Andy sees stars
Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers has
too seen stars and he likes the night sky. Now for those of
you who haven’t a clue as to what I’m talking about,
Precinct 1 Commissioner Tom Stavinoha made the comment that
“Andy had never even seen stars” when he was commenting on
Commissioner Meyers having problems with the way the county
was attempting to regulate the lighting in subdivisions and
at businesses far removed from the George Observatory.
Andy says he was once an avid outdoorsman
and often took his son fishing and hunting. “I have seen
stars, despite what Tommy says,” he quipped. And, he likes
stars, but he doesn’t like the idea of the county trying to
regulate lighting in the far reaches of Katy to protect the
observatory. “There is a problem with the way the county is
going about enforcing the light ordinance, in my opinion and
in the opinion of the county attorney’s Office. I’m not real
crazy about Wal Mart lighting up the night sky with a lot of
bright lights either, but this ordinance was passed to
protect the George Observatory and we can’t be regulating
lighting just to prevent lights from shining too brightly
unless it does hurt the observatory. I can’t see this being
extended all the way to places like Katy, 40 miles from the
observatory and, with four cities in between - none of which
have such an ordinance,” Andy said in response to
Andy has a point. No one likes a business
to move near a residential area and light up the night sky
with floodlights that are bright enough to keep owls awake.
But if the ordinance has limitations, it is best to read all
the fine print before making and enforcing all the rules and
“I am convinced we simply don’t have the
authority to do what we’ve done. The state legislators don’t
give the counties a lot of ordinance making power and I wish
it was more, but it isn’t and we need to take a look at what
we have and the legislation that allowed us what authority
we do have before we make any more decisions,” Meyers said.
Andy is a stickler for dotting the i’s
and crossing the t’s, so it may be a while before this issue
is resolved. The lighting ordinance issue will most likely
be discussed again in the very near future.
Name recognition theory
There is a standing theory in the
political arena that there is no such thing as “bad
publicity.” Any name recognition is valuable, say old-timers
who add that even bad press is good press. That theory is
going to be tested shortly when incumbent Congressman Tom
DeLay faces a number of opponents in the primary Republican
election this year.
Will all of Tom’s “bad press” hurt him?
Outgoing Republican Chairman Eric Thode doesn’t seem to
think it will hurt him badly enough to see any of his
contenders beating him in the primary, at least.
Tom has done a good job for Fort Bend
County, Thode says. On the other hand, in recent months in
particular, Tom has brought his home county and the city of
Sugar Land the type of publicity I am sure they wouldn’t
print on a brochure.
I have a theory of my own, based on way
too many years of following the local, state and federal
elections. Bad publicity is good for name recognition when
it is old enough not to spark the memory of where that
familiar name was heard. Bad publicity is bad when it is
currently the talk of the town and everyone knows that name
goes with bad press.
People are forgetful and often simply
remember hearing a name repeatedly and that is when any kind
of publicity is good. There is no other way to put it—Tom
DeLay is in hot water and with local and national news media
following the events of the Travis County District Attorney
and the courts, judges and continued investigations on a
continuous basis, it is very unlikely that anyone will have
the opportunity to forget that his name is associated with
the negative press.
Of course it really doesn’t matter a flip
what people in California, Florida, or Washington D.C. think
of Tom DeLay. The whole election centers on what people in
his Congressional District feel.
Whether or not his crisis of
accountability will impact his long-standing approval among
his constituents remains to be seen. Unless this whole thing
dies within the next 30 days, I would venture to say even
those people who steadfastly stood behind Tom all these
years, are beginning to falter and that may be reflected at
An interesting theory is about to be put to the test. I
am looking forward to seeing the results of this test, as I
am sure most of our readers are.