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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.


Elledge story must be heard

A local newspaper is the voice of the community and every week we work diligently to provide coverage of local events and news. This week I wrestled with the importance of the events in order to allocate more than usual space for a very important story—at least in my opinion. So, news on the mobility issue will be shorter than usual, coverage of the jail objections will be short and sweet—you get the picture. I cut and cut knowing that all of those issues will continue day after day. Ben Elledge, the father of slain Clements High School student Brandon Elledge, is making his yearly plea to the parole board in hopes of keeping his son’s killer safely behind bars. This shouldn’t have to happen, but the system is such that it does.

“I am looking for a way to touch the hearts of the folks who have over the years said they would like to help. I think this is the time for them to act. I am hoping you can show me how to get them to sit down and write and objection letter or send a fax or send an e-mail,” Elledge said after allowing me to see and print a very private letter to his son last week.

“Sad to say, but this seems to just be a numbers game. Enough objections come into the place and these are politically appointed positions!”

Yes, it is sad. Anyone interested in justice should read the story of a father’s plea in this issue of the Star. He said it all. And please take a moment out of your busy schedule to write, call, fax or e-mail the state officials entrusted with keeping the citizens of Texas safe.

Quotable quotes

Precinct 1 Commissioner Tom Stavinoha is fading a lot of heat from citizens these days. First of all, the taxpayers who reside behind the Fort Bend County jail are none too happy with him or the rest of the commissioners. Then those citizens protesting the proposed expansion of the landfill in the Fresno area are speaking rather harshly about their representative in the county government. And, to make matters worse, now with the mobility issues on the front burner, old Tom is in yet another hot seat—seems the people in Arcola have him on the official “poo-poo” list. OK—that is a childish way to explain where he is, but this is a family newspaper—so give me a break. Shoot, not only is he on that list, there have been some comments about how he is padding his pockets just a tad.

So, what does Tom have to say about this? He says he knows what kind of list he is on and “I just went out and bought waders—the knee high kind.”

And, when asked if he is on “the take” since he introduced and is supporting the South Post Oak Road improvements and many Arcola citizens are alluding to the Houston Southwest Airport owner padding the pockets of local officials, Tom says “No, I got that big raise this year, I don’t need the extra money.”

County Judge Bob Hebert’s quote “if I’m a crook, I’m an honest crook” was his response last week to paying a salary to his wife for bookkeeping services from campaign funds. After all, had he not reported the expenditure on his report form to the state, a local website commentator wouldn’t have exposed that the expenditure is illegal and he wouldn’t have had a call from B.K. (aka Carter) and he wouldn’t have, in turn, called the state and he wouldn’t have determined that it is illegal and he wouldn’t have returned the funds to his campaign fund. See how he came up with that statement?

I love my job, never dull, often aggravating (dealing with those folks we elect to represent us) but always amusing.


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:  March 07, 2007