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To begin with, Pasadena, located in the Houston-Galveston region, is one of the myriads of jewels that Harris County and the State of Texas has to offer. Pasadena’s history begins with its founding in 1893 by John H. Burnett. It received its name after the Californian Pasadena, which origins from the Chippewan word translating to “Crown of the Valley.” In 1894, the La Porte, Houston, and Northern Railroad construction began, allowing the area to progress into farming. It is worth mentioning the effort that both, Cora Bacon Foster and Charles R. Munger, put into establishing Pasadena as an organized community. Not long after, many churches of different denominations started establishing upon the grounds, among them were: the Methodists (1896) and the Baptist (1898). But, an unforeseen natural disaster happened in 1900; the Galveston Hurricane prompted a member of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton, to donate an estimate of one and a half million strawberry plants to the farmers. Though by accident, Pasadena became the strawberry central upon the area, so much so that it adopted the “Pasadena Acres” nickname.
Additionally, in 1899, the Pasadena Independent School District was formed, becoming the first of its kind in Harris County. By the same token, the Pasadena High School opened its doors in 1924. However, a time of decision came as the nineteen-twenties arrived; the never-ending struggle between incorporation ruled over Pasadena. On December 22, 1923, Pasadena decided to incorporate, only to reverse its decision the following year. Ironically enough, Pasadena decided to incorporate once more in 1928.
Although, the most radical change for Pasadena did not occur until the nineteen-thirties when the culture started shifting from farming towards industrialization. Many major oil and gas companies started building refineries after the discoveries in Deer Park. Furthermore, due to Pasadena’s location and its proximity to the Buffalo Bayou, a shipbuilding industry was soon to follow, especially after the Houston Ship Channel was completed. Today, Pasadena has grown through annexation of nearby territories, and it has a notorious Philharmonic, it is also home to the San Jacinto College and the Texas Chiropractor College. Moreover, Pasadena has many activities and sites that entice tourists all around, such as the Bay Area Museum, the San Jacinto Strawberry Festival, and the Pasadena Rodeo.
Through the years, as well as the development of Pasadena, its population was affected accordingly due to a plethora of changes, technologies, and economic activities, which have severely altered Pasadena’s population and development. Firstly, the earliest records concerning Pasadena’s population estimate that about 200 people lived there at the beginning of the 20th century. As time flew by, Pasadena’s inhabitants multiplied in number; by the 1940s, the population consisted of approximately 3,436 Pasadenians. Furthermore, as the ‘50s rolled about, an astonishing growth rate was achieved. The population had increased by a total of 554.34%, which amounted to a total headcount of 22,483 people. Unfortunately, this influential influx in population did not progress further since the future decades continued to grow, but not at such afore-mentioned levels.
The 1960s amounted to an estimate of 58,737 residents. Similarly, the ’70s brought about an addition of 31,220 people to the area, and by the ’80s the population had risen to a total of 112,560 people. With the dawning of the new century, the population grew to be conformed of 141,674 locals. By the new decade, the population continued to increase at a minimal rate; however, things took a turn when in 2015 the population started to decrease from the 154,246 residents obtained the prior year. Now that a trend based on lesser surge has been set, the latest reports approximate Pasadena’s population to be 153,520 residents.
To continue, worldreviewpopulation.com states that Pasadena’s population density is “3519.57 people per square mile with a household density of 1243.45 people per square mile.” Furthemore, it states that “16.4% of families and 19.6% of individuals are below the federal poverty line. 29.1% of those under 18 are in poverty, and 9.7% of those 65 years or older.” Worldreviewpopulation estimates that for every 100 females (median age: 32.3 years), there are 99.7 males (median age: 30.2 years); the median age of the Pasadenian population is 31.2 years. Pasadena’s residents have a median income of $ $48,607. There is a White predominance, as they make 84.5% of Pasadena’s population, followed by Some Other Race/Two or More Races (10.0%). Then, African Americans or Black provide a 2.6% addition, and Asians make up 2.0% of Pasadena’s population. Lastly, American Indians/Alaskan Natives make up 1.2% of the total population.
On the other hand, Pasadena possesses a Major-Council system, which refers to a governmental form that employees a Mayor as the head of the authority plus an addition of Council Members that serve for legislative purposes. Also, the Pasadenian government relies on the Code of Ordinances to manage and control the many protocols to keep the city functioning. Some of Pasadena’s past mayors were: Clyde McMaster, Sam Hoover, and Johnny Isbell. Pasadena’s current government consists of Mayor Jeff A. Wagner along with eight city council members each representing a district, which are: Felipe Villareal-District A, Bruce Leamon-District B, Don Harrison- District C, Sammy Casados-District D, Cody Ray Wheeler-District E, Phil Cayten-District F, Cary Bass-District G, and Thomas Schoenbein- District H. Correspondingly, the City Council acts as the legislative branch and is entitled to “…enact ordinances; levy taxes: adopt a budget; and set compensation, in addition to other legislative duties.” While the Mayor serves as the executive branch and “…oversees the management of the city’s daily affairs.”
The city of Pasadena utilizes a budget to maintain its working order by being able to provide security, services, and allow room for improvement, benefit for the city as a whole. The FY 2018 Adopted Budget has been carefully crafted to satisfy the city’s needs and expects a $214 million spending for city services. Yet, it intends to use $217.1 million in revenue along with reserved funds to lower the expenses compared to the previous year. More importantly, the revenue comes from various sources, such as taxes: Property ($48,282,030), Sales ($41,632,500), Industrial district ($17,104,000), Utility ($8,962,600), and Other ($1,235,100). Not to mention the revenue brought by services and fees, which include but not limited to, Water and Sewer ($41,070,000), Fees and permits ($12,444,670), Fines ($5,931,000), and Other ($5,317,806). All of these many forms of income work together to amount a total of $181,979,706 in revenue.
However, there are many bases for costs as well; top among them stand, services (personnel and contractual), materials and supplies, maintenance charges, and capital outlay; the total expenditures are expected to be $108,013,455. In addition to this, the budgetary plan states its keen interest in “research and develop revenue raising and cost reduction options, continue to improve and implement efficiencies for the budget process, develop monthly department reporting…” It also prioritizes the effective use of their resources and time management.
In conclusion, Pasadena has established itself a home filled with a vastly rich history and traditions, such as the San Jacinto Strawberry Festival. Nevertheless, Pasadena and its charm continue to attract visitors to see its wonder. Its population has suffered reductions recently, but those who remain are filled with hope of development and the unyielding wish of better times. Through its organized Mayor-Council government, a commitment to excellence and improvement is about to overtake the city, and once again will the Crown of the Valley shine again!
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