"It's imperative that we make it our business to elect the "BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATES" who value us when we go to the polls to vote. The “HARRIS COUNTY STRONG” series published by Aubrey R. Taylor Communications inside Houston Business Connections Newspaper© will consist of five newspaper printed releases and our “2018 HARRIS COUNTY MIDTERM ELECTION GUIDE” that will be released on the last day of Early Voting. PART ONE: Highlights all the 2018 Harris County Candidates and the “KEY 2018 CONTESTED MATCHUPS” for Tuesday, November 6, 2018. PART TWO: Highlights all the 2018 Harris County Candidates, but also features key thoughts from ministry, community, civic and political leaders on the upcoming Saturday, August 25, 2018, Harris County Bond Election. PART THREE: Highlights all the 2018 Harris County Candidates; but also spotlights the “KEY 2018 AFRICAN AMERICAN CANDIDATES” and the opponents they’re facing off against on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. PART FOUR: Highlights all the 2018 Harris County Candidates, but also features “SPECIAL MESSAGES” from the candidates who value, respect, and are seeking the vote of every Harris County registered voter. PART FIVE: Highlights all the 2018 Harris County Candidates, but also features “WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR ME OPEN-LETTERS” from the candidates who value, respect and are seeking the vote of every Harris County registered voter. THE ELECTION GUIDE: The “2018 HARRIS COUNTY MIDTERM ELECTION GUIDE” published inside Houston Business Connections Newspaper© by Aubrey R. Taylor Communications will be released on Friday, November 2, 2018, and distributed through Tuesday, November 6, 2018, at 5PM to increase “ELECTION DAY” voter participation throughout Harris County, Texas. Please feel free to call Aubrey R. Taylor, at (281)788-3033 to discuss your inclusion. All Rights Reserved." -- AUBREY R. TAYLOR, PRESIDENT, AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Saturday, November 9, 2013

2013 Highlights and Accomplishments From Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen for the 2013 Year-End Review Edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine

PICTURED ABOVE: Mayor Allen Owen is being honored in the "2013 Year-End Review" edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine. This issue of Houston Business Connections Magazine will also honor President Barack Obama, DOD Secretary Chuck Hagel, Governor Rick Perry, Mayor Annise Parker, and many others; and is being billed as our "2013 Yearbook" issue.

Meet Mayor Allen Owen the 
10th Mayor of Missouri City, Texas

Mayor Allen Owen is Missouri City's 10th mayor since the city's incorporation in 1956. Mayor Owen and his family have lived in Missouri City more than 36 years. He continues to dedicate much of his time and expertise towards the development of a community where he and his wife of 46 years, Jane, raised their three children.

Mayor Owen has served as mayor since his election to that position in 1994. Prior to that time he was a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission for five years and a City Council member for eight years, including serving as mayor pro-tem.

Mayor Owen earned degrees from Southern Methodist University's Graduate School of Finance and Banking and from Stephen F. Austin State University.

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 From the beginning of Mayor Owen's association with Missouri City, he has been highly visible in the community that now has grown to more than 70,000 residents and numerous businesses. He continues to play a major role in building a strong economy evidenced by Missouri City's attraction of quality residential and commercial development.

Mayor Owen combines his position as retired senior vice president and Texas government liaison for Wells Fargo Bank of Texas with assuring he is available to hear and work with the City's residents on their needs. He actively participates in numerous community activities, including tireless volunteer hours with the YMCA, United Way, March of Dimes, and many other organizations.

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He serves on the boards for the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, Fort Bend Women's Center, Fort Bend Literacy Council, and the Fort Bend Community Justice Council. Mayor Owen is also a lifetime vice president and director of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a lifetime member of the Fort Bend Fair, past president of the Texas 4H Foundation, and president of the Asian American Family Services Center.

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 Mayor Allen Owen continues to be the leading advocate on the frontlines of the effort for civic, corporate and City collaborations to make sure that the “Show Me City” remains one of America’s best places to raise a family, to build a business and to enjoy recreational events in Missouri City’s pristine parks.

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 Corporate Partnerships:

      *The City’s strategic proximity in the region and state; coupled with a highly educated workforce, and dynamically diverse population consistently attracts new business, and has contributed to a double-digit increase in commercial growth over the past five years.

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Development is taking place citywide in Missouri City. A few of the companies choosing to break new ground in the Lakeview Business Park are as follows:

     *Niagara Bottling, LLC is the nation’s second largest water bottling firm and has started production in its 365,000-square-foot plant, and will soon install a second line; with a third to be added in early 2014.

     *Warren Alloy is a major supplier of stainless steel pipe, fittings and flanges, is operating out of its 156,000 square-foot building. In 2014, Warren Alloy’s parent company, Allied Fittings Group, plans to construct a 250,000-square-ft distribution facility in the Lakeview Business Park.

     *Southwest Electronic Energy designs and manufactures top quality lithium-ion battery packs in its 62,000 square-ft. facility in the Lakeview Business Park.

     *Bimbo Bakeries is the owner of Mrs. Baird Bread and other bakery brands has a 20,000-square-ft facility; and distributes products throughout the Houston area.

     *CNC Manufacturing plans to occupy its 72,000-square-ft highly automated computerized machine shop during the first quarter of 2014.

     *Missouri City staff is working with a food manufacturer on the possibility of the company purchasing 20 acres in the Lakeview Business Park to build a 150,000-square-ft facility.

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 A few miles away, Missouri City continues to gain ground in the South Gessner Road business corridor. Here is a glimpse into some of the recent activity in the Beltway Crossing Complex:

     *Ben E. Keith Foods occupies its 400,000 square-ft facility in the Beltway Crossing Complex. It will be the company’s base for its Gulf Coast distributions of hot and cold food products. These products are delivered to restaurants, convenience stores and companies that prepare food. Ben E. Keith will employ about 250 workers and will ultimately be Missouri City’s largest employer.

     *Twin Star Bakery is cooking up sweet treats in its 276,000-square-ft bakery and distribution center located in the Beltway Crossing Complex.

     *Stream Realty Group, which originally built two buildings in the Beltway Crossing Complex and leased them to Charming Charlie’s and Professional Packaging, recently constructed two new facilities. American Tire Distributors has leased the 115,000-square-ft space and Frank’s Supply, an automotive parts distributor has leased the 72,000-square-ft space.

     *Missouri City is excited to have the Fort Bend Brewing Co. – Missouri City’s and Fort Bend’s first craft brewery offering beers for sale in local restaurants and bars in the Gessner Corridor. Missouri City residents are encouraged to visit the Fort Bend Brewery Co. during one of their tour days on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

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New speculative buildings are in the planning phase in three
    different areas of Missouri City:

      *Stream Realty is looking at purchasing 15 acres next to where they have built their initial four buildings on South Gessner, and plan to build two more buildings totaling nearly 200,000-square-ft.

      *Bearden Development has built office/warehouse buildings on Stafford Road at Pike Rd., and has announced that they plan to build two new warehouses totaling about 25,000-square-ft each. To date, Bearden Development has enough room on Pike Road to build at least eight buildings.

     *Trammell Crow, the developer of Lakeview Business Park, is also planning to construct two new warehouses, one around 95,000-square-ft, and the other around 150,000-square-ft.

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Further south along Highway 6, other companies doing robust business include Missouri City’s second Wal-Mart near Fort Bend Parkway, Dunkin Donuts and Sienna Parkway and Highway 6, Raising Cane’s at Murphy Road and Highway 6, and Missouri City’s second hotel, Hampton Inn, is set to open soon at Colonial Lakes Drive and Highway 6.

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To create an ongoing dialogue with the business community, the City has launched a leadership luncheon series. These meetings take place on the second Thursday of each month, and residents are welcome to join in the discussion on regional economic growth and development.

     *The most important thing about all of this growth is that it equates to over $500,000,000 in new facilities and over 1,500 new jobs for the Missouri City community.

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Another major development that has taken place in Missouri City is the formation of a Bond Exploratory Committee to discuss placing a significant bond issue on the ballot next year for needed improvements throughout Missouri City. The Bond Exploratory Committee is comprised of residents from all communities who give us a citizen’s perspective of what Missouri City’s needs are.

Missouri City has $27 million authorized from previous bond elections to use toward streets and drainage projects throughout the City. The bond election under consideration will build on those previous referendums and provide projects that will benefit the City over the next decade. Missouri City is currently considering $40,000,000 to be on the ballot in May of 2014.

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Missouri City has nurtured internal and external partnerships that have resulted in:

     *Safe Streets citywide:

     *Proactive public safety programs managed by highly skilled and dedicated police and fire departments protect, educate, and engage citizens, helping to keep crime low and maintain scenic neighborhoods.

     * City leaders joined our firefighters in a construction groundbreaking ceremony for a new station in Sienna -- which will open soon.

     *Missouri City’s first responders are some of the best in the Nation – since 2009 Missouri City police officers have worked hard to reduce crime by more than 32 percent; and Missouri City firefighters continue to save lives every year.

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     *The strong fiscal management from Missouri City Staff has resulted in the City:

     *Earning a Double a rating for its general obligation bonds and certificates of obligation.

     *By sticking to a sound budget and a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Missouri City have continuously been recognized for more than 25 years by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for their detail on City services and programs, and the City’s financial condition.

     *Missouri City has also earned a “Gold Star” award for financial transparency and online reporting from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts for two consecutive years.

     *Missouri City’s commitment to private-public partnerships has afforded it the opportunity to receive the 2012 Economic Development Award from the Texas Economic Development Council.

     *Missouri City won the distinction of submitting the successful bid to attract Niagara Bottling Company; and for developing strategic partnerships with the Greater Houston Partnership, the Fort Bend Economic Development Council, Fort Bend County, CenterPoint Energy Economic Development Group and the Water Control and Improvement District No. 2 to secure the deal.

     *Missouri City also teamed up with 40 government and private sector groups to bring the largest capital improvement project in the history of Missouri City to fruition: A $50 million Regional Water Treatment Plant. This facility has the capacity to store 100 million gallons of water and was built to meet regulations set forth by the Fort Bend Subsidence District. In recognition of its excellence overall, the RWTP won the Texas Public Works Association’s Project of the Year for “Environmental Projects at least $25 million but less than $75 million.”

     *Implementation of a high-tech intelligent Transportation System to help synchronize traffic signals and manage traffic flow throughout Missouri City was a major accomplishment.

     *Missouri City raised medians along Highway 6 and Texas Parkway to enhance mobility and safety. Construction of the medians along Highway 6 were managed by the Texas Department of Transportation and included the installation of new traffic signals, and new turning lanes and six Dynamic Message Signs along Highway 6.

     *Installation of Flashing Yellow Arrows along major roadways earned a 2012 award from the American Public Works Association’s Texas Chapter for in-house project of the year. The signals help alleviate congestion and lower accident rates throughout Missouri City.

     *Construction of a new Animal Shelter took place in 2013.

     *Expansion of Oyster Creek Trail took place in 2013.

     *Construction of a new decorative showcase (Missouri City monument) an LED sign and landscaping at the City Hall entrance took place in 2013.

    *Reconstruction of the El Dorado Bridge with planter boxes, decorative lighting and pavers, provides a smoother golf rides for putters and a scenic walkway for residents and visitors.

    *Plans are underway to extend Lexington Boulevard in 2014. These plans call for a decorative traffic signal at Texas Parkway, a four-lane boulevard roadway with sidewalks from Texas Parkway to Scanlin Road will also include new drainage structures. Fort Bend County (a Missouri City partner) has agreed to pay all costs associated with this $3.3 million project through the Fort Bend Mobility Bond program.

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Attending the ceremony were, from left: George Greanias, METRO CEO, Jay Sears, NewQuest Principal, Felecia Evans-Smith of Fort Bend County Commissioner Grady Prestage’s office, Mayor Allen Owen, Councilman Bobby Marshall, Ron Lee, Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Frank Hester, Riverstone Resident Liaison, Councilman Floyd Emery, Christopher Breaux, Partner with Null-Lairson, P.C., and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, Allen Watson, METRO Vice Chairman and Allen Clark, Executive Director of the Houston Galveston Area Council. Photo courtesy of Missouri City.

     *Missouri City is proud of its mobility partnership and involvement with METRO. Commuters continue to enjoy using the METRO Park & Ride stop located in the Fort Bend County Center at Fort Bend Parkway and Highway 6. Ridership on the service is steadily increasing, providing convenient, stress-free commutes to and from the Texas Medical Center and Houston’s central business district.

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Although Missouri City has managed multiple projects over during 2013, the City has not lost sight of their main priority: Citizen and Community Partnerships. The strengthening of citizen and community partnership is vital to the success of Missouri City.

     *In fact, Missouri City’s first-class amenities are only possible because of citizen input and feedback. All the city’s first-class amenities have been funded with bond monies approved by an overwhelming majority of residents citywide.

     *The City Centre at Quail Valley is one of those facilities. Since it opened, Missouri City has hosted hundreds of festive-occasions including weddings, business meetings, birthday parties, galas, brunches, casino nights, job fairs, anniversary celebrations, graduation and private dinners, sports banquets, charity fundraisers, memorial services, homeowner association meetings and tournaments like the 2013 Fort Bend Chamber Challenge.

     *Located a few blocks away at 2701 Cypress Point Drive is another Missouri City state-of-the-art facility. The Missouri City Recreation and Tennis Center, which has a full-size gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms, tennis courts, batting cages, cardiovascular and weight equipment, an outdoor walking trail and a Kid Zone. The Center currently has more than 800 members and in the tennis programs, there are more than 50 players in the junior program, 28 leagues, totally 358 participants, and more than 50 players taking private lessons. The facility draws new member each month and has hosted several tennis tournaments for local and regional organizations.

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A few other programs Missouri City has collaborated with residents on include:

     *Citizens University is a free, eight-session program that provides residents an in-depth look at how Missouri City’s local government works.

     *Missouri City Day at the Capital: Elected officials and dignitaries paid homage to Missouri City on May 2, 2013 as residents, City Council Members and sponsors visited the State Capital in Austin Texas. Missouri City was recognized at the State Capital for its business base, its diversity; its status as one of the nation’s safest places to live; and its rich history. This special day was designed to promote awareness about Missouri City’s legislative agenda.

     *Missouri City Night with the Skeeters: Missouri City enjoyed the bright lights of Constellation Field on Friday, May 3, 2013, as families, students and supporters watched the Skeeters play ball and supported the City’s “I Choose to Follow the Rules” crime prevention program. A portion of ticket proceeds were set aside for the crime prevention program with another $1,200 raised for initiatives that teaches elementary and middle school students to take a pledge against violence, gangs, drugs and bullying.

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Mayor Allen Owen urges residents to take a stroll along the Edible Arbor Trail – the only one of its kind in Fort Bend County. This tasty trail features several groves of hardy trees and shrubs that produce edible fruits and nuts along Missouri City’s Oyster Creek Trail.

Oyster Creek Trail is located along Oyster Creek next to the YMCA, at 4433 Cartwright Road. You can also access the trail at Mosley Park. The first 1.21 miles of the Oyster Creek section of the Missouri City Trail System was opened and dedicated in August of 1997.

Oyster Creek Trail is an outdoor pathway for exercise enthusiasts who want to enjoy a scenic hike, bike, walk or jog. Missouri City recently upgraded the 2.31 mile path and it now includes a paved bike and pedestrian trail along Oyster Creek Bayou between Dulles Avenue and Cartwright Road, offering recreational and mobility opportunities for residents. The trail connects to Sugar Land’s trail and allows citizens to travel on foot or bicycle from Mosley Park off Murphy Road to Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land near Highway 6. When improvements are made to the Cartwright Road Bridge this winter, the trail will be extended under the bridge and connected to the existing trail south of Cartwright Road.

Missouri City also has the area’s most competitive golf rates at the Quail Valley Golf Course. Mayor Owen and other city leaders are excited about the many special parks projects hosted at Quail Valley. These projects have attracted thousands of golfers and visitors over the years. A few of the 2013 highlights are:

     *The Quail Valley Golf Course has hosted over 57,016 rounds of golf; over 160 golf events for groups ranging from 20 to 200 players, and anticipates that these numbers will grow in the future, now that the City Center is open.

    *Avid Golfer Magazine has ranked both Missouri City golf courses as the best in their respective categories. In addition, Missouri City’s El Dorado Golf Course was ranked the No. 1 best value in its category. So schedule your next tee time by visiting www.golfquailvalley.com

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“All of these proud partnerships and accomplishments make me and over 70,000 others grateful to call Missouri City our home. In 2013 and beyond, the “Show Me City” will continue its exciting journey toward more successes and we look forward to your ongoing support.” – Mayor Allen Owen

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