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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.

Rosenberg Police Chief says identification has nothing to do with legality of aliens

Rosenberg Police Chief Robert Gracia says he has been getting some calls from concerned citizens since the city agreed to accept the Matriculas Identification card for Mexican Nationals driving through or living in the city.

Some people think by voting to accept the card as a valid form of ID, the city is condoning or perhaps encouraging the proliferation of illegal aliens in the community. Gracia says that is not the case. Accepting the identification is “nothing more than recognizing a valid form of identification just like a Texas driver’s license is recognized by Mexico. It has nothing to do with their legal status,” Gracia said.

In actuality, accepting the card will probably help police. In a recent meeting, the Consulate of Mexico office in Houston, said the idea of accepting the card was proposed by Mexican Consul General Carlos Gonzales. Gonzales explained that anyone applying for the card has to present a birth certificate and another form of identification and a background check is performed as well. This will help officers investigating a person for a crime or helping to locate relatives if a person carrying one of these cards is involved in an accident or is the victim of a serious crime.

So, now I have explained what Chief Gracia feels the public needs to know. I hope this helps.

American Idol tryouts?

I thought the nationally syndicated American Idol competition was being held at the Fort Bend County courthouse last week. Having just returned from the Extreme Home Makeover shoot in East Bernard, I heard there was a lot of singing going on at the Travis Building in Richmond.

When this whole fiasco with district clerk Glory Hopkins started, I got a few calls about the situation from some of the county officials, who will go unnamed for obvious reasons. One of those contacts said a certain element among the courthouse bunch was singing because Hopkins’ name wasn’t going to be on the ballot. Being the realist that I am, I jokingly said that it wasn’t over until “the fat lady sings” knowing full well a legal battle would be forthcoming. Well, it was and Hopkins played out her cards in the court system.

When the first denial of Hopkins’ writ of mandamus was publicized, the courthouse was silent. When the second denial was publicized, the same people said they were now “humming softly.” Well, last week when the Texas Supreme Court declined to hear the case, in essence denying Hopkins’ final appeal, there was noise, lots of noise coming from the courthouse. I asked if the American Idol tryouts were being held there and one of my many “sources” said “No, we are singing. We are singing off key joyfully and loudly.”

I’ve always said politics, politicians and the political “beat” were entertaining. I guess this proves it.

A pat on the back for Andy Meyers

I have to hand it to Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers. He did what was unpopular but obviously has some merit. Now I’m not saying Andy will make a lot of friends over his latest research, but he did take the time and effort to look into the Public Disclosure law and now it appears not only will the county judge, four commissioners and the county purchasing agent be required to fill out paperwork disclosing any financial ties to county vendors, but so will the rest of the elected officials in the county.

That is, if the powers that be in the courthouse determine that the law was meant for everyone, no matter how convoluted, complicated and nonsensical it is.

Andy says he does not agree with the way the law was written and the requirements associated with it, especially pertaining to the vendors having to report any relative of an elected official in their employ, but he still believes that everyone should follow the law. I applaud him for researching the law and bringing it back to court even though I am sure he anticipated a flogging by other elected officials. He is really ruining that warm and fuzzy image he has worked so hard to create!


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