Humble City Council votes to postpone May election, extend citywide disaster declaration

Humble City Council met via teleconference on March 26. (Courtesy via Zoom)
Humble City Council met via teleconference on March 26. (Courtesy via Zoom)

Humble City Council met via teleconference on March 26. (Courtesy via Zoom)

Humble City Council members and city staff met for their first teleconferenced meeting March 26, which was done in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. During the meeting, City Council unanimously voted to postpone the May 2 general election and to extend Mayor Merle Aaron’s disaster declaration.

The May 2 general election will now be postponed until Nov. 3, which will allow the city to save money by contracting the election with Harris County, City Manager Jason Stuebe said. The city was able to postpone the election due to a proclamation Gov. Greg Abbott issued March 18 that allows political subdivisions to postpone the election.

“Obviously, given the current situation, there quite frankly are just too many unknowns as to whether or not we should proceed with conducting this election in May,” Stuebe said. “There's a lot of moving parts, as you all know, in an election, and a lot of decisions have to be made weeks and months in advance.”

The November ballot will still include the same three candidates running for Humble City Council Place 4: Bruce Davidson, Paula Settle and Arliss Bentley. Council Member Allan Steagall, who currently holds the seat, did not run for re-election.

Meanwhile, Aaron issued a seven-day citywide disaster declaration March 23. With council’s vote, the declaration will be in effect until canceled by the mayor or repealed by council. The declaration makes the city eligible to receive federal funding.

The declaration also increased the maximum fines per offense from $1,000 to $2,000 for those who knowingly or intentionally violate the rules, which include prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people and mandating bars and restaurants close their dining rooms until midnight April 3.

During the meeting, Aaron assured residents that the city of Humble will get through the coronavirus crisis.

"In a few years or a few months or a few days, we will look back on this and know we made it through a very difficult time," Aaron said. "But we, citizens of Humble and the administration and the council, know we can get through it because of who we are and who you are, mostly."
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.