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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."


 

Fool’s paradise.....Here I’ve been going around bragging about the caliber of city, county, school elected officials. I’ve told many groups that recent elected officials have great aptitude and how lucky we are that so many people want to serve.

Well, after attending a Sugar Land City Council meeting last week, I realized that some of our council members are either very dense or don’t do their homework. City Attorney Joe Morris said more than once during the meeting I was attending that it could have only two outcomes, either David Wallace would be allowed to clear his name, or he wouldn’t.

Yet, Daniel Wong declared more than once that there could be a third outcome.

Michael Schiff said he thought no one ever accused Wallace of a conflict of interest and there was no need to proceed. I guess Schiff can’t read anything because one of Jones’ letters clearly did accuse Wallace of that when Jones said, “My own discussions with members of the public at the time convinced me that there was substantial concern about Wallace’s apparent conflict of interest.”

So I guess I will have to make surprise inspections of all the open meetings in Fort Bend County in the next few months to see if their leaders can follow an agenda, if they can listen to their paid, professional staff, and if they can study their informational packet they receive before the meeting.

I didn’t want it to come to this, but it will be necessary before I speak to a group about the talent currently serving on our various elected boards.

Blame Sugar Land.

Driving his geese to a poor market....Some guy from California called me this week to tell me it was his life’s work to close down the various county clerks’ offices all around the country that publish social security numbers.

My response to him was that first, he needed to know that I am a firm believer in a free and open government and as such, I think the power of the internet allows individuals who might otherwise not be able to take the time off to navigate courthouse records to research material they might need.

Second, he needed to take it up with the Texas legislature who legislated that social security numbers were not sacrosanct.

Third, he needed to take it up with judges, lawyers, and title companies who put social security numbers on documents that are filed at the courthouse and eventually get on the internet.

Fourth, he needed to talk to Fort Bend County Clerk Dianne Wilson about the half million dollars of software in her budget and the extraordinary lengths her staff is already making in redacting ssn.

In the course of all this, I found that if you find your ssn on some document in Fort Bend County, you can email the county clerk to have it removed and in moments it will be taken care of. Of course, you have to give them the document where this occurs.

And fifth, this whole brouhaha was started by a private eye in Midland/Odessa who was mad because his livelihood had been threatened by internet users being able to do what he charged for. He called around until he found a newspaper mad at the current county clerk, and they stirred up a hornet’s nest that went all the way to the attorney general. What I then wanted to know is how this financially impacted him.

Blame the Herald Coaster.

B.K. Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend/Southwest Star. She can be reached at bkcstar@earthlink.net.

 

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:  August 29, 2007