It was a relief to see the government
officials finally turning soil on a water project for Fresno
last week. The quest to bring both water and sewer services
to the area has been a long and difficult task. It will cost
some serious money and take some time but at least the first
step was made.
Now, this won’t be the least bit popular,
but I think County Judge Bob Hebert deserves a very large
pat on the back for his continued efforts in getting this
funding for the project. He has personally gone to
Washington D.C., on more than one occasion to get funding or
attempt to get funding to bring water and sewer services to
this semi-rural area of the county. Just when he thought he
was getting a bill passed that would bring a large sum of
money into the fold, the District 22 fiasco hit the county.
We had no representative in D.C. and Hebert boarded a plane
and went there to talk to the legislators personally. Then
we had a national election and the Democrats gained control,
so to speak. That didn’t deter Hebert, who is now feeling
good about a bill that could still bring the money home and
speed up the whole process for those not so patiently
waiting citizens in Fresno.
So, if no one else does—here is a big pat
on the back to the county judge—he deserves it.
I am so glad the Texas Legislators had
the wherewithal to pass legislation that will allow County
and District Clerks to do business as usual. I certainly
don’t think these public officials should be prosecuted
criminally for releasing documents with sensitive
information on them. But I do agree with those who are
concerned about identity theft and how putting out such
information can be a detriment to innocent citizens and
result in identity theft.
So, what do we do about it? I think the
answer is simple—a file cabinet. If we require that all
banks, loan companies, title companies, real estate
companies etc. keep all sensitive information inside their
offices rather than filing sensitive information in the
county or district clerk’s office, the problem will be
Personal accountability is another way to
reduce the threat. Officials keep saying that the average
person does not know that sensitive information is on a
document that is filed publicly. Well, DUH! We provide this
information to the entity. Have we become so stupid that we
don’t know that a title or any official document is going to
be filed in a courthouse and that the information we provide
to get that loan or to secure a piece of real estate is not
somewhere within those documents? Ask questions—is this
document going to become public information? If so, ask that
all of your personal information such as Social Security or
driver’s license numbers be blacked out BEFORE it is filed.
It is up to each and every one of us to
make sure that the information does not get out to the
public. With today’s technology what it is, that might not
be an easy task but insisting private information is not on
a document filed in a courthouse is something we can all do.
Just think and ask before you sign and before the paperwork