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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 29 years."


 

Wallace gone, but not forgotten.....Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace’s decision not to run for Tom DeLay’s vacated seat in 2008 probably means that Democrat Nick Lampson has a better than even chance of retaining his seat.

Wallace was, in my opinion, the only Republican that could beat Lampson. I know that are several that disagree with me about this, but I want to emphasize that is SEVERAL, not many. It’s that same several that are still followers of former (sure feels good to say that) mayor Dean Hrbacek who has not gotten over being beaten by Wallace. The several that feel that way are vendors who had already cozied up to Hrbacek and saw their plans dashed when Wallace won; the Republican precinct chairs that Hrbacek has co-opted that are still mad at Eric Thode for not letting them run the party; and, well, I just can’t think of anyone else.

But not to worry. Nick Lampson is a gentleman who has represented our district well. He’s not interested in building a power base a la DeLay. He’s not interested in pushing a narrow agenda. He’s just interested in doing a good job for the people in his district whether they be Republicans or Democrats.

Lampson recently told me his greatest moment in the last session was his grandchildren getting to see him sworn in. If you spend any time with him, you come away thinking what a nice person he is. For his sake, I’m glad Wallace took himself out of the picture.

But don’t count Wallace out. He has a new company that needs to be nurtured, which he can’t do in Washington, D.C. He’ll make some money and be back at a future time.

New mayoral rumors.....Former Sugar Land councilman Jimmy Thompson is rumored to be mulling over running for mayor, as are about six other current councilmembers---Tom Abraham, Russell Jones, Daniel Wong. Okay, three other council persons. Thompson is one of those guys that everybody likes and I think he could win easily, thereby dashing the hopes of several wannabes. Sorry, fellows. Thompson would be a good compromise candidate that would avert the bloodbath that is sure to take place if the current council members continue to chomp at the bit for more power.

And speaking of chomping.....The Republican precinct chairs had two meetings last week--one of all the chairs and another of the 22-member finance committee.

The 35 malcontents continued their pillorying of chairman Gary Gillen. It has gotten so bad that many of the moderate Republicans have refused to come to the meetings, thereby leaving Gary to face an even more hostile audience every meeting. I didn’t go myself this time.

It’s excruciating to watch. Gillen needs to hire those last two Craddick parliamentarians, and just refuse to recognize anyone from the floor.

What’s interesting is that they hate him, they hated Eric Thode before him, and yet a majority of the Republicans in Fort Bend County elected both men to lead them. These same Republicans who consider the democratic vote a sacred rite are ignoring the wishes of a majority of their people and continuing to disrupt the local party.

And speaking of dirty politics....Sheriff Milton “Howdy Doody” Wright must be very afraid of his primary opponent Billy Frank Teague. I can’t believe the nasty stuff Sheriff “Howdy” is already letting fall off his tongue about Teague, and it isn’t even near election time yet.

All the personal stories have to do with Teague’s wife (a 25-year employee of the sheriff’s department under five different sheriffs), his children, and his personal life--nothing about his policing abilities.

All I know about his professional life is that Billy Frank Teague had a reputation as a DPS trooper who would write anyone a ticket, including his own mother.

I met him many years ago when he was trying to get the public to recognize the dangers of racing trains at railroad crossings. He took a bunch of us “journalists” on a train trip from Rosenberg to Stafford. Knowing his reputation, I met him with trepidation because I was afraid he could read my law-breaking mind. But I liked his earnestness about his train education effort. Since that time, I’ve heard nothing to change my mind about his character.

And even more dirty politics....The Missouri City election run-off is this weekend between District B incumbent Don Smith and Cynthia Lenton-Gary. Smith beat Lenton-Gary by 15 votes in the May election, but because there was a third contender, Smith did not receive a majority.

In other published reports, long-time Councilman Jerry Wyatt is questioning Lenton-Gary’s clams of residency in District B. The Star first looked at Lenton-Gary’s residency before the May election. It was questionable then.

Lenton-Gary claims she has sold her interest to her husband in a home on Royal Plantation Lane in District C for which she and her husband have received a homestead exemption. She claims her son lives there. A notarized document selling off her portion of the house, dated in May of 2006, was filed in the County Clerk’s office in May, 2007.

She says she lives on Mossridge in District B in a house owned by her father, according to county records. She says she and her husband rent it from her father who claims a homestead exemption on that property. However, Wyatt points out that the property is not carried as a rental unit on any city or county records.

Most government entities have found residency requirements problematic and difficult to prove, especially against a committed candidate.

However, it does bring up an ethical question. If a candidate is willing to lie about his residency, what else is he willing to lie about? And what impact does this have on the legality of any future votes if it is found that the residency is ineligible? What would this do to future bond actions and city elections?

No matter what is found now about Lenton-Gary’s residency, if it is eventually proven as wrong, the ramifications for the city are dire. If Ms. Lenton-Gary is not a resident of District B as she claims, but is truly committed to the city, she needs to come clean and spare the city any future ramifications.

One last thing....I’m not through writing, but I’m sure you are through reading; however, I must add this. As you might know, Dianne Wilson was right. She called me last week to report the voting system my two co-horts liked and that she did not choose because of their shaky financial rating, have declared bankruptcy. I pointed out to Wilson that I encouraged my readers to explore the question of electronic voting on the internet because there is a lot of concern about it.

And I admitted that I guess we got the best system in Hart InterCivic’s eSlate system. She just beat me down and made me admit it!

 

Contact bkcstar@earthlink.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:  July 04, 2007