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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


The Elevator

The talk of the courthouse and beyond last week was the malfunctioning elevator that trapped five people, all with vastly different personalities, inside for over an hour.

Among those there were Fresno resident Rodrigo Carreon, known for his outspoken criticism of all things pertaining to taxes and government; Judge Harold Kennedy; County Attorney Roy Cordes; Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers and a county employee who is seven months pregnant.

So, what does a group of people do while workers are outside the frozen elevator shaft trying to get air and water inside and pry open doors? They talk—a lot.

Judge Kennedy entertained (?) his very captive audience by sharing horror stories of previous elevator incidents, far more serious than the one in which the group was involved, according to those inside. He apparently delighted in the Boy Scout campfire style horror stories that focused on folks caught in elevators without food, water, or air for days on end. Finally, Cordes decided perhaps the group would be best served by silencing his enthusiastic cohort, so he said in nice words to shut up—which Kennedy did.

Then there was Rodrigo. Already totally miffed because his planned three-minute speech to commissioners was on hold, noted that he felt that once out of that dastardly elevator he should be allowed to address EACH of the agenda topics for three separate minutes rather than being restricted to three minutes total. He was none too happy when Meyers told him his chance for speaking at all had been totally eliminated by the unforeseen elevator incident.

So, Rodrigo in his normal style discussed all of the maladies the government has. Apparently his topic wore thin and Kennedy decided enough was enough and began cutting him off at the pass frequently. I think he was just getting even for being thwarted in his horror story escapade.

Everyone in the county that was aware of the incident was laughing even though it was no laughing matter. And, apparently a good percentage of those following the emergency had different thoughts as to who was going to kill who inside that elevator.

Well, they all came out alive---sweaty, thirsty, dashing to the restroom, but very much alive. No one killed anyone.

Rodrigo says the whole incident was contrived, in some way, to keep him from exercising his right to free speech. He believes it was a conspiracy by court members against him.

County Judge Bob Hebert countered that hypotheses, saying he was unaware Rodrigo was even in the elevator until the motley crew came out. “Actually, it was a conspiracy to keep Commissioner Meyers out of the courtroom and Rodrigo just happened to be in there,” Hebert quipped. He also noted that it was the first time since he had been elected to office that he witnessed Meyers getting a standing ovation. Sometimes politicians can be a little bitchy!!

Rodrigo was not at a loss for words. He said the whole incident was “Another way of limiting protester time, stuck inside a damaged elevator, which affected my freedom of speech for today’s budget hearing at commissioner’s court. Was it a planned way to control my three minutes or more to protest during the hearing, as I was left trapped inside damaged elevator with Pct.3 commissioner and four others. My plan was to protest on the FBCAD broken system with unlawful valuation taken place, that out of commissioners control. Same as this non-functional elevator.”

Now, as usual, I’m not sure exactly what Rodrigo said, but it is still obvious he thinks the whole thing was a conspiracy; the system is broken and the darn elevators, which we have all known forever were a problem, should have been fixed in the first place. And, on that last count, as usual, he’s probably right


Contact skinnerc1@tconline.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:  September 27, 2007