Ask the County Runoff Candidates: Environmental Forum June 24

Democratic Runoff for Harris County Precinct 3 Takes Place July 14

June 20, 2020

Harris County Precinct 3 is of particular interest to residents concerned about flooding and how we deal with it. On Wednesday, June 24, voters will have an opportunity to participate in an online forum with the two candidates running to be the Democrat who will face the Republican in November for the position of Precinct 3 commissioner.

Precinct 3 includes Buffalo Bayou west of Loop 610 and many tributaries, as well as other major streams like Cypress and Little Cypress creeks, part of Spring Creek and Brays Bayou, the federal flood-control reservoirs, Addicks and Barker; and much of the Katy Prairie. It also includes parts of Memorial, Spring Branch, Bellaire, West University, and more.

The west-northwest area of the county, once farm and ranch land, has been under heavy development pressure for many years, with resulting controversies over requirements for stormwater detention and preservation of the native prairie.

Nature-based approaches to reducing flood risk—prairie grasses and wetlands, trees, parks, ponds, and gardens—slow rain runoff and absorb stormwater before it even enters and overwhelms our natural (green) and built (gray) drainage systems.  Green flood management is the most practical, beneficial, and cost-effective method of reducing flood risk.

For these reasons, local environmental groups are sponsoring an online forum with the Democratic candidates vying to take the place of retiring Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack, a Republican who has represented Precinct 3 since 1989.

The forum, which takes place online June 24 from 7 to 8 p.m., will focus on environmental issues. Advance registration for this event is required. To sign up go here.

The Candidates

The Democratic candidates are Diana Alexander, an educator, and Michael Moore, former chief of staff under Houston Mayor Bill White. The runoff election is July 14, with early voting starting on Monday, June 29 and running through Friday, July 10.

The winner will face Republican candidate Tom Ramsey in the general election on Nov. 3.  Ramsey is a four-term mayor of tiny Spring Valley Village in west Houston, a civil engineer and until 2015, senior vice-president of Klotz and Associates, now RPS Group, a major contractor with Harris County and the Harris County Flood Control District.

Harris County Commissioners Court is the governing body of the flood control district, and individual commissioners have specific oversight over the activities of the district in their precincts.

A follow-up discussion is planned between the Republican candidate Ramsey and the winner of the Democratic runoff election.

SC

Little Cypress Creek in northwest Harris County. This remaining natural section of the creek is to be stripped and graded by the Harris County Flood Control District. Photo Dec. 29, 2019, by SC

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