Presentation to Jersey Village City Council

August 20, 2018

Dear Mayor and City Council,

Thank you for letting me present my concerns to the city council this evening. I’m not an attorney, I have done my best to prepare these opinions and facts.

As you may recall, I have brought to your attention on several occasions some of the problems in Jersey Village. Also, my husband reviewed the Jersey Village numbers related to the golf course to attempt to alert you to the financial problems of the golf course.

Some of these previous problems include:

Problems with election infractions with our recent election.

The bailout of the Jersey Meadow Golf Course at almost $600,000 last year and about $3, 345,000 over the last 10 years. This amount did not include debt service. The bailout of this property is mostly for non-residents, as very few residents play golf. I have heard residents who are concerned that low income housing might be built on the golf course land if we don’t have a golf course. I don’t believe that would be the case as we have a planning and zoning committee. My understanding is that the area is prone to flooding, so I doubt a developer would be allowed or would want to build there.

The lack of current training of the Jersey Meadow Golf Course staff with the AEDs and CPR. (This might be a lawsuit waiting to happen.)

The need to shut down the golf cart bridge near the golf course due to the potential of the bridge collapsing. (This might be a lawsuit waiting to happen.)

The need for a feasibility study for the new golf course clubhouse

To add to these recent issues, the city council conducted a meeting, though technically fulfilled the Texas Opens Meeting Act by posting the meeting 72 hours in advance, certainly in my opinion did not fulfill the spirit of the Texas Opens Meeting Act. I understand that it was posted in area by city hall on a bulletin board that most citizens didn’t even know existed. Also, I am not in the habit of checking the city website daily for meetings that I don’t know are going to be posted.

In my opinion, it appeared the city council wanted to purchase land that might someday be Jersey Crossing’s version of Love Canal due to the serious possibility that it has hazardous chemicals on it and other serious issues like potential for flooding. In addition to this, the meeting occurred at 6:00 pm when most residents are not even home from work. Actually, it didn’t matter anyway, because no one knew about the meeting through official channels and no one was allowed to comment on the purchase of this land.

My understanding is that Jersey Village lost a lawsuit when Planning and Zoning after the properties were sold to a developer, Jones Road Ltd. This special meeting was to discuss and approve the purchase by the City of Jersey Village. This purchase was for the sum of $5,250,000, pursuit to an agreement to settle the claims asserted by Jones Road Holdings Ltd. In Cause No. 1061305, Jones Road Holding Ltd. Vs. City of Jersey Village, Texas County Civil Court. The city approved to pay $2, 323,079.24 more than the HCAD Market Value plus Real Estate Commission. This all seems very strange to me.

Now we have a dog park. Has anyone considered that a dog park will be a way for all the dogs who visit the park to be exposed to disease and germs that the unsuspecting pet owners never considered when they brought the pets to the dog park? (This might be a lawsuit waiting to happen.)

See the abstract of the article below from the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, published in August 2017: Urban Dog Parks as Sources of Canine Parasites: Contamination Rates and Pet Owner Behaviors in Lisbon, Portugal

Abstract

Dog parks represent a recent trend in western countries, enabling owners to spend quality time with their pets in a controlled environment. Despite their growing popularity, few studies have been performed to date on these parks to investigate dog intestinal parasitic infections and soil contamination. The present study examined 369 faecal and 18 soil samples collected from 3 dog parks in Greater Lisbon, Portugal. Additionally, 102 interviews were performed with dog owners to assess dog-walking behaviours and parasite risk. In total, 33% of the faecal dog samples were infected with at least one parasitic agent: hookworms (16.5%),Cryptosporidium spp. (11.9%), Giardia spp.(11.4%), Toxascaris leonina (1.1%), Cystoisospora spp. (1.1%),Toxocara spp. (0.5%), and Sarcocystis sp. (0.3%). The soil of all the parks was contaminated with hookwormeggs. This is the first study performed in a European urban area to assess canine faecal contamination and parasitic agents in dog parks. Our results highlight the potential of these parks as a source of transmission for canine parasites, including some with zoonotic potential. Public awareness and effective preventive measures should be promoted to minimize the health-risk impact to both animals and humans, under the scope of environmental and public health.

So I ask our mayor and our city fathers, why do you want to schedule a meeting that no one can attend and that don’t know it is occurring any way? Why do you continue to bail out a golf course for non-residents? Why do you not conduct a feasibility study for the new golf course club house that would be funded by the Hotel Occupancy Tax? Why do you want a dog park so badly that it might make a lot of dogs sick and the owners will have difficulty managing the vet bills? Why do you buy a property that looks like it could be our version of Love Canal? To make matters worse you do not inform the residents in time to plan to attend the meeting, except they can’t come because they don’t know anything about it and they aren’t home from work. Then you leave the comment section off of the agenda, so no one can speak up about it? Why do you conduct our city business this way?

I recommend that all safety issues be addressed appropriately. I recommend that we do not proceed further with the dog park. I recommend that the city have an independent audit that is conducted by an agency approved by the citizens, not the Jersey Village city staff. I recommend that we no longer bail out the golf course. I recommend that we conduct the feasibility study for the golf course club house. I recommend that we stop the purchase of the Jersey Crossing land.

Merrilee Beazley, RN, MEd, MBA