Nothing is harder for most reporters than
having to speak to a family who has just lost a child. It
doesn’t make any difference if the child is five or 25, it
is just not right to have your child go before you and the
feeling of loss must be overwhelming and unexplainable. So,
it made it somewhat easier to know that Steve Waterbury, the
Assistant Chief of the Richmond Police Department, was
actually finding some solace in the interviews with
reporters and the constant flow of people who are trying so
hard to ease the family’s pain. I won’t go into the tragedy,
it is featured elsewhere in this issue as a story—I just had
a few comments on the family and the community that I felt
needed to be said.
From what I understand the officers over
at Richmond PD have done everything from bring complete
meals to showing up to vacuum or unload the dishwasher.
Citizens, neighbors, city officials, co-workers from Barbara
Waterbury’s job in Houston, and total strangers have rallied
in the face of this tragedy.
How wonderful to live in a community that
is still small enough to have a heart.
My prayers go out to the entire family
and I am ever so grateful that I was allowed into a very
private time in their lives. I know it had to be difficult.
That “slush” fund
Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers keeps
referring to County Clerk Dianne Wilson’s Record Management
Preservation Fund as her “slush fund.” Now I don’t know
about you, but slush fund kind of gives me the mental
impression of an unregulated bunch of money that may have
even made it to the bank by less than righteous means.
Dianne says the fund is anything but a
slush fund. The money comes from a special designated fee
tacked on to the filing fee at the county and district court
clerk’s offices. A budget has to be written on this fund and
submitted to the commissioners who then must approve it
before the funds can be used for the requested items or
projects. Remember too, that these funds allow Dianne to
improve her office without expending tax dollars on the
She has, with court approval, been able
to purchase computers, software, imaging systems, and
archive the original court records on file that stem back to
the 1800s. Should she be able to purchase the redaction
software, those funds will also come from the fund. Oh yeah,
and Dianne even pays the county IT department $100,000 a
year to maintain her systems. Now she is the only one in the
county to pay the county that I know of. She says the IT
Director Charles Cook and his staff do a lot of work and are
ever so helpful and she would much rather pay them than to
outsource those funds to an independent company.
A slush fund, I think not. Maybe it is
just a sore spot that these funds can’t be dumped into the
general fund and used solely at the discretion of the
commissioners that has Andy all bent out of shape.