Bellaire will honor Harvey Heroes, learn State of the City tonight

Bellaire will use the occasion of the annual State of the City report to say thank-you tonight (Monday, Feb. 5) to city workers who served the community throughout the Hurricane Harvey crisis — many of them on the job while their own families and homes were suffering losses.

A special ceremony and reception for “Harvey Heroes and Helpers” will run from 6-7 p.m. at Bellaire City Hall, 7008 S. Rice Ave., followed by Mayor Andrew Friedberg’s State of the City address.

In his most recent blog post, Friedberg encourages the Bellaire community to take this opportunity to honor these dedicated workers and previews his speech:

Bellaire’s first responders and emergency operations personnel were truly heroic in getting us through the worst disaster we’ve ever experienced. Given the enormity of the situation, and that we were temporarily cut off from external resources until the waters receded, they couldn’t have done it without a little help from the community. Folks all over town pitched in where they could, in ways big and small, and working together got everyone to safety. To say that their efforts literally saved lives is not an exaggeration.

Our annual State of the City this Monday evening will very appropriately begin with a special ceremony to recognize those citizens and area agencies who played a crucial role in the rescue and response effort. Each will be presented a certificate and a small gift in token of our appreciation. To commemorate the event and their selfless service to others, the honorees will be invited to pose for group photos and sign their names on a poster mat that will frame an image from Harvey for public display.

Following the ceremony and a brief reception, we’ll continue with the State of the City. Our citizen Boards and Commissions will present their annual reports to City Council and the public, and I will give my 2018 State of the City Address. (Spoiler alert: Considering all we’ve been through the State of the City is pretty good, but there are tremendous challenges and uncertainty ahead, and we’re going to have to make some tough decisions in maintaining service levels post-Harvey.) Looking forward to the coming year we’ll also take a look back, at all the positive things we’ve got going for us and which will play a big part in our recovery.

Come on out Monday night and join us as we celebrate Bellaire and all that makes our wonderful community so special.

Bellaire’s first responders and other essential personnel were on duty 24/7 before, during and after Hurricane Harvey. (File photos)

Administrators from departments around the city provided leadership in Bellaire’s Emergency Operations Center. (File photo)

Bellaire resident Gigi White captured this rescue by city workers as Harvey’s floodwaters rose last August.