We have compiled a list of what we believe to be the Top 10 Texas local officials who showed extraordinary leadership in the month of May.
#1 Sylvester Turner
Mayor of Houston | Houston, TX
Mayor Sylvester Turner kicked off the city’s 2023 budget process by unveiling his $5.7 billion spending plan. Mayor Turner proposes to give seniors and disabled residents some property tax relief by hiking their homestead exemptions from $160,000 to $260,000. Mayor Turner’s budget also raises pay for all city workers, increases funding for public works and solid waste and sets aside $311 million in the city’s reserves for future needs.
#2 Tommy Calvert
Commissioner of Bexar County| San Antonio, TX
Commissioner Tommy Calvert is pushing for redevelopment around the AT&T Center, home of the San Antonio Spurs. He is urging that the housing be included in the process as well as retail spaces, bars and restaurants that are popular around other cities’ venues. Commissioner Calvert would like to see a countywide affordable housing plan includes development subsidies to incentivize or reward stable rent prices to protect some eastside residents from being priced out of their homes.
#3 KP George
Fort Bend County Judge | Richmond, TX
County Judge KP George announced the opening of emergency cooling centers for residents without access to air conditioning in their homes. The announcement was issued after a heat advisory warning that temperatures in the area could rise to 105 degrees. During the February 2021 winter storm, Judge George opened warming centers and distributed food to affected residents.
Read more about Judge George’s accomplishments here.
#4 Andrew Nelson
Mayor of Bryan | Bryan, TX
Mayor Andrew Nelson has announced the approval of $1 million worth in equipment to upgrade and/or replace playground sets and extend walking trails at Colony Park, Castle Heights Park, Greenbrier Park, Henderson Park, Ibarra Park, and Shirewood Park. The upgrades are part of the city’s park improvements plan.
Details on Mayor Nelsons plans for each location can be found here.
#5 Tiffany D. Thomas
Houston Council member | Houston, TX
Councilmember Tiffany D. Thomas announced a project to address public safety concerns in her district, which includes roughly $110,000 that will pay for installation of 40 cameras to capture license plates and other vehicle details. In addition to the license-plate reading cameras, Councilmember Thomas proposed to fund 100 streetlights for areas that lack lighting. Her initiative aims to promote a feeling of safety for residents around Houston.
#6 Teri Castillo
San Antonio Council member | San Antonio, TX
Councilmember Teri Castillo went to bat for teachers and support staff employed by the San Antonio Independent School district saying the school board’s initial proposal for raising salaries was too low. As a result of pressure placed by Councilmember Castillo and community members the school board increased the pay raises from 2 percent to 3 percent for teachers and support staff. Principals, assistant principals and associate principals will receive a 2 percent increase.
#7 Javier Villalobos
Mayor of McAllen | McAllen, TX
Mayor Javier Villalobos spoke out against lifting of Title 42 on May 23, citing concerns for the city’s safety. Title 42 is a public health order enacted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under former President Donald Trump’s administration. The order prevents migrants and asylum seekers from crossing the Mexico and Canada borders and, if caught, mandates they be expelled to slow the spread of COVID-19. Mayor Villalobos is concerned that lifting the order would encourage more migrants to enter the Valley and overwhelm local resources.
#8 Omar Narvaez
Dallas Council member | Dallas, TX
Councilmember Omar Narvaez played a leading role in the development and Dallas City Council’s approval of the Student Transit Program. The program will offer free fares for K-12th grade students who use the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system. The program is expected to remove barriers and expand opportunities for students’ education, extracurricular activities and jobs.
#9 Nelson Wolff
Bexar County Judge | San Antonio, TX
County Judge Nelson Wolff announced a multi-million dollar plan to offer affordable, high-speed internet access to low-income areas of Bexar County. Rapid development of neighborhoods has sped up plans to subsidize Internet services and improve broadband connectivity in the far southwest and southeastern portions of the county. The Texas Broadband Office in the Texas Comptroller’s office is conducting studies to identify where Internet access is needed. Those findings will help target specific neighborhoods for improved connectivity.
#10 Steve Adler
Mayor of Austin | Austin, TX
Mayor Steve Adler announced that in a few months a former Candlewood Suites hotel in northwest Austin will be transformed into supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness. The city will provide transportation, mental health and health care, and job training services to help residents get off the streets. The project is part of the city’s plan to address rising homelessness.