Three positions are up for election on Jersey Village City Council this May, but only one is contested. As incumbent Sheri Sheppard steps down due to term limits, two candidates have filed to fill her seat at Place 4.

James Singleton

Years lived in Jersey Village: 10
Occupation: criminal investigator with Harris County
Community involvement: member of Comprehensive Planning Advisory Committee, chairman of Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Committee


Why are you running for Jersey Village City Council?
I moved my family to Jersey Village after hearing my wife’s description of her childhood of small-town living close to the city, and I am so pleased that I did. After becoming more involved by serving on the city’s Comprehensive Planning Advisory Committee [and] voicing my opinion for improvements, I would like to see the city continue to follow the plan we designed. The city of Jersey Village is so focused on its citizens’ needs, and I would be honored to serve alongside the rest of City Council to ensure excellent city services, growth and development—when appropriate—and continued fiscal responsibility.

What do you think are the most important priorities for the city in terms of flood mitigation?
In April 2016, I witnessed my friends and family’s frustration after losing so much to flooding, and I feel strongly that we should continue to fight for each and every home that is endangered. Jersey Village conducted a long-term flood recovery study after the Tax Day flooding event that highlighted a few action areas. I believe the city continues to improve flood control by constructing the Jersey Meadow Golf Course berm, street and drainage improvements to the Wall Street area, and lobbying the Harris County Flood Control District to widen and deepen White Oak Bayou, and I’ll support those objectives.

What would some of your other priorities be, if elected?
I am a supporter of economic growth through earnest attraction and retention of family-friendly new businesses and fresh amenities, such as the planned dog park and splash pad. I would like to support the needs of our city departments, especially our public safety sector, as they continue to efficiently serve our residents. I have a personal goal to increase the homestead exemption to reward the folks that call Jersey Village home and believe that this can be realized alongside a balanced budget that will provide a healthy standard of living for many years to come.

Simon Hughes

Years lived in Jersey Village: 11
Occupation: attorney, board-certified in consumer and commercial law
Community involvement: member of Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Committee


Why are you running for Jersey Village City Council?
Jersey Village is a great place to live, with excellent police [and] fire services, good infrastructure and a real sense of neighborhood/community. However, our city also faces several challenges, and we need to address competing interests. We can never stop working to increase the city’s appeal to homeowners, homebuyers and businesses. To do so, we must continue to tackle key issues—economic development, flood mitigation, infrastructure and overall quality of life. I have studied these issues in depth, including the details of the comprehensive plan. With this knowledge and my specific experience and skills, I am certain I can make a significant contribution, collaborating with others to achieve our city’s full potential.

What do you think are the most important priorities for the city in terms of flood mitigation?
The construction of the golf course berm and the storm sewer improvements along Wall Street are a very good start, but as [the engineer’s] report notes, these improvements alone will only slightly reduce the number of flooded homes. Significant improvements to the [White Oak Bayou] main channel are the most important priority for flood mitigation. The improvements between Tidwell [Road] and [FM] 1960 [are] a huge step in the right direction. As a city, we should coordinate all possible efforts, such as letter writing campaigns, to assure that regrading the channel—or making it wider and deeper—is engineered, funded and constructed as quickly as possible. In addition, we should explore several other opportunities to prevent the declining property values of repetitive loss homes adjacent to the main channel.

What would some of your other priorities be, if elected?
Economic development, either in the pursuit of the TIRZ or the redevelopment of commercial areas, is a necessity. The city’s ability to attract businesses with incentives provides both amenities residents can enjoy and tax revenues, which can reduce residential property taxes.  We do not yet know whether the TIRZ will attract the right developer to implement Jersey Village Crossing. Regardless, the city should continue focusing on improving other commercial areas to attract new businesses. Outdated infrastructure, including City Hall, needs to be replaced. Because of its ideal location, a new building, which is fitting for our community, should be constructed.