Galveston News – May 2014

News for homeowners from today’s West Galveston Island Property Owners Association (WGIPOA) meeting and recent events:

Galveston Elections

Marie Robb receives award at WGIPOA meeting 5/17/2014

Outgoing Galveston City Councilwoman Marie Robb receives an award of appreciation for her hard work for the residents of west Galveston at WGIPOA meeting 5/17/2014.

The recent Galveston city elections resulted in former judge Jim Yarbrough being elected Mayor of Galveston and Carolyn Sunseri being elected as our District 6 Councilwoman.  Today outgoing Councilwoman Marie Robb was honored by WGIPOA with an award for dedication and hardwork on behalf of the residents of the west end.  In particular, she reported that $ 2.6 million of the infrastructure bond funds for the west end have been recovered thanks to her work.

Real Estate Property Taxes

Thumbnail image of property tax appeal handbook for Galveston County, Texas, 2014.The real estate market on Galveston island has been strengthening with numerous sales and climbing values.  However, that is also resulting in increased property tax appraisals.  Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector, Cheryl E. Johnson, gave a mini-version of her appraisal protest class at the WGIPOA meeting today.  As part of her presentation, she said that assessed values were typically raised 7.8% this year.  A scanned copy of the 2014 version of her very informative appeal handbook is available on this site.

Beach Cleaning

Beach cleaning machine removes seaweed from Galveston west end beach.

One of the crew from Beachside Environmental cleans the beach at Kahala Beach Estates on May 10, 2014.

The sea weed (sargassum) coming to Galveston beaches has been especially strong this spring.  Our beach cleaning contractor, Beachside Environmental, has begun working with the SEAS team at Texas A&M University, Galveston to get forecasts from aerial photography of the gulf as well as monitoring the amount of material reaching our beaches.  As a practical matter, we have already increased the rate of cleaning at Kahala Beach Estates during the month of May.

Galveston Westender Newsletter

The web site for the Galveston Westender Newsletter, has been re-established and a new edition is going to be released before Memorial Day. Anyone interested in getting a copy via email can subscribe on that site.

Community Policing

Police officer at WGIPOA meeting 5/17/2014

Galveston police officer Joel Caldwell speaking at WGIPOA meeting 5/17/2014

The Galveston Police Department (GPD) has been doing an excellent job of inhibiting trespassing and large, out-of-control parties this year.  These were some highlights of recent activity:

  • The GARM partnership with law enforcement has already performed two evictions this year of renters misusing property to host large parties.
  • Informed of plans for a potentially overwhelming number of partiers from social  media, the Galveston Police were able to diffuse the situation through media outreach and education on the strong local laws large against over-sized parties.
  • The GPD Power of Attorney program for private property is growing with many new forms received on May 10th from Pirates Beach residents.  At least one resident in Kahala Beach Estates has completed the form and posted the placard on their property.
  • If you observe any inappropriate or suspicious activity, report it immediately to GPD at the non-emergency number 409-765-3702.  They can investigate and determine if the activity is legitimate without your identity being revealed – but only if you call them in real-time.