Devastation of Hurricane Harvey Provides Numerous Opportunities for County
DEVASTATION OF HURRICANE HARVEY PROVIDES NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES FOR COUNTY
Federal, State and Local Partnerships Remain Key To County’s Future as Urban Model, Emmett Says
Just three months after the most destructive storm in American history struck Harris County, County Judge Ed Emmett used his 2017 State of the County Address to announce that the county was back on its feet and again looking to the future.
“During Harvey, the response of our residents and the cooperative spirit among government officials showed our spirit and can-do attitude,” Emmett said. “From the Harris County Office of Emergency Management, to first responders, to volunteers with boats and high-water vehicles, the world saw something special. Let us capture that special caring for each other in other aspects of life.”
Emmett acknowledged the large amount of recovery work remaining, but said that work presents opportunities for major improvements in flood control, transportation and health care. Seizing those opportunities, however, will require that governments continue to work together even after the crisis has passed.
“I look forward to working with Mayor Turner and officials from the other 33 municipalities in Harris County – as well as academic organizations such as the Kinder Institute - to design and implement a system of urban governance that not only meets the needs of our residents, but will draw people from around the world to study what we have done.” Emmett spoke to approximately 1,000 people attending his 10th State of the County Address, sponsored by the Greater Houston Partnership.
He concluded the event, as he did the year before, by calling on attendees to help him battle an increasingly pervasive antagonism among some in government.
“Harris County has low taxes and exemplary financial ratings, but some state officials want more restrictions on our ability to meet the needs of our residents,” he said. “Those same state leaders have shifted the public school tax burden more and more from the state onto local school districts. In an effort to stir up voters, they attack counties and other local governments, all the while offering no real solutions. Organizations like the Greater Houston Partnership should say enough is enough. I urge you to support vision, not pandering.”