League City mayor urges yes vote on 3 bond propositions

April 1st, 2019

League City Mayor Pat Hallisey, seated, joins City Manager John Baumgartner and League City Regional Chamber Chairman Rebecca Lilley for a photo at the State of the City Luncheon at the Civic Center.

By Mary Alys Cherry

The state of League City is quite good, Mayor Pat Hallisey will be quick to tell you, but he hopes to make it better.

The best way, he thinks, is for voters to approve the three bond referendums on their Saturday, May 4 municipal election ballot. And, he offered a rather strong argument for passage. There are three propositions on the ballot – A, B and C, he explained as he addressed the large crowd at the League City Regional Chamber State of the City Luncheon March 8 in the Johnnie Aroflo Civic Center.

“A and B are general obligation bonds for drainage and mobility improvement projects — $73 million for drainage and flooding projects and $72 million for 10 traffic and mobility projects,’” he said, adding that Prop C is a sales tax referendum. The $150 million from the bonds is only the tip of the iceberg, he said, adding that something definitely needs to be done. “People who sit in traffic an hour every morning aren’t going to stay here very long,” the mayor pointed out, adding that Congressman Randy Weber also is trying to help the city with its problems.

“But why the decision to place the sales tax referendum on the ballot? Simply to offset any tax increase if the bond propositions pass,” he said, adding that the revenue from the tax will be dedicated to mobility and drainage projects only. And, it will cost only one penny for every $4 one spends.

Prop C, the mayor said, “will bring in an estimated $3.3 million in the first year alone and increase as we bring in more commercial business.

“Basically, for every $4 you spend at Starbucks for that cup of coffee, ONE penny will go to drainage and traffic improvements in League City. And that includes visitors to our city. In fact, 30 percent of our current sales tax revenue is generated by visitors to our city,” he told the crowd, explaining that the bond propositions are the city’s first in 27 years.

League City Love was the theme of the luncheon, so, when he concluded his remarks, he added: “Go out and show your love for League City.”

Hallisey also said he was proud of the work he and the City Council had done this past year and noted that he and a number of local officials were in Austin earlier that week.

“We are all working together to ensure the future success of League City. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t disagree at times, but it is different than it was just a few months ago. We are more collaborative, respectful, and we are a team. We are all working towards the same goal – to make League City the best place to live, work and play,” he told the crowd that included Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark, City Manager John Baumgartner and City Councilmen Larry Millican, Chad Tressler and Greg Gripon.

City Manager Baumgarter also addressed the crowd, bringing smiles to many faces as he outlined a number of projects the city is currently focused on – a master water plan, Calder Road, additional park facilities, better communications to better engage residents, new businesses and providing a quality environment.

“This year – 2019 – will be our best yet,” he promised. And, from the sound of the applause, it most likely will be.

Movers & Shakers: John Baumgartner

November 1st, 2018

Name: John Baumgartner

Occupation: League City’s city manager

Hometown: Juneau, Alaska

Current home: League City

Family: Wife, Dee Dee; Children: Dallas 26, Robert 26, Emily 22, and Daci 14

What do you like about your job: The great people working together to make League City the very best!
Someone I’d like to meet: Jesus

My favorite performers are: James Taylor or anything sports

I like to spend my leisure time: Relaxing with family

If I could travel any place, I’d go to: Alaska in the summer and Hawaii in the winter

My favorite meal is: Anything my mother cooks, but a great steak and salad with her apple pie is the best

As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: Lawyer, but math was better than English, so I went to engineering school

You’ll never catch me: Cheating at golf

The thing that bugs me the most is: Dishonesty

My favorite movie is: Forrest Gump

Few people know: I ran the Boston Marathon when I was skinny

John Baumgartner appointed League City city manager

February 16th, 2017

John Baumgartner was appointed city manager for League City during a City Council meeting on Feb. 14.

Council approved the appointment by a vote of 6-0- 0 with two absent.

“I am honored to be selected by City Council to serve our excellent community in this capacity,” Baumgartner said. “I am humbled by the support City Council, the community and city staff have shown to me throughout the interim period. We will continue to provide support to City Council and further develop an organization that provides outstanding services focusing on the development of infrastructure and building a community the citizens desire.”

Baumgartner has been serving as the interim city manager since his appointment on Dec. 20, 2016. Prior to this appointment, he served as League City’s deputy city manager since 2012 and has more than 29 years of public sector experience with emphasis on operations, engineering, capital improvement programming, land and economic development, and strategic planning and staff development.

PROVEN LEADER

“John is a proven leader who has earned the respect and confidence of City Council and staff,” Mayor Pat Hallisey said. “I could not be prouder of him. One of the hardest transitions in life is to come from the rank and file to leader, and he has done so in a first-class manner. He is a knowledgeable and effective public servant and is the right choice to move the city forward.”

The city’s initiatives and helping City Council to define the vision for the future is one of the main priorities Baumgartner will focus on as he assumes the role of city manager.

“My priorities are to assist the City Council in defining their vision for the community, work to provide the community with world class customer service, and to bring forward the strategic initiatives to meet the goals of the citizens.” Baumgartner said.

ENGINEERING GRADUATE

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Idaho and attended the Public Executive Institute at the University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. He is also a Texas Registered Professional Engineer.

A City Council subcommittee consisting of Councilmen Keith Gross, Hank Dugie, Larry Millican, and Todd Kinsey will work out the terms of Baumgartner’s contract by the next regularly scheduled meeting.