheriff; Houston Mayor Pro Tem and chair of Houston City Council Public Safety Committee; 18 years with the Houston Police Department, rising to the rank of Sergeant, leading homicide investigations and serving on the elite hostage negotiation team; bachelor’s in criminal justice 832-534-3847 • www.edgonzalez.com

D

R

What is the top issue you would address if elected?

My first priority is always public safety. I get up every morning and work hard every day to keep Harris County safe—through hurricanes, floods and this pandemic—and of course from crime. In addition to keeping our neighborhoods free from crime, we’ll continue to transform outdated models for how jails should work. For example, we’ve set up the first 24-hour diversion desk to ensure people with mental health challenges get treatment instead of jail.

Harris County is in the midst of a safety crisis. Per the Harris County Budget Management Department, there are 101 budgeted, unfilled positions for deputies and sergeants. The current Sheriff has $25 million more than the previous administration and yet there are less officers, less than 13% clearance rate for rape cases and less than 3% clearance rate for burglaries. The officers we do have are overloaded, overwhelmed, undervalued and Harris County residents are underserved.

If elected, what will you do to ensure your officers and those they come in contact with are protected from COVID-19?

The department is following CDC and local guidelines based on the latest science and research. In addition, we have provided deputies and jail staff with PPE (personal protective equipment), including face masks, eye goggles, gloves, and body suits. Patrol deputies have been given cleaning materials they are using to disinfect their vehicles any time they are called upon to transport a suspect.

Prevention training is the number one issue I see. COVID jailer and officer training and retraining have become nonexistent. Mitigation efforts need to be ongoing. Officers need to feel confident that their personal health is safe, respected and important through frequent training, PPE fit checks and inventory monitoring. Law enforcement officers are on the frontline providing safety for the community, they are owed our best efforts to keep them from falling ill.

Answers may have been edited for length. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com/vote .

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CY-FAIR EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CANDIDATE Q&A

2020 Voter Guide

Get to know the candidates running in the general election

Democrat D

Green G

Independent I

Libertarian L

Republican R

Incumbent

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

Harris County Precinct 3 commissioner

MICHAEL MOORE

TOM RAMSEY

Occupation: civil engineer, former senior vice president and partner of Klotz Associates Relevant experience: 25-year small-business owner; 42-year engineering career; former mayor of Spring Valley, [where] I reduced the city’s tax rate by 21%; oversaw Spring Valley’s ascent to being named the safest city in Harris County 832-786-9932 • www.votetomramsey.com

Occupation: communications strategist Relevant experience: served as chief of staff to former Houston Mayor Bill White; point person for Houston’s response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike; dealt with the economic downturn during the Great Recession; co-chair of the Senior Care Facility Coronavirus Task Force 713-489-0874 • www.mooreforcommissioner.com

D

R

Why are you the best candidate for Harris County Precinct 3 commissioner?

First and foremost, I have the most and the best experience. I helped lead a city of 2 million people and oversaw a budget of $2 billion and a workforce of 20,000 employees. My opponent, respectfully has helped lead a village of 4,200 residents. Second, I have proven experience cutting through government bureaucracy and collaborating with other agencies at every level of government to get results. I am a practical person, not an ideologue, who knows how to build coalitions and who will listen carefully to my constituents and fellow commissioners.

I have a long track record of improving the safety, infrastructure, livability and financial health of the communities I serve and have often been called upon by peers, and other community leaders, for my expertise. As mayor, I reduced taxes by 21%, led my city to being named the safest in Harris County and invested almost $38 million in infrastructure. I know how to get the job done and will be ready from day one to serve.

If elected, what would your priorities be regarding the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic?

As co-chair of Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s Senior Care Facility Coronavirus Task Force, we’re listening to doctors and scientists, not politicians, when it comes to keeping seniors safe and healthy in this pandemic. I would bring that same approach to the office of county commissioner. For example, I have called for merging our county and city health departments to improve health outcomes.

Making decisions based on science, adhering to [U.S. Center for Disease Control] guidelines and rebuilding the economy should be the priorities. I trust that residents, small-business owners and church leaders will make the right decisions for their family, customers and parishioners. The county government should not arbitrarily pick winners and losers.

CF ISD HOOSE OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL Meet Dr. TomNguyen: Chief of Cardiac Surgery, CFISD graduate. When Tom Nguyen’s parents moved to Texas, their hearts were set on ensuring their son was academically challenged and inspired. That’s why they chose Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. Today, Dr. Nguyen is a highly respected surgeon and loves using his exceptional skills to help others live healthier, happier lives–including one of our very own principals on whom he recently performed coronary bypass surgery. Dr. Nguyen’s accomplishments demonstrate how rigorous academics and opportunity for all students are the very essence of success. Learn how we cheer on all our students at CFISDspirit.com. FULL COLOR CONDENSED STACKED WIDE - CMYK Answers may have been edited for length. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com/vote .

17

CY-FAIR EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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