Meet New Council Member:
Ada Edwards, District D

From April 13th, 2006 Interview

Ada Edwards, veteran Council Member District D, chairs the Flooding and Drainage Issues Committee of City Council. Serving with her are a mix of at large and district representatives—Toni Lawrence, vice chair, Peter Brown, Anne Clutterbuck, Adrian Garcia, Jarvis Johnson, and M. J. Kahn. Their meetings, open to the public, are the first Monday of the month at 10:30 am in Council Chambers at City Hall.

Assisting the Committee is a Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAG) composed of lay persons and professionals. The Committee’s work if divided into four (4) subcommittees—Regional Planning (Brown), Funding (Clutterbuck), Public Awareness (Johnson), and Ordinance Revision and Development (Edwards), In addition to serving as a committee of the whole, SAG members have joined these subcommittees according to their expertise and interest.

A major goal of the Committee is to reduce the City’s CRS (Consumer Rating System) rating which affects flood insurance rates. The lower the CRS, the lower the insurance rates. Edwards feels that a major factor in achieving the goal is public awareness. She expects to work with the Super Neighborhood Alliance to initiate educational programs not only about the cost of storm sewers and other mitigation techniques but also the simple steps individuals can take to assist in flood control.

Currently under discussion by the committee are revisions to Chapter 10 of the Code of Ordinances relating to flood prone areas.

Edwards hopes to present a comprehensive picture and engage citizens in the deciding what level of service they are willing to pay for. Collaboration among various City Department (Public Works and Engineering, Planning and Development), Harris County, Harris County Flood Control District, state and federal agencies is underway to identify the needs, the costs, and the sources of funding. As this information is shared, citizens will be better able to participate in a meaningful way in setting priorities and establishing policy.