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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.

Is Pattersonís mind in the toilet?

Last week I fussed about Precinct 4 Commissioner making a comment in court that I felt was inappropriate. Well, it isnít as bad this time, but heís done it again. Last week, during the discussion of a proposal put forth by the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority that calls for limiting signage along the toll way, the commissioners got into a debate on the potential impact this might have. So, what is Patterson contribution to this discussion?

He says ďSo, someone could put a porta-potty up 30 feet in the air, but not put a sign saying come to our Whataburger?Ē Iím beginning to wonder exactly where his mind is lately. The court decided, despite this astute line of questioning, they would wait on making a decision until representatives of the TRA come in to explain the signage restrictions. Iím now going to be packing a bar of soap to court meetings. I think if this continues it might be needed.

So, whatís the beef?

Seems like some folks want former County Attorney Bud Childers to vacate his office ó- post haste. I donít know what all the hoopla is, after all Bud is going to the office every day and it isnít costing the taxpayers a dime. He is working for free and he voluntarily gave up all his county issued goodiesólike his cell phone and the pass that allows him to have access to the courthouse without security hassles.

His opponents should be happy he is staying on the job. After all, he doesnít have much time to go out politicking when he is busy doing something for nothing in the courthouse every day. Now that the commissioners know they can legally appoint someone to his position, I hope they donít take too long because the election that will determine the next county attorney is just short of seven weeks away. Despite suggestions by some county officials that a temporary appointment should be through Jan. of 07, the election will actually be over after the primary because there is no Democrat running for the office. Therefore, logically the person elected could hit the ground running, and assume the office voters elected them to hold, the day after the election. That is unless the commissioners throw a kink in the kilter and make an appointment for the remainder of the year. Letís hope not.

In the meantime, I applaud Bud for being dedicated enough to keep working instead of kissing babies and playing in golf tournaments.

Hopkins one more time

District Clerk Glory Hopkins is going to court once more in the hopes of getting her name on the ballot. I donít blame her for trying this last ditch effort for the opportunity to continue in the job she has held for nearly 20 years.

After the unusual way Glory went about filing for this particular election, some have speculated that the misdirected mail was actually intentional. Some think maybe Glory is ready to retire and this was a colorful way to do so. Others feel she did it thinking she would automatically be allowed to get on the ballot but would, in the meantime, get a lot of free publicity and a sympathy following from those hearing about her plight.

People who are not extremely fond of the way Glory has conducted county business are hoping the court ends her 20 year reign and fresh blood revitalizes her office.

Supporters hope the court rules in her favor and she is given a chance to let the voters decide whether or not they want to keep her.

I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. I still canít understand how anyone serious about a position they have held for so long, that pays quite well and has great benefits would be so lackadaisical when filing for the office. Granted it was in the midst of the Christmas holidays and Glory was reportedly either on vacation or about to go on vacation. But is that an excuse? I donítí think so.

For one thing, over the past 19 years Hopkins has reportedly never before filed by mail (also for the past nearly 15 years no other candidate in Thodeís recollection has used this method) and the late date, time of the year, taking it to a private postal service and other issues compound this incident. There were simply too many opportunities to file prior to this hectic period and, if members of Hopkinsí campaign could hand deliver the envelope to the Sugar Land home of a Republican Party alternate (also listed in the same e-mail that Thode inadvertently listed the Sugar Land zip code on the Houston address), then why in the world didnít she have this done in the first place or at any one of the several in-person meetings with Thode personally or at the GOP Christmas Party where the majority seized the opportunity to file?

We will never know and because hindsight is always easier than foresight. This may be a question Glory asks herself over and over in the future if the courts are not kind to her.

I wish her the best of luck because even if she was derelict in her foresight, it is always sad when people become victims of their own mistakes and, in this case, would be sad to end such a lengthy career in such a manner.

Hmmm.....Listen to meómaybe there is something to that sympathy/publicity hypothesis.


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