My thanksgiving.....There are many things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, such as my health, my children, my grandchildren, and sometimes our country, but for the purposes of this newspaper column, I’m thankful that we live in a community that has people who are willing to step out when some of our leaders pull boneheaded stunts.
You’ve read in these pages about FBISD’s stubborn plunge and determination to continue with a “Global Science Center” even though a tough and committed group, comprised of a random sample of residents with a lick of sense, is continuing to fight it.
They are fighting it because it will cost over $26 million to construct with $500,000 yearly maintenance and operations, and they, like many others, don’t believe it will provide an increase in science and technology interest or scores. They believe that the 36,000 students who will attend twice or three times a year will not receive that much benefit.
Critics also point out that FBISD laid off over 400 employees this year and that it is projecting another $15 million deficit.
I recently heard that the high sounding Global Science and Technology Center will actually be nothing more than a new superintendent’s office, a disco ball in the center, and a ring of Bunsen burners around the perimeter. I’ve done an open records request to see the schematics of the building which I expect shortly, and although I don’t foresee the dire picture I’ve been painted, I am interested in how much space new administrative offices will occupy. You know I’ll tell you.
Meanwhile, if you want to sign a petition against it, you can go to an online version at www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopthegcst/. Dave Rosenthal is the creator of this convenience and has stepped up about the situation. There is also another web site with an FBISD forum. It’s www.fbisdcommunity.com.
Plus another protest.....Another protest has been a long time coming and it is much needed. For many years First Colony Community Association has operated with impunity and immunity. It has run roughshod over homeowners and builders. But at least its former executive director, Sandy Denton, was cognizant of community relations and worked to placate the residents and try to keep the builders and commercial interests equally happy.
However, with a new executive director, the association has acted as if it is immune to residents wants and desires and by controlling the board of directors, she can pretty much run things the way she wants.
When those wants coincide with the residents’ wants, things go smoothly, but when the director becomes a micro manager and becomes bound and determined that some desire of hers will dominate, trouble happens.
Perhaps it is because the former director lived in the community and the current one, according to her, does not.
In any event, things reached a crescendo when a large contingent of homeowners did not want a “splash pad” in their neighborhood and their wishes were completely ignored.
An upcoming election of directors to the board may become the “tipping” point to whether the director can act without oversight, choosing the directors, throwing out votes, spending money, closing pools, or building splash pads residents do not want.
Write in candidates Myatt Hancock and Howard Paul are running on a reform platform ranging from making the board more open to residents’ wishes to overhauling the election process to make it fairer to all concerned--residents and business.
Candidate Eleanor Blain is also running to change some of the process and has also been endorsed by the reform group.
I urge you to vote in the election for which you have received the ballot. And to vote for Eleanor Blain and write in Myatt Hancock and Howard Paul. I personally know of too many former directors who have too many stories to tell about the machinations of the executive director and some of the board members. It’s time to put an end to a regime of fear on the board. We need people who care about the community to be on the board.
If you need more information, visit www.FCCAreform.org
You always knew I was a star....I got word this weekend that 48 Hours Mystery will be running a local Fort Bend murder trial this next Saturday at 9 p.m. It is the Charlene Hill murder trial. She is the Pecan Grove woman who shot her husband who died shortly thereafter at the hospital. Come to find out, he had abused her for years, as attested to by many witnesses, but the prosecution contended that she could have escaped once again so she couldn’t plead self-defense. The law has since been changed but the law at the time of the shooting was that she had a path to escape.
At the trial, the 48 Hour reporter, Richard Schlesinger heard me say the husband “needed killing.” Of course, you know me and how I feel about women and how I usually defend them, but I guess Richard was surprised because he begged to interview me and after about 60 seconds, I agreed. We went out under a tree on the courthouse lawn where we taped a bit, then later to a room at a local hotel. Don’t read anything into that. I’m no Betty White.
Eventually they came to my office for a day and just worried the heck out of us, but I got my face professionally made up so it may have been worth it.
Watch it Saturday night. I may have ended up on the cutting room floor, but it’s still a good story.
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