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
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
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
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.