Traffic, drainage factor in League City council runoff
Traffic and drainage issues figure to be major themes in a Dec. 18 runoff for a League City council seat that pits NASA systems engineer Chad Tressler against teacher Chris Gross.
In a three-way race for Position 6 on Nov. 6, Tressler won the most votes with 11,551, but fell shot of garnering more than 50 percent of total votes cast, according to unofficial results. Gross finished in second place with 27.3 percent and 6,757 votes. A third candidate, Silvio Vincenzo came in third with 26 percent and 6,448 votes.
Tressler, who has served on the League City parks board, said “man-made issues” have caused localized flooding in areas along Dickinson Bayou and Clear Creek watersheds. He has advocated securing funds and partnering with other cities, counties, the state and federal agencies to develop regional solutions. Tressler said he has built relationships with council members as a regular visitor to meetings and that “the networks I’ve built will help as we work toward solutions.”
Tressler said the runoff will give voters a chance to take another look at his and his opponent’s campaign platforms.
“There was a three-way race with no incumbent that occurred in a general election where a lot of new or irregular voters were energized by the big-ticket race for (U.S.) Senate,” he said. “With all the attention at the top of the ballot, many voters simply knew very little about the local races on the ballot, even when they hit the button to cast the ballot. This runoff is a renewed chance for our friends and neighbors to decide the path for League City to take moving forward.”
Tressler has received public endorsements from two council members, Larry Millican and Todd Kinsey.
Efforts to reach Gross for information on his campaign were unsuccessful at presstime. His campaign website mentioned drainage and traffic as issues.
In the mayoral race, incumbent Pat Hallisey easily defeated a challenger for a second consecutive term. Hallisey won with 68.8 percent (19,701 votes) over Sebastian Lofaro, a 26-year old software engineer, who received 31.2 percent (8,933 votes).
After the election, Hallisey said he was eager to return to work.
“I worked all through the election, nothing has changed, but now I just don’t have the distraction (of the campaign),” he said.
Hallisey, 68, had counted drainage, economic development and transportation and mobility among his core projects.
Hallisey cites the Marketplace at Ninety-Six, a $40 million 38-acre retail project currently under construction and will include office buildings, a 14,820-square foot pharmacy, 63,626 square feet of retail development and 66,000 square feet of business offices all to be anchored by a 123,000-square foot Kroger store as a development he would like to see through.
“I’m excited to have four years to try to get this almost to fruition, so that people of this community can reap the benefits of it,” he said.
Hallisey previously served as interim mayor of League City for seven months in 1994 and 1995 and as a member of two charter review committees.
While he grew up in the Edgebrook area and graduated from South Houston High School, Hallisey has been a resident of League City for more than 40 years, and has served as executive director of the Galveston County Beach Park Board in addition to various capacities of city government throughout the years. He was elected in a special election following former mayor Tim Paulissen’s resignation to run for a Galveston County commission seat.
Hallisey said a second term is a chance to follow through what he had already begun when first elected, and that his re-election is reaffirmation from his constituency.
“It feels as though the community validated the direction we’re moving in, trying to take care of the challenges in front of us,” he said. “I’m proud of this community. Rarely do you get a chance to initiate the future and then have it validated by an election just makes it sweeter. If they had voted me out, I guess it would have meant they didn’t like the direction we were going; so I’m glad they didn’t.”
In other League City council races, Andy Mann won the Position 1 seat over Traci Jacobs 54.42 percent to Jacob’s 45.58 percent and Nick Long defeated Ange Mertens in the Position 7 contest with 62.86 percent to Merten’s 37.14 percent.