Q&A: See what Nassau Bay City Council candidates think of the issues

Two candidates are running in May for one contested Nassau Bay City Council position. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Two candidates are running in May for one contested Nassau Bay City Council position. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Two candidates are running in May for one contested Nassau Bay City Council position. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)


City Council Position 1

Don Hollowell

Occupation: Texas Professional Engineer

Experience: 1965 to 1970 Chemical Engineer Department of Defense; 1970 to 1982 Engineering Director at several Engineering Companies; 1987 to 1989 President & Director Village Place Homeowners Association; 1991 to 2012 Lakeside Estates Association Director & President with various positions; 1982 to 2020 Lakeside Industries Engineering Inspection & Environmental Control; 2020 to 2021 Nassau Bay Homes Association Trustee & Secretary/Treasurer

What more should the city do to further alleviate the risks of flooding in Nassau Bay?

DH: The storm water drain system and storm water pumping stations need more upgrades and improvements. We must move the storm water out of the city faster when we have big water events. The sewer line system including the lift stations must be improved. The waste water processing plant must be expanded to handle the big water events to help prevent raw sewage overflow into the neighborhoods. All of the storm water pumping and sewage lift stations should have multiple backup generators and be tested on a regular basis in case of the inevitable power failures.

What should be done to help Nassau Bay businesses during the pandemic, especially considering the downtrend in cases?

DH: The Economic Development Commission should be attracting high end businesses into Nassau Bay. The city does not need any more gas stations, fast food restaurants (maybe a Whataburger would be ok), or little convenience stores etc. We need a first class restaurant (like a Tommys or Perrys) and perhaps an upscale grocery store (like Wholefoods or Trader Joes etc.). In order to attract the high end businesses into our city, we need to improve our infrastructure with bigger and better public works. The city is top heavy at the administration level. Any savings in that area could be used in Public Works.

What do you bring to the table that your opponents do not?

DH: My engineering and management background would help the city accomplish the infrastructure improvements that are needed to the keep Nassau Bay more viable for the future. Smaller but important things that I could also accomplish for the citizens of Nassau Bay would be: 1) Better and safer surfaces for the children’s playgrounds, 2) More food trucks at the Street Eatz party, 3) Safer surfaces at the Space Park splash pad, 4) A better permitting process with more competent inspections, & 5) Fewer foolish legal expenditures like from the past years for unsound reasons.

Don Matter

Occupation: Retired Vice President, Clean Harbors Environmental Services

Experience: President, Nassau Bay Volunteer Fire Department; Director, Original Nassau Bay Civic Association; City Council (1994 - 1995, 2003, 2017 - present); Mayor Pro Tem (1995 and 2017 - present); Mayor (1996 - 2002 and 2004 - 2012); Organizing President, Economic Development Corporation (EDC); Organizing President, Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ); Organizing Chairman, Redevelopment Authority

What more should the city do to further alleviate the risks of flooding in Nassau Bay?

DM: Flood mitigation has been a priority, from installing a dam/pump at Lake Nassau/Clear Creek to control the level to upgrading our pumping system. The City can now take 1.5 inches/hour, clearing the streets for 93 homeowners. To further alleviate flooding, we will be: Installing backup power at all storm/sanitary lifts (already budgeted); Completing outfall pipe inspections and taking necessary actions; Requesting increased capacity from Clear Lake to Galveston Bay through gates, dredging, or other means; Working with upstream entities to restrict flow until drainage to Galveston Bay is increased; and Ensuring detention ponds are heavily utilized.

What should be done to help Nassau Bay businesses during the pandemic, especially considering the downtrend in cases?

DM: Our City’s biggest employer is Houston Methodist, which remained in service throughout the pandemic and will see more business as the downtrend allows elective procedures to proceed. Being a small city, we do not have the funds nor the mechanism to fairly distribute funds. Therefore, Council has supported local businesses where possible throughout the pandemic by encouraging citizens to order from and support our local establishments.

What do you bring to the table that your opponents do not?

DM: As a longtime resident (50+ years), former Mayor, and Council member, I have the most experience and knowledge of our City’s drainage/flooding, redevelopment, and street/sewer/water/infrastructure issues. With a proven record of achieving economic growth, flood mitigation, and infrastructure improvements in our community, I am committed to seeing critical projects through to completion. Furthermore, given our City’s limited commercial space, redevelopment is more important now than ever. I have firsthand knowledge of the challenging demographic/cash flow demands quality businesses require for a small community surrounded by water and am committed to pursuing development options benefitting residents.

By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.



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