Agencies that partner with the East Aldine District attended a luncheon last Thursday at the District offices, and brought the group up to date on their current activities and programs.
Also speaking at the luncheon was State Senator Mario Gallegos, on issues that were brought before this session of the state legislature, and also the several redistricting maps that are currently being appealed in the courts.
The Senator spoke about the deep cuts in the budget, to education and health care. Education was cut by $4 billion from the previous 2 years, with an additional $1.4 in discretionary progams, and health care was cut $3 billion, including nursing homes and children’s health programs. He voted against the new budget, because he felt the state should have used the reserve or “rainy day fund” instead of allowing cuts to services.
Jeanette De Los Santos spoke about the help that her 2-1-1 service offers the public, and the fact that it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in all languages. 2-1-1 HELPLINE can offer emergency transportation, and advice on many social service programs and community resources. She said a current issue they are helping with is to stop electric companies from disconnecting service to customers not paying their bills.
Gretchen Larson and Virginia Bazan reviewed plans for the District’s 10th Anniversary celebration, which will be several events during the month of October. A special anniversary party for the public is planned on Oct. 22 in James Driver Park. Virginia and Shirley Reed reminded the group of the annual Fall Fest on Oct. 29th at the Sheriff’s storefront location.
Richard Cantu gave a report on East Aldine’s activities and projects. The Special Sales Tax election has been set for Nov. 8th, and if passed will allow the District to collect the 1 cent tax in a small area to the east of US59 that until now has been overlooked by all governing bodies. The voters must approve this, although most of the monies collected will be from customers outside the District, Cantu explained.
Also scheduled is the installation of 25 additional street lights, in areas identified by a survey of need. The new Public Health Committee will set up a “Hope Project” soon, to help elderly and needy with minor home repairs.
The Public Safety Committee is planning to install mobile surveillance cameras in high crime areas, to enable the sheriff’s deputies to monitor possible criminal activity.
The District is sponsoring a Senior Dance at the Northeast Community Center, along with State Representative Armando Walle. Cantu also reported that the Water & Sewer work in Zone 11 east of US59 is underway. This is the largest project to date for the District, and will bring service to about 1000 homes.