What about the ‘white house’?
When Fort Bend County and the city of
Richmond finally ironed out the deal to allow a height
variance and go forth with the planned construction of the
new jail tower, it didn’t immediately dawn on me that the
old Gus George Law Enforcement Academy building was now
going to stay put.
You have to remember that the county
leased a home on Ransom Road for the academy in anticipation
of the facility being torn down. The county is paying $4,700
a month plus utilities that include water for filling
livestock troughs on location. The cows drinking the water
don’t belong to the county either.
Anyhow, I started calling around to find
out why the “Academy” is spread around the county in light
of the fact that the building is not slated for demolition
(I did manage to verify this when I was working on the
agreement story.) I called Don Brady, the county’s director
of facilities, and he was out of town until Thursday—no
answer from him. Then I called Fort Bend County Judge Bob
Hebert, who had been in the office but was now out of the
office due to ongoing construction in his office on
Monday—no answer from him. Then I called Sheriff Milton
Wright—it is Monday and I had little hope because that is a
golf day—I was right, Wright was out of the office
today—needless to say no answer from him.
So, I called the Gus George Law
Enforcement Academy number and I was transferred to the
Wharton County Junior College campus and the operator then
transferred me to the academy classrooms (needless to say I
now know the classes have been moved to the campus) and the
person who answered there said Captain Mike Patton, academy
director, was located at that facility, he was “at the white
house.” Well, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure
out that Patton was at the leased Lamar-Calder House. So,
being the dutiful and determined person that I am, I called
there. Only to find out that Patton was not in the office.
I quickly checked the calendar to verify
that Monday was not a federal, state or local holiday—it
wasn’t. Sunday was Earth Day and Wednesday is Administrative
Professionals Day but unless these folks are taking a
two-day holiday to plant a tree, I would assume they are all
at various important meetings or conferences. Well, except
Sheriff Wright who is probably going for a hole-in-one.
I then decided that the story I might get
out of this quest for information was probably not going to
be forthcoming. Therefore, I am asking in this column—“What
in the heck is that darn academy building going to be used
for if it isn’t demolished?”
An answer to that question will be
greatly appreciated. Since office space is apparently at a
premium (or we wouldn’t be paying nearly $5,000 a month to
house five or so people) it will be interesting to see if
this building will be torn down to make space for a new
facility or what the future will hold.
Anyone with the answer to this question
is urged to call me. I’d really like to know.
A great cause
Barbara Waterbury, the mother of the
young soldier killed in Iraq last month, has channeled some
of her grief into a monumental project and a very worthwhile
project. She wants to see every community honor these fallen
heroes by naming a street in their honor—so no one will ever
forget the soldier or the sacrifice he made for our
country’s freedom. I hope, with all my heart, she is
successful and the idea spreads nationwide.
We name streets after politicians; after
stars and for no one ... some are absolutely nonsensical.
Steve Waterbury, John Waterbury’s father,
says his wife found out that developers, not cities, choose
the name for streets in the new subdivisions.
There are plenty of new subdivisions
going up in both west and east Fort Bend County—if any of
the developers reading this column, want to participate in
this patriotic effort, please read the story elsewhere in
this issue of the newspaper.
For Barbara and Steve, it isn’t necessary
to have a street sign bearing their son’s name to remember
him—they are reminded every day of the loss their family has
endured. His name will be written in their memory forever.
They want to see his name and the names of “all these kids
who lost their lives” remembered by the community for
generations to come.
It is the very least we can do.