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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."


 

No, not me......When Mr. Stan Begam suggested last week that I enroll in the Sugar Land Citizens Police Academy in order to learn more about policing, I let the suggestion pass without any comment.

Later, I was chided by some of my co-horts about why I didnít respond. So I thought a lot about it and this is my thoughts.

Me attending the Sugar Land Citizenís Police Academy is tantamount to the national media being embedded with the troops in the war in Iraq. And we see where that got us. It got us not enough serious questioning from the media about the war. It got us a very distorted view about what was going on. It got the story from one side with little objective reporting. The national media was spoon fed by the military and for the most part, their stories reflect this.

Now it seems to me, the national media is mad because they feel they have been duped and thus they are covering the war differently. While not anti-military (we would never stand for that), their stories are such that we seem not to be doing any good in that part of the world. In other words, I think the press is over-reacting to the criticism that they were too soft on the war when they were embedded.

So, no thanks. One of my most critical acquaintances went through the Sugar Land Citizenís Police Academy. Now she is a pussy cat when it comes to anything having to do with not only the police department, but the entire city of Sugar Land. Why should I pay to be brainwashed?

I have nothing against the Sugar Land Police Department. Iíve forgiven them for 25 years ago threatening to beat up one of my reporters when he asked to see offense reports (public record). That chief is long-retired.

Iíve forgiven them about their police chief suing me for libel about my reporting about the TASK Force (I won).

Iíve forgiven them about their police chief who had a wreck while smelling of alcohol and the city trying to stonewall the incident (Heís gone).

And Iím sure I will eventually forgive them for killing a homeownerís dog while making a narcotics bust which yielded about two grams (30 grams equal one ounce) of marijuana,

But, I donít think that any of this means that I should enroll in the Citizenís Police Academy. I think the Citizenís Police Academy is a nice public relations tool for the police department and something citizenís with the time should do. Every city needs volunteers and proponents.

But I think I should continue to question and discuss in this column occasionally things that go on in Fort Bend County and Sugar Land that just donít ďsmellĒ right.

Not unlike..........The fact that Assistant District Attorneys can continue to have a private law practice while working for the county. If they donít make enough money to support themselves on their assistant DA salaries, maybe our county commissioners can give up some of that $17,000 raise they got this year to supplement the ADA salaries.

According to County Judge Bob Hebert, this is the last raise the County Judge and Commissioners will get in a long time because in the future they will get raises only when the District Judges get raises.

Now where have I heard this before. Oh yes, it was when their car allowances were rolled into their salaries one year which accounted for a $6,000 raise that year, on top of the standard percentages that most other county employees get every year.

Of course, it wasnít very long before they started turning in mileage for every little trip, including discussing upcoming political fundraisers and attending the county fair.

By the way, there is no state law tieing county commissionersí salaries to district judges.

I guess we just have to ask ourselves, ďIs this commissioner worth $100 thou?Ē

I havenít quite figured out what they do exactly. Several years ago, they gave up their precinct road and bridge daily work and appointed a director to handle all that. Then they hired a budget director to do the budget for them so they got rid of that. Except for awarding bids to big-money non-bid vendors, many of whom make substantial contributions to the commissioners campaigns, I donít know exactly what they do. Maybe I should embed myself in a commissionerís office for a month and find out. Any takers? Do any of the commissioners want me to follow them around all month? Serious replies only will be considered.

 

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:  November 01, 2006