Category Archives: Get Involved!

Pearland Police Officer’s Assn hosts Candidate Forum

Save the Date!

Candidate Forum – for City Council and PISD Board Candidates

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at Berry Miller Junior High, located at 3301 Manvel Rd.

Questions? Comments? Email Det. John DeSpain at


Pearland Drink Local Needs YOU

PCEFUnfortunately, volunteer turnout has been dismal at best for Pearland Citizens for Economic Freedom. Many people asked to be added to the distribution list and expressed great interest in helping get this measure passed. Folks agree that this law needs to be changed so that Pearland can grow and be on a level with the other cities around Houston. People have said how they wished there was some nightlife here, or how it’d be great to have a Flying Saucer or a wine bar to go to.

However, when asked for real help with collecting signatures, the silence was deafening. We understand that everyone has family obligations, work obligations and are just plain busy, but so are the volunteers that do show up. People have to make the time to get the signatures.

Out of 80 people who have shown interest in volunteering, only about 8 have actually shown up. Furthermore, almost 50 clipboards have been checked out, but not returned. Clipboards may be dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce.
To the volunteers that did show up and continue to show up: THANK YOU! You have come out in good weather and bad. Some of you have been at almost every event. Getting 8,000 signatures is a tremendous undertaking!

So here is the bottom line…

There have been a little over 2,000 signatures collected, meaning 6,000 more signatures need to be collected. The deadline is January 10, which is a Sunday. Things look dire, but not impossible.

For folks that have a clipboard, please get out there and fill you sheets then turn them in to get more. Even if a few signatures a day add up quickly!

Clipboards may be checked out at the Chamber of Commerce at 6117 Broadway St.

The requirements for signatures is that the person MUST be a registered voter living within the Pearland city limits.

Thank you and PLEASE consider helping this cause that will help propel Pearland into the bigger city status that it has grown to be!

Pearland Drink Local seeks volunteers for this weekend

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 7.44.51 PMWe will have three petitioning opportunities this weekend. We need help at each event, so please come on out if you can.  Again, we need everyone’s help to reach out goal.

  • Friday Night – Christmas Tree Lighting
Please meet at the Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) in the Pearland Town Center at 6:00pm. We will be walking the crowds for signatures. Actual tree lighting starts at 7pm.
Location: 11200 W Broadway St #1390, Pearland, TX 77584
Contact:  Preston Phillips (281) 702-3358


  • Saturday – Hometown Christmas Parade
Meet in the parking lot between Sablatura Middle School and Pressner Stadium at 2:30pm. We will break into two teams and walk the parade route from both ends collecting signatures from everyone setting up their chairs and getting ready for parade. Wear your volunteer shirts if you have them. If not, we should have some out there.
Location:  Pressner Stadium Parking lot
Contact:  Gary Bucek  (281) 252-2162 or Mark Smith (281) 615-5654
  • Sunday Afternoon – Block Walking
Meet at Wilder Elementary at 1pm. We will be walking Shadow Creek Ranch from (1pm – 5pm).
Location: 2225 Kingsley Dr., Pearland, TX 77584
Contact:  Preston Phillips (281) 702-3358
We only have about 750 out of the 8,000 we need.  We have a lot of opportunities to get signatures this weekend, but we need your help.  Its going take everyone working to get this on the ballot.
Thank you for your support!

Pearland Drink Local Seeking Volunteers for Block Walking Event

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 7.44.51 PMThis Saturday, we will have our first Block Walking Event.  We will be walking the western-most part of Shadow Creek Ranch.  We will meet at Wilder Elementary parking lot at 9:30 where we will break into teams and go over the details/sales pitch.  We plan to walk from 10:00am until 1:00pm (3 hours), so please wear comfortable shoes and bring some water.
Block Walking
When: Saturday, Nov 14th. 9:30 am
Where: Wilder Elementary – Parking Lot, 2225 Kingsley Dr., Pearland, TX 77584
We will be walking Precinct 50, which is bordered on North buy Shadow Creek Pkwy, South by Broadway, East by Kingsley Dr., and West by Fort Bend County Line. We plan to hit the following neighborhoods:
  • North Meadow Trails
  • South Meadow Trails
  • Nicole Terrace
  • Silver leaf Glen
  • Creek side Meadows
  • Regents Glen
  • Biscayne Bay
  • North Briarwood
  • South Briarwood
  • Trinity Shores
  • Brook glen
  • Riverside Place
  • Copper Creek
  • Village Green
  • Harvest Grove
  • Sagecrest Point
We really need a headcount of who plans to attend, so PLEASE RSVP to if you will be coming.
Thanks again for your support and we hope to see you Saturday for block-walking.
Seth Thompson
Pearland Citizens for Economic Freedom

Pearland Citizens for Economic Freedom is a organized movement to remove the alcohol-sales restriction on businesses in Pearland.

Currently, only businesses that have a Food & Beverage Permit can sell alcohol in Pearland.  To get a Food & Beverage Permit, 51% or more of gross sales must come from food.  This requirement discourages businesses such as pubs, wine bars, liquor stores, and some higher-end restaurants from operating within Pearland city limits.

To remove the restrictions, we are petitioning to get a local-option election on the ballot in May 2016. The local-option is to allow the legal sale of all alcohol, including mixed beverages, within the city limits. We believe passing this measure will bring more entertainment, commerce, and tax revenue to Pearland.

To learn more, click HERE.

Leadership Pearland Class Deadline Extended

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 12.08.27 PMThe next Leadership Pearland class is starting soon. Application deadlines have been extended to September 25, 2015. Click on the link below to download an application.

Download application HERE.


11703420_852902734763267_4583115598707825274_oBeginning this month, the Pearland Municipal Court will be offering a new program to teen offenders. Eligible participants will have the option of attending Teen Court for their Class C Misdemeanor violation(s) where teen volunteers will sit as a jury panel to determine the sentence of the teen violator.

They are then required to attend their teen court trial to receive their sentence from a jury consisting of 5-6 teen volunteers and prior teen offenders. The teen jury will decide the number of community service hours and jury terms the teen offender is to serve. The sentence may include additional conditions such as taking a driving safety class, alcohol/drug awareness course, or writing an essay/letter of apology.

In order to be eligible to request the Pearland Teen Court option the following criteria must be met:

  • The violation must be filed with the Pearland Municipal Court,
  • The violator must be under the age of 18, or enrolled full time in an accredited secondary school in a program leading toward a high school diploma,
  • The violator must not have had any case dismissed by a teen court in the previous twelve months,
  • The violator must plea “no contest” or “guilty” in court, (with parent or guardian present if under age 17), and request to participate in the teen court from a Pearland municipal judge,
  • The violator must pay the required fee of $20, per violation and sign the agreement at the initial court appearance,
  • The violator must appear for the scheduled Teen Court session for sentencing, accompanied by their parent.

The teen defendants are given 90 days from their Teen Court hearing to complete their sentence. Successful completion of the Teen Court requirements within the specified time frame will result in dismissal of the case(s), which keeps the offense(s) off the record as a conviction. Among the benefits of teen court is that it allows the teen to become acquainted with the judicial system and how it affects them. They will also experience the satisfaction of contributing to the community while gaining valuable work experience.

Volunteers are sought from the community to assist with this program:

  • Teens ages 11 – 18 may volunteer to serve as jury member, or (beginning in Spring 2016) prosecuting/defense attorney. Student trainings will be typically held once every 6 months beginning in August of 2015.
  • Adults may serve on Court nights as jury monitors, help check in participants, or monitor conduct and attire compliance. Jury monitor volunteers will sit with Teen Court juries and monitor them while they hear cases and deliberate. Jury monitors are not to influence the jury in their decision, but to make sure the jury is in agreement and following the proper procedure. Adult volunteer participation must be approved by the presiding municipal court judge.

The Teen Court program will be held at the Pearland Municipal Court every third Tuesday beginning Sept. 15. Email or call 281.997.5901 to volunteer or for more information.

Pearland officials put forward property tax, water rate increase in proposed budget

BudgetCoverThe City of Pearland released the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 – 2016 budget entitled, “Building Momentum,” to the public last week as staff and elected leaders begin the arduous task of refining and adopting the most useful budget to meet the needs of the City. If approved, citizens could see an increase in property taxes and water rates. However, city officials say the proposed budget has not been finalized and the final numbers could change.

The first Budget Workshop is scheduled for Monday (August 3) at City Hall, located at 3519 Liberty Dr. The issues to be discussed include property taxes, debt service, the General Fund and a Multi-Year Plan.

“By way of background, it’s worth noting that the budget process is an intricate process that had its beginnings for this year back in March with a special City Council work session to provide early budget input,” said City Manager Clay Pearson. “Before and since that meeting in March, City staff from across the organization has diligently researched and examined their operations and budgets.”

The proposed tax rate of $0.71937 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2016 includes an increase from $0.7121 currently. Additional increases are expected in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, for a total tax rate increase of $0.13.

If the proposed tax rates are adopted, a resident with an average home value estimated at $199,749 can expect to see a jump of approximately $99 per year or 27 cents per day.

“For 27 cents a day, residents will receive enhanced fire services with the opening of two new manned 24/7 fire stations, pro-active patrol with the hiring of an additional four police officers, access to two new parks, the new Shadow Creek Ranch Sportsplex and Hickory Slough Sports Complex and increased funding for roads and sidewalk maintenance,” said Pearson.

“Last year, in 2015, the City had forecast a 2.5 cent tax increase for fiscal year 2016, but due to higher property valuation and the City’s taking advantage of lower interest rates to refinance $51.2 million in existing debt, resulting in annual savings of $425,000, the recommended tax rate for fiscal year 2016 is held constant in absolute terms, which is 1.78 cents lower than last year’s forecast,” Pearson added.

“Property taxes generate the second-most to the General Fund at $14.6 million, up from $13.2 million. Property taxes also support 100% of the debt service on outstanding general obligation bonds,” explained Pearson. “The property tax rate for debt service is pegged to remain constant. The effective tax rate for operations is planned to go up slightly, $0.0073 per $100 valuation. That effective tax rate is slightly less than had been anticipated in last year’s planning. Values on existing property are generally rebounding strongly from the 2008 financial crisis, which is the other component for individual property tax bills,” Pearson said.

Under the current proposed budget, city revenues will increase overall by seven percent. Of that amount, property tax revenues will increase roughly $1.4 million, or 10 percent. The estimated property tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year is approximately $2.5 million.

“Revenue increases of 16.0% are needed in fiscal year 2016 in the water/sewer fund as lower consumption in 2015 has reduced cash equivalents. Additional increases are needed in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 of 10.3% and 9.10%, respectively, due to major plant expansions and resulting debt service,” budget documents state.

This means that water and sewer bills for residents will see an increase of between $5 and $15 in the years to come.

“Due to higher than normal rainfall throughout fiscal year 2015 coupled with mission critical significant dollar wastewater treatment plant expansions to handle the city’s existing flow and to allow for growth, the City has budgeted a 16% revenue increase, generating $4.7 million in additional revenue,” Pearson explained.

“The annual debt service on a $55 million, four million-gallon-per-day expansion of the Reflection Bay Reclamation plant accounts for most of the increase. A 5.55% rate increase was forecast for 2016 last year; however, due to the higher than normal rainfall and increased capital construction cost, the increase is higher. With the rate increase, the City will meet all bond covenant requirements and reserve policy.

“The City’s volume rates are based on increasing block rates, where the more you use, the more you pay. Based on using 10,000 gallons with an 8,000 sewer cap, the monthly bill would increase from $74.55 to $86.36, or $11.81 per month. If one were to use less water, the bill would be less and if one were to use more, the bill would be slightly higher,” said Pearson.

It is still to be determined if garbage rates will increase.

“The City’s contract with Waste Management allows for annual rate increases each October 1, based on the Houston metro CPI. Based on the latest CPI information for June 2015, no rate increase has been built into the budget; however, the actual rate will be determined as of the August CPI data and subject to change. The City’s current monthly garbage rate is $17.48 plus sales tax,” Pearson said.

The largest expenditure from the General Fund is, and has historically been, Public Safety.

“Public safety resources remain the largest in the General Fund, 52% of expenditures,” said Pearson. “We are starting to occupy new Fire Station #3 at Yost and Broadway any day now with additional firefighters and equipment. The new fire station #2 comes on early in the next fiscal year and we are adding the equivalent of 12 new firefighter positions, nine full-time and three equivalents of part-time.

“On the police side, we had a good recruiting round last year and were able to add positions so that in June of 2015, we were at 100% of budgeted strength with 155 peace officers on the payroll, compared to 141 in June of 2013. We have added a civilian expert crime analyst to help give good information to operations to direct our work and made a civilian quartermaster position and IT position to help ensure trained police officers are doing the work that they are trained to do as much as possible. All told, with the good position we are in, the Chief and his expert leadership are soon in a position to be adding directed patrol resources at peak times, locations and assignments, atop the regular patrol,” said Pearson.

Sales revenues are expected to rise eight percent from approximately $18.9 million to $20.6 million due to the continued growth of the commercial and industrial industries in the City.

Notable projects include Costco, which is under construction on Business Center Dr. and recent project announcements, such as Keystone Engineering’s new facility on N. Main, which is expected to bring $6 million in investment and 70 new jobs to the community. Shale-Inland is planning to construct a $14 million facility on S. Main that will be 210,000 square feet and will bring in 80 new jobs. In the Lower Kirby District, Tool-Flo Manufacturing is expected to invest $36 million for an 80,000 square foot building and manufacturing facility that will have 188 employees.

“Sales taxes have been rising with the increased number of retailers and square footage, but that is going to level off at some point and also sales taxes are susceptible to the economy, so must be cautiously used and reserves established for fluctuations,” Pearson said.

Another major increase is expected to come in the form of increased healthcare costs for City employees and a standard cost-of-living raise.

“The City is a people organization. About 65% of the City’s general fund budget goes to salaries and wages. Balancing remaining competitive to retain and reward our talent remains a priority in our balancing items,” Pearson said.

“Like last year, with revenues and expenditures where they are, we are able to offer a two percent increase for our employees. That is intended to be across-the-board as an increase, but relatively small in light of the overall job market and costs increases.

“Employee benefits are also a big factor and the biggest is health insurance. Like companies and other public agencies, those costs are substantial and are managed carefully. We’ve already reviewed and rolled out the program for next fiscal year. We are able to over as part of our program City-provided coverage of 100% of the single health care plan coverage, which encompassed almost half of our enrollments last year, in our base plan. Moreover, the City pays 70% of the base plan for the more expensive dependent plans for couples and families,” said Pearson.

City infrastructure is always a major expenditure, with $1.5 million allotted for streets and sidewalks, up from $1.2 million last year.

“Taking care of existing roads and sidewalks remains a big priority,” said Pearson. “We talked about that with the City Council in March and followed-up with the results of a complete right-of-way asset inventory. The proposed budget has $2.06 million allocated for streets and sidewalks maintenance. The 2014 actual expense was $1.15 million. We would like to be near $4 million per year to keep up the inventory and avoid costly reconstructions, given our hundreds of millions in roads and sidewalk asset value.

“In our multi-year budget, the street and sidewalk maintenance, such as we completed on Mykawa and are doing in the Regency Park Subdivision, is included. We have a very large and appropriate capital improvements program for street widening, intersection improvements, and the like.

“We will open up the extension of Pearland Parkway south of Oiler Drive to Dixie Farm Road this month, start work on the Bailey Road widening and are continuing to make plans for McHard Road extension. Moreover, the City is appreciative of partners at H-GAC and Brazoria County that we coordinate roadwork with and receive cooperative funding from. Also, the Texas Department of Transportation is awarding the new managed toll lanes onto 288 from the Medical Center to Clear Creek where the work continues into Brazoria County, thanks to the Brazoria County government,“ Pearson added.

No final approval has been made on the 2015-16 budget. City Council has scheduled three Budget Workshops on August 3, August 10 and August 24, with Public hearings scheduled for August 31 and September 8, as required by law.

Council is scheduled to approve the tax rate on August 17 and will vote to approve the budget and any amendments made to it on September 14 and 21.

To view the proposed budget, the budget adoption timeline or to get more information, visit

Council begins budgeting process

Pearland City Council will meet tonight (Monday, August 3) at City Hall, located at 3519 Liberty Dr., at 6:30 p.m. for the first of three Budget Workshops.

The issues on the agenda are: Overview, highlights, property tax, debt service, General Fund, Multi-Year Plan and other funds.

Future meetings include a second Workshop on August 10, in which the topics to be discussed include the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and a review of effective tax rate notification; a meeting on August 17, in which Council will set a Public Hearing on the budget, set a Public Hearing on the tax rate and vote on the proposed tax rate; a Budget Workshop on August 24, which will address the Water/Sewer Fund, the Water/Sewer CIP and water/sewer rates; a Public Hearing on August 31 on the Budget and tax rate; a second Public Hearing on September 8 on the tax rate; a first reading of Ordinances on September 14; and the second reading of Ordinances, as well as the adoption of the 5-Year CIP 2016-2020.

For more information about the budgeting schedule, visit

Residents invited to participate in 2015 Comprehensive Plan

Councilmen Gary Moore and Derrick Reed trade laughs before the workshop.

Councilmen Gary Moore and Derrick Reed trade laughs before the workshop.

A joint workshop was held between City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission Monday (July 6) to review a draft of the 2015 Comprehensive Plan, which will be presented to the public during a “Big Picture” workshop on July 16.

The City’s Comprehensive Plan is intended as, “A guidance and reference document for decision-makers, city staff and others to aid with annual and multi-year budgeting, department and program priorities, development review and approval, grant pursuits and intergovernmental and other agreements,” according to the presentation by planning firm Kendig Keast Collaborative.

The City has been working with Kendig Keast to update the Plan since 2013.

According to City documents, “Pearland’s first Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1968, and has been updated in 1978, 1988, 1993 and 1999. In 2004 and 2010, limited amendments were made to the Comprehensive Plan by staff. The unprecedented growth (from 37,640 persons in 2000 to over 112,000 in 2013) and demographic and economic changes in the last 13 years have reinforced the need to undertake this project.”

The Plan focuses on reinvestment, preservation and quality of life; long-term fiscal impacts; highest return on investment for vacant land; and establishing priority action tasks.

Implementation of the Plan will occur in the areas of Capital Improvements (streets, water, drainage, parks and facilities), Policies and Programs (tax and utility rates, Economic Development Corporation incentive policies, neighborhood-oriented policing, railroad “quiet zones” and sidewalk installation initiatives), Regulations and Standards (engineering design criteria, Unified Development Code updates, corridor overlay district and parkland dedication or fee), Partnerships and Coordination (Greater 288 Partnership, Keep Pearland Beautiful, Pearland Alliance for Arts and Culture, Houston-Galveston Area Council and TxDOT) and Targeted Planning (SH 35 Corridor and Master Plan, Parks and Recreation Master Plan, utility master plans, Management District plans and neighborhood planning).

The ideas outlined in the Comprehensive Plan will be used when developing the City budget, during the adoption of new or amended ordinances, the approval of contracts and agreements, approval of City match for grant applications and the adoption of other specialized plans.

The Plan also plays an important role in annexation issues, land use and zoning issues, utility master plan updates, transportation project prioritization, Strategic Plan implementation, cultural arts planning and neighborhood and green space planning.

As Pearland’s budget for the next fiscal year is rapidly coming due, it is important for voters to be informed about how the Comprehensive Plan factors into this process as well as other day-to-day City operations.

Residents are encouraged to attend the City’s “Big Picture” Workshop on July 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Building, located at 2555 Cullen Parkway, to learn more about the Plan and give feedback to City leaders.

Residents may preview the current draft of the Comprehensive Plan at For an overview on the Plan process, visit

ICYMI: Big Picture Outreach Workshop July 16