Sometimes things are said at meetings by
officials that only seasoned citizens or reporters would
understand. Such was the case last week when a routine
agenda item on changing the “extended hours in the
unincorporated area of Fort Bend County under Alcohol
Beverage Code Sections 105.03 and 105.05.
That would have been a rather mundane
item without a comment from the longest serving county
commissioner, Grady Prestage. County Judge Bob Hebert said
the item pertained to 1969—when those commissioners extended
the hours of retail establishments and it was simply an
update of the policy to comply with newer ABC codes.
With a sly grin, Prestage said “Yeah,
that was the year Josh Gates was county judge and Johnny
Pustka was commissioner and Louis Teykl was.....(county
Now the comment resulted in laughter from
fellow court members and some members of the audience. They
were apparently presuming Grady was slyly making reference
to some of the old court members who later sort of
established a reputation---well--for imbibing a little bit.
Apparently not wanting to take that
comment any further, Hebert interjected: “1969 was a very
good year. Any further discussion.”
There wasn’t and if you don’t know what
we are all talking about here, I can assure you—1969 and
quite a few years afterwards were very good years in Fort
Bend County’s colorful history of government.
After the meeting, Grady said that he was
actually only reading the original “historical” document
containing the names of court members who signed the
extended hours order. And, he even provided the document so
I could see it. Regardless of his motivation, it did provide
a light-hearted glimpse into the past!
Playing to the media
No one plays to the media as much as
Precinct 4 Commissioner James Patterson. Hardly a week goes
by without him broaching a topic on the court agenda for
clarification “because of the media out there.” While his
interest in getting the topic perfectly clear to those of us
in the audience or who watch the court on the internet is
commendable, it is sometimes downright aggravating. A topic
that might have taken five minutes, max, can turn into a
long drawn out affair.
Last week, me thinks County Judge Bob
Hebert might have been playing a little too when he got all
worked up over the presentation by Don Brady on the proposed
county jail. Hebert quickly and clarified several monetary
issues he felt would be misconstrued by the public and the
media and made it quite clear that in the future he wanted
those figures defined in a way that could be easily
Poor Don—he caught it. But later, Hebert
commended him for his efforts to keep costs down and
somewhat soothed his must be burning skin!
Ocean front property
I’ve got the equivalent of ocean front
property in Arizona for sale. Well, not really but after
reading last week that a photo with President George Bush
was commandeering a hefty $5000 donation (down to less than
half of what it costs a year ago and nearly a third less
than when Bush was popular, the story said) I figured I
could go on e-bay and sell the photo of the Prez and yours
I didn’t pay a dime for the thing but if
I could get something out of it, I’d sell it in a heartbeat.
I can’t believe there are really people who pay for a photo
op with someone who works for them. Geez, we need to get
this in perspective people. Our elected officials—be they
city, county, state or federal—are not anointed, they are
just regular folks who we hired to do a job.
With that said, please send all bids to
me for my pre-e-bay sale!
The Milton Hilton
A lot of folks are still fuming that any
jail addition is being built to accommodate inmates here in
Fort Bend County. Some think that with different management
this could have been put off for years. On one local blog,
the writer said Sheriff Milton Wright having an entire floor
set aside for federal immigration detainees and was
something that should be stopped. Well it was--four years
ago. There are no federal detainees in the jail—at least not
a whole floor of them anymore. They do, according to Wright,
take in detainees a couple at a time on an emergency basis,
but overcrowding stopped the practice of housing the federal
inmates a long time ago.
Now, some of the community may feel that
keeping state inmates (those already sentenced to real
prison) as a “stay forever” trusty is not quite acceptable.
If you remember we asked jail officials about this and those
trusty type state crooks can cook better kolaches than Aunt
Mabel and they can make a floor so shiny that even Mr. Clean
They don’t call it the Milton Hilton without reason, you