I appreciate the opportunity to have an open discussion with our residents. The goal of this conversation series was to check in with citizens and update them on important topics that I get asked about every day. While we don’t always have all the answers, this series was designed to provide clarity and project updates in the process. The City of Baytown is focused on giving you every opportunity to learn about important projects from our City channels, while making it easy to report issues and getting them addressed in a timely manner.
My original intent in this conversation series was to address four separate topics that citizens would submit. However, the only two topics that clearly stood out were “The Mall” and water bills. The other topics I received were a scattershot of items that I plan to address in future communications. As your Mayor, I make myself very accessible and available as possible, but I will explore other ways to ensure you can reach out directly to me.
Many of you might remember my State of the City speech when I challenged residents with reporting potholes, packing the parks, and practicing positivity. From October to January, our Public Works and Engineering team repaired more than 204 potholes, covering more than 5,000 square feet, and using more than 180 tons of asphalt. While the gift card contest portion of the contest is over, the challenge still continues. Please continue reporting potholes using the Better Baytown app on your phone. Thank you to Steve Wavro for reporting the most potholes during this contest timeframe. Enjoy your El Toro gift card!
More residents are packing the parks on the first Sunday of each month. This challenge continues and I encourage everyone to visit one of our parks, especially the parks you have never been to. We have more than 50 parks and our Parks and Recreation department work daily to improve your experience. I have received a lot of positive feedback on this initiative and I hope to see you out there this Sunday.
Speaking of positive feedback, the last challenge was for residents to practice positivity. Sounds simple, but yet we have a great opportunity to showcase our city to the world. Baytown is a gulf coast community that’s fueling the global economy with a thriving industry, diverse cultural connections, and affordable living. We are having encouraging conversations regarding Project Vector and the San Jacinto Marketplace, we have a new hotel and convention center, and a new amenity in T36 at Baytown. I believe this year will be a “renaissance” year for Baytown and look forward to some great things to be announced throughout 2024. We have also announced a new fatherhood initiative to help Baytown fathers and to reduce drug use. One of our top priorities is keeping residents safe. The Baytown Police and Fire departments are doing a great job and are constantly training to improve those efforts. The new public safety building will be opening soon, providing our first responders with a functional facility. My point is we have a lot to be excited about and I would like to see more city ambassadors.
So, what is the City of Baytown doing to get the word out to residents? The City is doing more, increasing communication with residents to make sure we have an informed community. It also means we have to take time to listen as well. The City’s Leadership Listening Tour has been a success. Council members and I have been hosting City Manager Jason Reynolds at venues across the city to listen to concerns and provide project updates. I’m getting great feedback about these meetings and I look forward to the upcoming District 1 and 2 meetings. After that tour ends, another one will begin. The Public Safety Listening Tour, beginning in April, will include Police Chief John Stringer and each district’s council representative. I think it will create more trust and I’m hoping to see that.
As for the City’s communication, those efforts continue to increase. City social media pages and baytown.org are being updated daily, staff is providing great project updates and more twice a year in the Baytown Voice (new issue coming soon), and video content is being created to provide even more information to the community. The City is also doing more with the Community Engagement team to communicate with residents, while working with them to help improve neighborhoods.
Bottom line: The City remains your trusted source when it comes to any City-related information. The staff works hard to make sure you receive complete and accurate information on the issues important to you, our citizens. We want you to get your City news today, when you want it, and not tomorrow, regardless of deadlines. Stayed tuned to our City social media pages to get the most up to date information regarding council activities. It will be a very “Bottom Line Unfiltered” (BLUF) approach.
Take care and God Bless,
Mayor Brandon Capetillo