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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


Rodrigo Carreon and sleepy poll workers

In a recent session of Fort Bend County Commissioners, Rodrigo Carreon, a vocal Fresno resident who speaks out on various issues at virtually every court session, had some quite unique reasoning for asking commissioners to vote against one agenda item. The court was going to consider setting times and places for the forthcoming election polling places and Carreon suggested the commissioners nix the requested changes.

It seems, according to Carreon, that the court should take steps to open the polls later in the day rather than 7 a.m. as suggested. ďIt will give the employees an opportunity to wake up and work properly,Ē Carreon stated. He suggested the polls open at 11:00 a.m. instead of the earlier time.

The court unanimously approved the requested times and locations, but they might want to talk to Carreon to see if he knows something they donít know about some sleeping poll workers.

Donít get Tomís dander up

Everyone knows that Precinct 1 Commissioner Tom Stavinoha fought long and hard to get a lighting ordinance passed by the county in the hopes of preserving the night skies, saving residents and businesses money on utilities and assisting the George Observatory in their quest to continue public access to the large array of offerings they have.

So, it is no wonder that a recent request by representatives from a large national retailer got his dander up. In fact, Stavinoha was downright angry and when he is mad , he is such fun to interview. He is wonderfully refreshing in that politically correct is simply not in his vocabulary. What Tom feels, he says and what he says, he means. And, in this case he basically suggested that if the lighting ordinance, as it is written, could not be adhered to by the retailer, they might consider taking their business somewhere other than Fort Bend County.

Now the Greater Fort Bend Economic Council may frown on that kind of talk, but as Tom said, other businesses in the county are complying with the ordinance, without undo hardship, and their lighting is still doing what it was intended to do. So, he has a point.

He also says the retailer is known for being bull headed and flexing their muscle. Well, I think theyíve met their match!

At any rate, I donít think a certain retailer is getting any of a certain commissionerís business this holiday season. At least that is what he said and, like I said, when Tom says something, you can take it to the bank.

Tom also did a little research of his own

Thereís been a lot of whoopla over a series of articles slamming Fort Bend County Clerk Dianne Wilsonís public access to court records via the Internet. Well, Stavinoha said he was concerned that the county might be making some information easily accessible to the wrong people, so he not only met with Wilson and talked about the subject, he and others spent several hours accessing on-line information, including records pertaining to him and his family, to see if any social security numbers, were to be found. Not, he says. And, according to Tom, everyone who has to deal with public records to get a job done, such as engineers, attorneys and the like are thrilled with the easy access. ďDianne spent a lot of time and effort showing us how she has saved the county countless dollars by putting the records on line. Not only that but everyone I have talked to just loves it. And, we spent hours looking through the records and couldnít find anything to be alarmed about and we looked real hard,Ē he said.

I personally, as a reporter, love the easy access and while I am sure there may be some court documents that have too much information on them, I havenít run across any yet. If I were a private eye or someone of that ilk who made money by charging others to glean information from court documents, Iíd be madder than a wet hen because the access options leave little need for shelling out big bucks to have someone else do the work. On the other hand, PIís who have a large client base of people without the time or inclination to do the research themselves, should love it.

Stavinoha said he was pretty confident that the benefits of this easily accessed information far outweigh any drawbacks.


Contact skinnerc1@ev1.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006