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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 28 years."


 

So much to write, so little space......I am now being punished for taking off a week from this column due to another bout with pneumonia. So many things are happening and I have so little space.

I’m sure you will read all about the Tom DeLay resignation in other media ad infinitum. I was driving between my other job (babysitting grandchildren) and home Monday night about 9 p.m. By the time I got home (seven minutes) I had five calls. Before I got home, I had heard from everyone including ex-husbands, friends from Ballinger High School, and Margot.

By 10 p.m. two candidates had told me they were running and I was already getting conflicting stories about the method for replacing DeLay’s name on the ballot. I’m sure we will hear about the ramifications of that for several weeks.

The DeLay story.....as my two faithful readers know, I’ve been railing against Tom DeLay since 1996 when he pulled a very vindictive stunt in a local sheriff’s election because he had a personal business vendetta against the husband of the sheriff’s campaign manager. He passed the word (through the NRA representative, wouldn’t you know) to the sheriff candidate to either fire his campaign manager or DeLay would actively and monetarily support his opponent. When the sheriff refused, DeLay launched a “push poll” in that race that outright lied about the sheriff candidate.

When I asked him about it, DeLay informed me he was one of the most important Republicans in the U.S. and he had a right to chose who should be sheriff in his home county.

That’s when I decided that I didn’t want Tom DeLay representing me in Washington. And he’s not done one thing to change my mind since then. In fact, it’s been scandal after scandal and ethics violation after ethics violation.

When legal papers start referring to your representative as “Congressman #2” in the on-going lobbying scandal, you know his days are numbered.

I’ve believed for some time now that the Jack Abramoff scandal was really the Tom DeLay scandal. Rather than Abramoff being the leader of that cabal, I’ve come to believe that DeLay was the real brains and power behind that shakedown. How does one parlay a public servant’s salary from a little three-bedroom in Simonton to a mansion on the golf course at Sweetwater?

The Run-Off.......Last week I pleaded for you to vote for Gary Gillen as Fort Bend Republican County Chairman. I want to point out that is even more important who we elect to the county chairmanship as that person may very well have a lot to do with who is selected to take Tom DeLay’s name on the ballot in the general election in November. At press time, the general belief was that all the four county chairs in Congressional District 22 plus one precinct chair in each county (for a total of eight people) would choose who to replace DeLay’s name with on the ballot. This makes the choice for county chair provident.

Other run-off races......The County Attorney run-off race involves former County Judge Roy Cordes and another local attorney, Carolyn McDaniel.

I urge you to vote for Roy Cordes.

I thought he was a good county judge and only lost that race to a one-termer who won because Cordes wouldn’t change parties. At the time Cordes said he wanted to change parties but the county chair didn’t want him too. The county chair said that was not so. Whatever miscommunication resulted, it wasn’t long before we were bemoaning Cordes’ defeat by the man who beat him in a Republican takeover that year.

In the County-Court-At-Law run-off, I urge you to vote for Nina Schaefer. Her opponent is former county attorney Bud Childers who bragged that he farmed out most of the work in his county attorney office when he was there. He can’t do that in the CCL judge’s office unless he tried to give most of his cases to a master. While the county attorney, Childers’ budget increased at a phenomenal rate while he carried on an expensive vendetta against Dianne Wilson. Childrers is eligible for retirement. Let’s help him.

Schaefer, on the other hand, is the only candidate in that race with judicial experience as she has served as municipal judge in Stafford until her resignation to run for this office. She would make an excellent CCL judge and would give the county another female judicial representative in that male-dominated department.

I promised last week.....I’ll be glad when these run-offs are over because I can weigh in on voting for the school board.

But just to let you know that all is still in a mess in FBISD, another administrator has bit the dust. Dr. Susan Wey handed in her intention to retire, last month. Wey had been appointed to take Dr. Holly Dale’s place, who retired shortly after Betty Baitland.

Let’s see. Since the newest board members of Fort Bend ISD took office almost a year ago, the district has had major turnover at the top and more will come with announced retirements. So far the district has lost Superintendent Dr. Betty Baitland; Associate Superintendent of Business and Finance Charles Dupre, who is now deputy superintendent of Pflugerville ISD; Associate Superintendent of Achievement/Development Holly Dale, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Susan Wey.

Also, Dr. Maria Pitre, director, research/staff development; Lynette Breedlove, director, gifted and talented; Laura Lyons, grants coordinator, and Mindy Fletcher, English/language arts coordinator. Not at the top but also leaving is Angela West, secretary, research and staff development.

A reliable source says this is just the beginning. “There are definitely three more central admin people leaving and at least three principals” looking to bail.

And don’t forget about another long-time FBISD team member now gone — Feldman & Rogers, outside legal counsel for the district for 18 years.

What is the problem? Here are some excerpts from Dr. Wey’s retirement letter.

“.....I also believe that some members of the current Board of Trustees have the perception that those of us still serving on the Cabinet are inept at best. Evidence to support that perception in my mind is substantial. It has become increasingly difficult for me to listen to the frequent sarcastic comments and barbs thrown our way during Board meetings and retreats. While I understand that a Board member’s duty is to question or comment on things that they do not understand, that they believe to be in error or believe to be against the philosophy of the district, I do not understand the need for certain members to do so in such a condescending manner. That kind of display signifies a lack of trust in our abilities and I believe is seriously undermining the morale of staff in the district.”

You know, this “new board” got elected on the promise of cutting spending. So far, they have spent money on retiring the superintendent before they had a replacement and having to pay to hire a new one; hiring Lloyd Kelley to “audit” whatever, and when he found nothing to increase their payment to him to continue looking. They have run off good people that they will have to pay more to replace. So far, they have only spent money.

We’ll start looking at their candidates in the coming week. I’ve quit taking my “nice” pills in anticipation of this exercise.

 

Contact bkcstar@earthlink.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