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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.


Comments, we get comments

It is fun to hear the comments that our readers come up with in response to news articles and our commentaries.

Last week, a few people spoke out about the kolache thing. Seems, Fort Bend County Sheriffís Major Jimmie Leach made a comment about how a few of the jail trustys could out bake some of the Czech ladies in the west end of Fort Bend County. Now those are apparently fighting words round these parts. So, a few west enders wanted to know why the jail inmates were getting such good cuisine in the first place and how anyone could possibly think a criminal could outdo a law abiding Czech lady in the kitchen.

I really donít know if a jail inmate can whip up a mean kolache and I would not be silly enough to volunteer to judge a bake-off between the factions mentioned.

As for the inmates eating gourmet cuisine, I say put them in pink underwear, let em sleep in a tent and feed them peanut butter sandwiches like that Arizona sheriff has done. That would eliminate the need for seasoned trustys to do the laundry because they could mix the white clothes with the colored clothes; there would be no need for a new jail tower and the only chef they would need back in the jail kitchen would be someone articulate in the making of a sandwich or smart enough to pour a bowl of cereal. Look at the money we could save by shipping out 35 or more state inmates who are now used to keep everything pretty and tasty.

Public speaking at commissionerís court

Just a reminder...when you sign up to speak before Fort Bend County Commissioners, make sure you are going to talk about something relevant to the agenda.

Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert has developed a real short fuse when it comes to people taking up time by venting on issues outside the realm of duty of the court. In fact Fresno resident Rodrigo Carreon appears to use a blow torch to light that fuse and last week I really thought there was going to be a serious explosion when Carreon started talking about 9-1-1 ill health issues or something of that nature. Judge Bob cut him off at the pass and was just one step short of cuffing and stuffing Carreon. Not really, but he was a step shy of having Carreon removed from the premises, and thatís no joke.

The thing that amazed me was the fact that Judge Bob could decipher what was being said enough to determine that it didnít pertain to county business. Now that is an accomplishment, to say the least.

Pat on the back for Patterson

We often have citizens call in with problems that they simply canít get fixed and in frustration they call the media. Some of these issues result in good stories, others are handled quietly and without fanfare. We had a gentleman who was concerned about refuse being dumped in a local bayou. He had called the city and the county and the junk was still there, so he called us.

Well, getting action from the government is sort of like getting a loan at the bank. It just works faster if you start at the top. I called around and found out this little area of property was in Fort Bend County Precinct 4 Commissioner James Pattersonís jurisdiction. So, I called Patterson and told him about the situation. For anyone who routinely criticizes the commissioners for not working or responding to calls, I say phooey. Patterson spent hours driving around to find this junk, then additional time determining it was actually in the jurisdiction of the Fort Bend Drainage District. He then set up a work order to get the stuff hauled off. Throughout it all he maintained contact with this reporter and with the citizen.

Job well done, James, you earned your keep last week. Oh yeah, and the last call I received was nearly 5 p.m. the day before the holidays began. We all joke about how you canít find a government employee after lunch and never the day before a three-day weekend. Well, I am putting salt on my tongue to make eating my words more palatable.

Iím not defending them

Someone asked me why I said good things about the commissioners and the county judge after another public official lambasted them in a letter released to the media. Hey, donít confuse me with someone who thinks public officials are specialóIím not one of those people and I donít brown nose because frankly I donít care what they think of me as long as I know I do my job with honesty and integrity. That is the key here. The five people who make up the commissionerís court are not perfect, in fact there have been times I thought they were out and out stupid, but in this case I thought the accusations were nothing more than sour grapes and not warranted. I believe in telling it like it is and thatís what I did. The commissioners (see above) are accessible; they are helpful and they do work full time. They might not always make the right decisions, they might irritate me on certain issues, but for the most part I think they are trying to do what they were elected to do.

So, if they mess up, you will see it here and if they do good, it is only fair to give them credit where credit is do. Iím still a firm believer in the Golden Rule and that applies to elected officials too.


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:  October 04, 2006