As the former Galveston City Council representative of District 1, I’m very concerned with a letter mailed from the city of Galveston’s Marshal’s Office that stated in part: “A housing inspection is being conducted by the city of Galveston to ensure that all living units conform to the International Building Code, the International Property Maintenance Code and the city code of the city of Galveston.”

This unauthorized governmental decree concerned me so much that I made an open records request in order to find out who granted the marshal’s office with so much power to inspect any home in Galveston at whim, and with the stroke of a pen, can nullify any existing building code that is supposed to be protected under the grandfather clause. That’s too much power.

Needless to say, I was informed by the city secretary’s office that no one knew anything about a citywide inspection of all livable houses in Galveston, that includes Mayor Jim Yarbrough, city council members, City Manager Brian Maxwell, City Attorney Don Glywaski and City Marshal Michael Gray, whose stationery was used to write the notice of a housing inspection on.

Having run into a dead end with the open records request, I decided to contact City Councilwoman Amy Bly for help. I asked Bly to please put on the council’s next agenda an item to discuss the city ordinance that would allow a housing inspection of all livable houses in Galveston. Bly hasn’t responded to my request.

I must also point out here, I’ve intentionally avoided attending any council meetings over the last three years because I strongly believe that there can only be one council representative of District 1 at a time. That decision may soon change.

Every conscious and concerned resident of Galveston knows that because of years of social, economical and political neglect, District 1 is the poorest district in all of Galveston and needs all the help it can get.

Today, retired baby boomers and unscrupulous investors are stalking District 1 like hungry wolves searching for a young defenseless prey to devour.

The recent amalgamation of unauthorized governmental decrees and forced gentrification are being used to legally rob poor people — especially in the black community — of what little property they still own after the Jim Crow era.

As a community activist for over 50 years, I’m publicly asking the mayor or any member of Galveston City Council to put on the next council agenda an item to discuss this apparitional governmental decree that only manifests itself inside homeowners’ mailboxes.

Anything less, and I will break my own promise about one representative at a time, and I will make my appearance before council to articulate the lungs of those who cannot speak for themselves.

Tarris Woods is a former city councilman of District 1 in Galveston.


(8) comments

Don Schlessinger

It's them Danged Baby Boomers every time. [beam]

Bailey Jones

IKR? Who needs a bunch of retirees moving in - picking up trash, mowing their yards, painting and repairing their houses...

Ron Woody

WOW! 1. That someone actually sent said letter. 2. That no one can acknowledge the letter. 3. That no one will address the letter at an open meeting at a citizen's request. If the letter was unauthorized and this is a scam I would hope that prosecutors track down the originator and charge them for the appropriate crimes, mail fraud being the first.

Ron Binkley

Mr.'ve been scammed! You probably should refrain from attending council meetings unless you plan to run for office again.

Ron Binkley

I'm sorry.....I meant Mr. Woods.

alice watford

Mr Woods if anyone is preying on the community it is YOU!!

Gary Scoggin

Mr Woods does have a point. It would be good to know who is behind the letter and what the motivations are.

City Manager

The city sent him a letter. It was sent to his family home in Colony Park which is in District 5, not District 1. The pool at his family home had deteriorated to the point that it was green and swamp like. The city put he (and his neighbors' pool by the way) on notice that they had 10 days to remedy and report. The letter he received is the standard follow up letter asking to inspect the premises to make sure the subject matter issue was resolved. City management has responded and met with Mr. Woods many many times on this matter (and several other of his code violations) and explained this several times. Last we met, Mr. Woods showed photos that he had taken corrective action at his family home in District 5, Colony Park and no inspection was necessary as he responded as requested in the first notice, that he fails to mention in his guest column. I hope this clears up any confusion.

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