Somebody should lock the Fort Bend judges in
a small room with no duct tape.... I missed the last board of
judges meeting but I have had various reports on it. It appears
they still can't get along and instead of having two choices for
an associate judge, since reposting the job with the additional
salary, there are now 16 applicants.
I'll bet you didn't know that judges fussed
like this or act like a bunch of schoolboys. So just how did this
impasse come about? Retired District Judge Tom Stansbury was the
administrative judge before his recent retirement. When he was the
administrative judge, he brooked no disagreements among judges. It
was his way or no way. Remember when he summarily fired Judge
Bradley Smith as Fort Bend's quasi-permanent visiting judge when
he (Stansbury) got wind that Smith was going to run for the new
judgeship. Of course all that did was give Smith the time to
campaign for the job.
When Stansbury retired and it was time to elect
a new administrative judge, here were the crop of judges
available: State District Judges Tommy Culver, Brady Elliott,
Robert Kern and Bradley Smith. Judge Ron Pope hadn't taken office
yet and although it would seem that he should have been allowed to
vote instead of the retiring Tom Stansbury, he wasn't. Besides, as
the new man on the board, he wouldn't have been a very good
candidate for administrative judge.
Judge Brady Elliott reportedly said since he
had seniority, he should get the job. Judge Tommy Culver has never
liked Judge Elliott since Elliott got the appointment to state
district judge that Culver (and a lot of other people) thought he
should have had, so there's bad blood there. The feeling is
mutual. While Culver was elected about six months later, Judge
Elliott wouldn't stand for Culver to be administrative judge
because.... well, there's bad blood there.
So that left Judge Smith and Judge Kern. Since
several of the judges do not like Judge Smith, that left Judge
Robert Kern, who is on his second term, with Judge Tom Stansbury
casting the tie-breaking vote.
Now here comes Judge Ron Pope on the court and
he doesn't like Kern either because he wanted an associate judge
assigned only to his court and he wanted to be able to give the
job to one of his good ol' boy friends. Kern said nope. He wanted
to share the associate judge and he wanted it to be someone good,
since he would be trusting the associate judge with some of his
I've heard the board of judges meeting that I
missed was particularly contentious and I've asked for the minutes
of the meeting. They made no decisions about anything, which may
be good for us, the taxpayers.
Oh, I got a call from one of the judges
correcting me about the salary for the associate judge. According
to this source, the job was misposted from the beginning and
should have been posted at $90 thousand something from the very
Maybe we should all buy one ...... I
reported in this space last week about the rezoning meeting for
Quail Valley Country Club. Although I was suspicious about the way
the meeting was run and I hate to lose the greenbelt view on
LaQuinta, one undeniable fact remains. The economic health of the
Quail Valley subdivision and the value of our homes is
intrinsically melded with the county club. It is in our best
interests to support the country club in every way we can, even if
it means breaking down and buying a membership.
The memberships are very reasonable; reasonable
to the point that almost every person in Quail Valley can afford
at least a "leisure" membership, which allows one to use the
fitness and tennis facilities, and of course impress your friends
with dining privileges. They haven't sent me a schedule of fees
yet, but I think this Leisure or Social membership is about $35
per month. I would gladly pay that if I thought it would keep the
country club, and hence my property values, vibrant and alive.
Although, who was it that said they would not want to belong to a
club that would have them as a member?