February 2017  


   

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis

Harris County's newest Commissioners Court member, Commissioner Rodney Ellis, took the official oath of office on January 1.
A native Harris County resident, Commissioner Ellis was born and raised in Houston's Sunnyside neighborhood and attended the Texas public school system from grade school through law school.
Commissioner Ellis represented a Houston district in the Texas Senate for more than 25 years, earning praise as a leader on economic development, education, civil rights, budget issues, responsible environmental policy, tax cuts for the middle class, criminal justice, and workforce development.
Before joining the Texas Senate in 1990, Commissioner Ellis served three terms on Houston City Council and as chief of staff to the late U.S. Rep. Mickey Leland. He holds a bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University, a master's degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Commissioner Ellis also studied at Xavier University in New Orleans and the London School of Economics.
Commissioner Ellis is married to Licia Green-Ellis and has four children.
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TEXAS HISTORICAL COMMISSION
APPROVES LANDMARK STATUS FOR ASTRODOME

The Texas Historical Commission voted unanimously last month to designate the Harris County Domed Stadium - known worldwide as "The Astrodome" - as a state antiquities landmark, recognizing its historical significance and providing it with important legal protections.
The Dome was nominated for the honor by two Harris County residents, Ted Powell and Cynthia Neely, shortly after its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in January 2014. Its designation means that the Astrodome's owner, Harris County, must consult with and receive permission from the historical commission before pursuing any significant alterations. The county and the commission have been working together closely since the county announced plans to repurpose the Astrodome.
"The unanimous decision just shows that, other than the Alamo, the Astrodome is one of the most historic places in Texas," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. "We will certainly continue to work closely with the commission on our future plans for the Dome."
Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously in September to revitalize the iconic landmark, agreeing on a $105 million plan to build a new floor at ground level, install two levels of underground parking and convert the building's 550,000 square feet into useable public space.
The Texas Historical Commission has 12 members appointed by the governor to staggered six-year terms. The agency employs about 175 people who work in various fields, including archeology, architecture, history, economic development, heritage tourism, public administration and urban planning. The commission works to preserve Texas' architectural heritage by helping preserve, restore and operate properties, museums and archaeological sites around the state.
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HARRIS COUNTY AUTHORIZES
CONSTRUCTION OF ANIMAL TRANSFER SHELTER

Harris County Commissioners Court recently voted to begin construction of a $600,000 county animal transfer shelter that health officials estimate could save the lives of more than 3,100 animals a year.
The Petco Foundation Transfer Center will help ensure adoptable animals are disease-free before they are turned over to transfer groups. The shelter is to be built with $420,000 in county funds and a $180,000 grant from the Petco Foundation. Construction is expected to begin in August and be finished in 12-18 months.
"Harris County is continuing to look for better and more innovative ways to avoid euthanizing unwanted stray animals," said County Judge Ed Emmett. "Thanks to Petco, we can now get thousands more animals into the arms of loving owners every year."
The transfer center will accompany construction of a new county animal shelter financed by a $24 million bond issue approved by voters in November.
"We are very excited that our Harris County officials will augment the Petco Foundation's generous gift to build a permanent facility that will increase capacity and allow our shelter to save more homeless pets," said Dr. Umair A. Shah, the executive director of Harris County Public Health, which oversees animal control in the county.
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ONLINE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SURVEY

The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), the region's transportation planning organization, is conducting a survey regarding unmet community transportation needs, perceptions and attitudes. CDS Community Development Strategies, a consulting firm based in Houston, is assisting H-GAC with this survey. The survey asks respondents to contribute a few short minutes of their time to help provide a stronger understanding of how the residents of the Houston-Galveston region access transit services, view transit services and what future efforts they would or would not like to see.
The survey can be accessed at the following link: H-GAC Transportation Survey.
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