McMannes has plans for third mayoral term!
Humble voters returned incumbent Mayor Donald McMannes to office in the city’s municipal election held May 9 to a count of 300-211 over challenger Rick Dickson. This will be McMannes’ third term as mayor of Humble. He summarized this year’s mayoral race as one of those small town political contests that can and do sometimes divide communities.
“This was a tough race,” he said. “There were a lot of people working in this that wanted me back in and I have to thank all of them.”
McMannes is proud of the city’s accomplishments during his first two terms as mayor including the construction of a new court facility, improved pay and parity for city police officers and firefighters, street and paving improvements and a top-notch public works department. He said he wants to build on those accomplishments in his next term. With the race now behind him, McMannes has several priorities in mind for the coming term. One major priority is addressing drainage issues in the city.
“The main thing now is drainage,” he said. “Drainage is going to be in the forefront. We’re looking at places for retention ponds. We’ve already started seeking out some grant money that we would have to match.”
McMannes noted that Humble cannot solve all drainage issues alone though. Harris County must also take steps to improve drainage. While the city has made a number of improvements to reduce flooding problems, it cannot solve all such problems on its own. The areas surrounding the city also influence flooding events within the city itself, he said.
“It’s the same thing for Harris County,” he said. “Not only do we have to do our part in Humble for our people, but as a whole, Harris County needs to get busy on drainage.”
Drainage work is costly and time-consuming for communities, but McMannes said his intent is that the city will accomplish this work while keeping the same tax rate and senior discount programs that have remained in place for many years, even as the city has completed street improvements and other capital projects over the previous four years. Humble offers senior citizen discounts on water and sewer fees along with a senior exemption on property taxes.
“Everything we’ve been able to do since I’ve been there, we’ve done it while keeping the tax rate at the same 20 cents (per $100 in taxable value),” McMannes said.
Two other priority issues for the returning mayor are the completion of improvements to Will Clayton Parkway and dealing with the Houston Airport System as decisions are made regarding new runways and other improvements at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The Will Clayton Parkway project is set to go to bid in August, he said. This is a county project, but the city is participating as a partner in it and will oversee much of the work. Airport planners have begun a 30-month environmental impact study on the proposed improvement projects at the airport which is one of the first steps in the process.
“They haven’t made up their minds about the runways they are going to build and we will be dealing with that,” said McMannes.
The mayoral race was the election’s only contested race out of three positions. Position 1 incumbent Councilman Bill Conner received 405 votes and Position 2 incumbent Councilman Andy Curry received 424 votes in their unopposed bids for re-election.