The Houston City Council bid farewell to a member Monday night and welcomed another member of her family.
Joyce Campbell was honored after serving nearly 40 years in Houston city government. She was city clerk for 29 years and spent the last six as a member of the council. She did not seek re-election.
Her vacated Ward II seat will stay in the family.
Campbell’s daughter, Sheila Campbell Walker, was sworn in alongside incumbents Joe Honeycutt (Ward I) and Don Romines (Ward III). Walker defeated Phil Meyer 77-13 in the April 3 election. Honeycutt and Romines ran unopposed.
Campbell was recognized with a plaque, and Romines read a list of the city’s accomplishments during her tenure. Among her personal highlights was receiving the “Outstanding Young Woman in Houston” honor in 1968 and the “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2004.
Campbell’s career in city government began in 1965 when she was elected tax collector. She was also the billing clerk for the water and electric departments. After six years of service, she left for a private endeavor.
Three years later, Campbell was enticed back to city government by mayor Margaret Hiett. She was a billing clerk and 18 months later, she was appointed city clerk. She held that position from July 11, 1975, until her retirement in 2004.
“Joyce was always working behind the scene to accomplish improvements for Houston,” Romines said. “As city clerk for the city, Joyce was the ‘go to’ person. Many of our city administrators thought they ran the city, but the real truth is, Joyce was the person running things. She knew what was good for Houston and would encourage people that had different opinions to settle their differences and work for the good of the community.”
In other matters at the meeting:
––The city received eight bids for projects planned with the city’s remaining stimulus funds from its new wastewater treatment plant. One bid was disqualified.
City Administrator Larry Sutton said each bid –– the lowest was $717,912 and the highest more than $1 million –– was above the about $500,000 remaining in the city’s fund.
After eliminating a portion of the bid, Sutton said the council voted to use funds from reserves for remaining portion of the approximately $583,000 the city will spend. Planned projects include: replacing the Hamrick lift station; running a new sewer line from Walmart to the west lift station (about 1 mile of line); and eliminating the lift station near Infinite Entertainment and running a new gravity flow that will include the Division of Family Services office.
––Pat Sawyer will allow the city to use her vacant lot on the corner of Hawthorn and Davis streets for youth soccer for the next year.
––A home near the airport was recently struck by a model airplane. Sutton said the plane was flying over the runway –– which is not allowed –– and lost control. He said the city has received complaints from area homeowners, who say the model planes are not flying in their restricted area.
––Members approved a bid of $5,829 to purchase a new truck for the city’s water department. Sutton said it was the lone bid the city received.
––Locations for new storm sirens are still being determined, Sutton said.
––Easements are still being obtained for the Safe Routes to School grant.