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The mayor and City Council elected on ������������������������������������������ less than a month later, on June 1. ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� at the June meeting is to elect a mayor pro tempore, who acts as the city’s leader in the absence of the actual mayor. With one meeting down and 23 more regular council meetings to go in their two-year terms, the second meeting is when the fun begins. The mayor or any two council members can place any idea on the meeting’s agenda for discussion and adoption. ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� elected mayor and councilmembers will have already heard an expansive list of issues and proposals while they were campaigning. Here is a sampling of the some possible issues, including a few old standbys that seem to come up with the election of every new mayor and council. Outlaw Leaf Blowers For more than 20 years, a growing contingent of citizens has advocated outlawing leaf blowers in West University Place. Yes. Leaf blowers pollute the air and make noise. They worsen allergies and Page 10 WEST U ESSENTIALS asthma, irritate the lungs, and they waste gas. But most view leaf blowers as a useful tool that reduce the cost of lawn maintenance. Therefore, this is a tricky political proposition for any elected �������������� Lower Speed Limits Some residents want a lower speed limit. But under Texas law, the minimum speed limit in residential areas is 30 mph. Only around parks and schools do cities have the ability to lower speed limits to 20 mph, and then only with a speed study �������������������������������������������������������������������������������� change. That doesn’t stop people from trying. More Stop Signs Everyone wants a stop sign next to their house as if it’s a magic cure for speeding. Thirty years ago, the West U police chief carried portable stop signs in the trunk of his patrol car — he would hand them out when requested. Times have changed. Texas law requires a speed study for each new stop sign, and ������������������������������������������������������������������������������ engineer who will attest to a safety need. Experts say that excessive stop signs actually create a safety risk because they discourage good driving habits. Studies show that if stop signs are overused or are located where they don’t seem to be necessary, many drivers disregard them. This is especially dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists who may have a false sense of safety from the existence of a stop sign. Establishing a Dog Park The American Kennel Association recommends a one-acre minimum size for a dog park. Even if there was an available one-acre site in West University Place, the property alone would cost about $6 million. The Harris County-owned Danny Jackson �������������������������������������������������������������������������� inside the 610 Loop, and about two miles away. Trivia tidbit: Danny Jackson was a West University Place councilmember from 2001-2003, and his good friend, Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack, created the park close to West U and named it after Jackson’s family to honor him. ���������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� By George Boehme


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