Winner of the award for most outrageous action of 2013 is the promotion of House Bill 1560 at the last Texas legislative session.

Heber Taylor continues to run his blog about the bill and describes how it might have changed current dune regulations.

Taylor casually asks if City Council knew this bill was being introduced and defended by Councilmember Marie Robb.

HB 1560 puts into law the building a 12- to 14-foot wall from the seawall’s end to San Luis Pass, plus enabling rules.

Taylor’s blog is correct, but does not come close to the mayhem behind the bill.

The bill was introduced by State Sen. Larry Taylor and initially supported by State Rep. Craig Eiland.

I’m not sure if these fine people understood the motive of the bill or were duped like the rest of us.

The bill was promoted to the Senate as a first major step in building the Ike Dike.

I don’t know how well you’re informed on the dike, but only last year our city gave Texas A&M University $250,000 to start testing the concept.

Translated, we’re a few years away from money, permits and construction.

Even if the science was complete, Austin would have to decide if the dike should be built on FM 3005 or where HB 1560 said it must be built — in front of beach property owners’ homes.

The bill, if passed, would have the wall built as protection for beach property even if building it on FM 3005, landward of the homes, would save a couple of hundred million.

HB 1560 also says that the state of Texas would enter into agreements with beach property owners for land use or lease since they now own the beach.

Under the guise of the Ike Dike, this bill would have put one very large nail into the coffin of public beaches.

If the beach is privately owned like Severance declared, the new owners have a huge insurance price tag to ensure against a lawsuit should a beach user get hurt while on their property.

HB 1560 was the cure for that ill, also. It says that you and I, as beach users, would have the same legal standing as any “trespasser” does under Texas law.

The bill uses the word trespasser to define you and me and would have eliminated any liability for damage claims facing a property owner.

When asked by the subcommittee who would pay to build and maintain this 14-foot high wall decoratively covered by sand and plants, Councilmember Robb replied, “The city of Galveston and the county.”

The impact on our taxes, street repairs and general maintenance would be devastating to most of us, but the value of beach-front homes would skyrocket.

No one on council knew about the bill. The West Galveston Island Property Owners Association and The Pirates Property Owners Association knew exactly what the bill did. Both groups endorsed HB 1560.

HB 1560 was corrupt legislation.

Introduced as an Ike Dike issue years before it’s needed, HB 1560 actually supported other self-serving issues.

I’m left wondering how Dr. Bill Merrell must feel about his concept being used as a ploy.

Folks, we have to stop electing people who would do things like HB 1560. Start voting for integrity in public service.

Bill Broussard lives in Galveston.

(9) comments

GW Cornelius

It's just a little more sand for the waves to carry out to sea. What's the big deal?

Bill Broussard

I think you nailed the theme of the article, council member in what you just said !

If you continue to go around our charter rules, if you continue to propose hundreds of millions of dollars passed on to tax payers, if you continue to make sure you get city staff fired and if you continue doing all of it in the context of "What's the big deal? ....its only other people's money, lives, careers, homestead, ...... you are certifiable.

Your testimony in front of the Senate Committee so typifies the West End.

When the senators asked how you intend to pay for this Ike Dike wall since our Federal Government does not seem to be able to get itself out of debt, you responded, I, like you Senator am a good Republican and understand what your saying. However........." Your response was perfect, Councilwomen!

Everyone I've ever met on the beach side of the West End, like you, swears they are true and loyal life-long red Republicans until the movement it comes to subsidizing with our tax money, (seawalls, sand nourishment,, annual coastal survey's) their million dollar rental homes. Then, they instantly turn as blue as the sky and chirp trhat they want their four story homes treated, for the moment, like Section 8.

Steve Fouga

The idea that the City of Galveston and/or Galveston County could pay for the Ike Dike doesn't pass the giggle test. It's laugh-out-loud funny!

This shows how little the subject council person understands about engineering, construction, rights-of-way, property values, environmental concerns, tides, storm surges, state and local politics, national politics -- good grief!

At this point, the most valid opinion on surge protection is to be firmly in favor of studying it.

Gary Miller

The TC/LM storm levee is 23 ft tall. Ike almost overtoped it.
What good would a 14 ft wall do? Keep 14 ft. of flood water from draining back to the gulf? Beachfront owners could have an evacuation route if built on the state road.

Steve Fouga

I wonder which council member Partner is referring to...

Ellen Morrison

I would think the only Councilwoman on the West End... and the one who has talked to the senators about financial resources for the Ike Dike.

Steve Fouga

Well, that's what Partner's post implies. But, my gosh, it's hard to believe that Island Runner is on Council! Island Runner seems more like a simple troll, or possibly a shill for a council member's agenda than the actual member herself.

Too flippant, too crude, too insulting towards other members... Disgusting to address peers the way Island Runner does. It can't really be Marie Robb; she's bound to have more class than that!

And by the way, Marie Robb discussing the Ike Dike with ANYBODY, other than in the context of casual conversation, is possibly the most irresponsible act I've seen by someone in public office. Completely out of line.

Well, OK, Watergate was probably more irresponsible... [wink]

Ellen Morrison

I'm actually inclined to agree with you, but "Partner" (who isn't anonymous, and neither am I, for that matter) is not the only person who thinks that Island Runner is Marie Robb. I think might be her husband, but I used to think it was a certain someone else.

As for class, whoever it is feels anonymous and therefore feels free to be beyond the boundaries of class and common courtesy. Doesn't speak well for the candidate(s) Island Runner is supporting.

George Croix

I dunno...the 2012 IRS scandal would likely top Watergate, IF we'd ever appoint an Attorney General to office so it could be adequately investigated.
The politician in the seat there now just doesn't pack the gear...
Maybe it's just me, but I don't see any distinction between good inuendo and bad.
If there's pertinent information, then out with it.
If not, then deal with the situation at face value...even the ugly face presented...[smile]
Beyond any of this, almost nothing related to politics surprises me anymore.
certainly not pretending to be what one is not, or vice versa.
Anonymous people on these forums should keep in mind that, yes, they can get away with saying nearly anything.
But if they are ever unmasked...well, then it's better to have not been a weasel...

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