June has been a rocky month for the city of Kemah.
Mayor Terri Gale, who was elected on May 4, was to have had the first full council meeting on June 5. But absences and a vacancy led to the meeting being canceled.
Two days later, Police Chief Chris Reed died in a boating accident. For more than 40 hours, volunteers and law enforcement officers with more than 20 different organizations searched more than 650 nautical miles of water to find the man who held positions at many different communities around Clear Lake during his working career.
Reed’s death was a huge loss for the small city.
Then, there are long-term problems the city must deal with.
City officials are expected to lose sales tax revenue because of a Texas Department of Transportation’s expansion of state Highway 146 between Red Bluff Road in Seabrook through Kemah.
Businesses already have moved or closed because of the massive $210 million project, which will widen the highway from six lanes to 12 lanes. It is expected to last about five years.
The council also appointed Isaac Saldana, a builder and resident of Kemah Oaks, to fill the unexpired term of longtime Councilman Matt Wiggins, who resigned at Gale’s urging to fill a spot on the city’s water board.
On Wednesday, the council met to discuss how to fill the police chief’s position.
Gale campaigned for office on a platform of improving drainage and traffic and increasing code enforcement. And, in the month or so since the May election, Gale and city administrators have begun work on some of those projects.
For instance, the council last week approved spending up to $205,000 on a comprehensive drainage plan for the city, largely in response to Hurricane Harvey.
We hope the city council, mayor and officials can build on this plan and others.
We wish the officials and residents of Kemah the best.
• Dave Mathews