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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.


Bringing in 07 with a bang!

When I wrote this column on Sunday, I said “there are going to be more legal eagles with job guarantees considering that newly elected District Clerk Annie Elliott is now going to have to fill out all kinds of paperwork to prove that she didn’t violate election laws; Fort Bend GOP Chairman Gary Gillen is being sued and is responding in kind; the residents out around Fresno way are talking about getting some litigation going to halt progress (?) at the large Fort Bend county-based trash dump; The Texas Ethics Committee has also sent a “prove it” letter to not so successful County Court at Law # 2 Judge hopeful (Republican) Rick Forlano; and the guy from Sugar Land who is making all of these ethics complaints has challenged District Attorney John Healey to investigate and possibly prosecute local government officials when the need is there.”

Well, how fast things change. Now I’m not saying there won’t be plenty of legal work to go around, but some of it will be reduced thanks to a positive hearing in the courtroom of State District Judge Thomas Culver III on Monday. You will have to read elsewhere in the paper for all the good stuff that came out of that court hearing.

It still looks like a very interesting year and you can bet there will be still be plenty of fodder for the local coffee shops; lots of interesting headlines and more than a few controversies in the forthcoming year. In other words, 2007 will provide plenty of those moments and I’m sure that the legal folks won’t be scurrying for business—it will come to them.

On a bright side

But on the bright side, speaking of upstanding taxpayers and concerned citizens are the ladies who decided that the kids at Williams Elementary in Richmond really needed a morale boost and spent the holidays brightening up the campus with landscaping, art, murals etc. I’m not going to say a lot here because these dedicated volunteers really did a bang up job and deserve a feature story, but they are what this community is made of in the core that is not always under public scrutiny like a public official is or should be.

And, the residents who live behind the jail are promising to keep on top of the issues they have brought forth on safety, security and serenity they feel is threatened by the expansion plans for the jail. Now (so far) you don’t hear any of these people hollering about lawsuits.

They have been very calm and articulate, as a matter of fact. They understand that even inmates need to let off steam by banging a basketball and yelling some curse words.

They support the local police and sheriff’s deputies. They worry about firefighters and the dangers they may be facing if the county gets too big for their proverbial britches.

Heck, they don’t even seriously dislike any of the politicians who hold these individuals future in their hands. In other words, they are also typical of the so-called silent majority. Although I admit they are getting somewhat beyond a whisper as time goes on, they are still trying to make the system work by working in the system.

It’s good to know all of these people call Fort Bend County home.


Looks like the Fort Bend County Commissioners and the County Judge have their wee little knives out. The anticipated $300 million bond referendum that is sure to come in May is shrinking and that is a good thing. Of course, we can expect the wish list to vary between now and then but it looks like it may be smaller than previously thought. This bond referendum will be for mobility and anyone who travels the major roadways here in the county knows improvements are needed.

So, it is not a surprise that more roads, bigger roads and safer roads are on the minds of public officials. The cost is not cheap and we will be asked to foot the bill for progress and for growth.

At least it appears officials are making an effort to keep the wish list down and the “need list” the priority.


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:  February 08, 2007