16 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 • ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS of TEXAS CREATING TOMORROW TODAY AS SUMMER CAME TO A CLOSE THIS year, Hurricane Harvey meandered over the Gulf Coast and dropped historic rainfall totals over the state. According to the Weather Channel, some parts of Texas saw 60 inches of rain over a nine-day period. Harvey was the first Category 4 storm to make landfall in the United States since 2004. After coming ashore near Rockport, it pounded the Texas coast and dumped rain from Houston to the Louisiana state line.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY AGC MEMBERS have come up with a good way to raise money for their PAC: Come to South Padre Island and let’s go fishing. Bring the family. The 3rd Annual Gulf Coast Classic fishing tournament (Aug. 10-11) netted the Pharr Area PAC more than $28,000. Participation increased with 22 boats this year compared to the 14 boats that attended the first event. “It’s perfect. We have the island and most of these guys don’t have to come too far to participate,” AGC Pharr Area Chair Ben Salinas (Valley Infrastructure) said. “This is a good way to support the industry.”
I AM INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL AND EXCITED to serve as the executive vice president for the AGC of Texas – an organization I truly admire and love. Many of you know me, some of you do not yet, but I look forward to working for each of you as we work together in the future. I am a native Austinite, born and raised in the “little offbeat” college town that has now grown into a major metropolitan area that embraces full-blown “weirdness,” and is struggling with big urban problems like crippling congestion.
I BEGAN THIS YEAR’S PRESIDENT’S message columns discussing the defining moments in my professional life that carved the course of my career. I have another to add to that very precious list: Serving as AGC of Texas President in 2017. While all years are unique and have their own signature moments, I am beyond fortunate to have lead this Chapter in 2017, with some of the most talented contractors I know. My grandfather’s guidance all those years ago have served me well. The work we have put into this Chapter not only lifts us up professionally, but makes us one family. My children and my bride Hillary are just as much a part of this family as I am, and they know it.
IT’S NO SECRET THAT TEXAS COMMUNITIES AND water providers face significant water needs over the next 50 years. As the state continues to grow its population and economy, it must continue to develop its ability to provide water—without new water infrastructure, the state could face a shortfall of over 8 million acre-feet of water per year in 2070. Fortunately, the 2017 State Water Plan identifies approximately 2,500 specific projects utilizing over 5,500 water management strategies to meet those water needs.
THE 85TH REGULAR SESSION OF THE TEXAS Legislature, which ended on May 29, was a busy time filled with good news for TxDOT. Just to give you an idea of how busy the session was, our State Legislative Affairs staff monitored 880 bills that had the potential to directly affect the agency or that could impact transportation policy in Texas. But the star of the session’s activities – at least as far as transportation goes – was the passage of S.B. 312, or TxDOT’s Sunset Bill. As you may know, TxDOT has undergone Sunset review three times in the past decade – 2009, 2011 and in 2017.
LEGENDARY TOM JOHNSON STEPPED ASIDE AS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF AGC of Texas on Wednesday, September 6, after helping lead the association and the state’s highway construction industry for more than a half century. In his typical self-effacing manner, Tom thanked AGC members during brief remarks to the Chapter Board of Directors. “I have enjoyed every day working for you and I will enjoy every day as I work a little less for you but still as meaningful. It’s been a great run, and thank you,” he said, receiving standing applause.
THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES COMMITTEE TOOK their charge seriously recently when establishing a succession for the Chapter Executive Vice President. The committee immediately began reviewing and discussing various scenarios. Some might think that using the same pattern the Board of Directors used almost 50 years ago would be antiquated. Not so. Brief history tells us that in 1969 when the Executive Director Jim Richards was diagnosed with cancer, the Board of Directors immediately elevated him to the newly created title of Executive Vice President.