Anybody want to run for office? ..... If
you had attended the Missouri City city council meeting Monday
night, you would be absolutely convinced that Quail Valley Country
Club is going broke tomorrow and will pull the whole city of
Missouri City right down the drain with it.
A move to rezone part of the golf course to
allow townhouse/patio home construction was the agenda item that
sparked the most public comment. (See story front page.) It passed
Representatives from the country club got up
and told what wonderful things they were going to do to the club
with the money they got from selling several acres of the golf
club, if only they can rezone it into a patio/townhouse
development. A bleak picture was painted about the future of the
city if the country club was not allowed to do this.
Under pressure from the city, the country club
had earlier compromised and were asking to rezone the acreage as a
Planned Development, instead of the townhouse designation first
sought. This PD designation would allow the city more control over
the type of construction that goes into the area.
I know a "dog and pony show" when I see one and
Mayor Allen Owen obviously stacked this public hearing. Country
club members who were in favor of the project were called on by
Mayor Allen Owen to speak first. Such luminaries as former Oiler
coach Eddie Biles, and Quail Valley Proud den mother Carolyn
Bowden spoke in favor of the selling the 16th hole for patio
home/townhouse development. By the time the people speaking
against the project were allowed to speak, they had been
intimidated to the point that speaking against the project seem to
be tantamount to consigning Missouri City to "Misery City."
Interestingly, not one of the people in favor
of allowing the development lived in that part of Quail Valley.
Oh, wait a minute. One guy who spoke in favor lives in the
cottages development near there. He told us how good the people
running the county club were and he knew this because he worked
for the company that designed the master plan for the country
club. Remember, these are the same people who last year wanted to
sell the pro shop location for an office building.
Allowing this development will mean there will
be no green space visible from LaQuinta between Cartwright Road
and El Dorado.
And with three townhouse developments within
walking distance of the site, we already have enough of that kind
of housing in the area.
No, allowing this development is opening up the
floodgates to build other developments on the golf course. I
predict this is the first of many such endeavors.
The little money that the country club will
realize from the sale of this property can't begin to fix what's
wrong with that country club if what the club itself said Monday
night about it is true. And didn't the company that bought the
club know its condition before they plunked down the money for it?
Perhaps they bought the club to sell off all its property a piece
at a time.
For Quail Valley residents angry about the sale
of part of the golf course and the city council's going along with
the idea, their only recourse is the ballot box. All of the
district councilpersons are up for reelection this year and the
last day to file for office is March 19. Those up for election
Eunice Rider who represents Fondren Park and
Hunters Glen I and II; Don Smith who represents mostly Hunters
Glen 3,4,5; Bob Burton who represents Lake Colony, Colony Lakes,
part of Quail Valley (the townhouse part); and Brett Kolaja who
represents the other part of Quail Valley, Water Brook, and Lake
You'll have to wait till next year to get the
at large representatives,--Owen, Buddy Jimmerson, and Jerry Wyatt.
You be the judge ..... From what I hear on
the street, the judges still haven't reached an agreement about
who to hire as an associate judge. When we last left them, Judge
Robert Kern and Judge Ron Pope both said publicly they would go
along with the majority to hire the best candidate, but they had
bumped up the job another $10,000, reposted the job, and all the
judges were calling their friends to come apply for this job which
paid almost as much as the judges themselves were making.
I've even heard that one certain judge has
refused to hire anyone (it has to be a unanimous vote) because he
thinks he needs an assistant judge himself and will refuse to go
along until he gets his own assistant.
Can you believe it?
You should because this is the same bunch that
has to hire a visiting judge to hear their arraignment docket,
that was supposed to take turns working a couple of weekends a
year to magistrate prisoners and instead hired a visiting judge,
that hires visiting judges to hear their cases while they are at
some silly out of state/town seminar.
Judges are absolute dictators in their own
courtroom, and sometimes they forget that not everybody has to
mind them. I have a surprise for some judges. The courthouse has a
thousand eyes. People over there know who is working and who
isn't. The defense bar and bailiffs and clerks--they keep up with
who is doing what and I drink at the same bars they do. Of course,
after this I will have to do it with a wig on.
And you know, every few years we get to vote on
the judges also. it's not as easy to run for judge as for the
Missouri City council, but I imagine we can scare up some support
for candidates who are willing to work and get along with each
other to keep our criminal justice system humming along.