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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 30 years."


 

Like a stick in your eye....I had to have my driver’s license renewed this week. It was an ordeal. I went to two different locations; both had lines out to the door. Maybe it had something to do with Monday.

When I went back to the Rosenberg location later in the afternoon, thinking maybe the lines would be less long, they were. But I still had to stand in line over an hour.

It was while standing in line there that I decided that I really wanted to live my life without initials. That would probably make me an outlaw, but living without initials would considerably simplify my life. No DPS, no IRS, no SSN, no TxDOT, no FBISD, no PTA. You get the picture.

At the Rosenberg DPS, there were a couple of families who brought their entire family as if it was their form of entertainment. Their children were worst than my grandkids! They totally ignored their actions. One child ran from wall the wall, snorting the whole time, hitting one wall and running wildly to the one on the other side of the room.

You would think that I could smile knowingly and dismiss it as youthful exuberance, but after the 50th trip, I thought I was going to scream.

When it came the turn of the parents of this child, they had to go over on the side and fill out some more papers, thereby assuring that we would be treated to another thirty minutes of this wild child. I was ready to cut my own throat.

The DPS clerks were nice and accommodating. I’m not sure how they can stand it.

I had a $100 bill tucked into the lining of my wallet. If I had thought of it at first, I would have pulled it out, and offered it to the person at the front of the line to let me take their place. Believe me, it would have been worth the price.

No assault charges.....I had to laugh this week about the buzz in the blogosphere complaining about Fort Bend Commissioners Court having a “meeting before the meeting” in the form of a Thursday afternoon “agenda briefing.”

The “agenda briefing” is an open, posted meeting attended by the staff of the various commissioners and even some department heads. So by the next Tuesday morning, the commissioners have had time to speak to each other individually, and they pretty well know how they are all going to vote. I personally believe they pull items they think may cause dissension.

For example, two weeks ago, one commissioner and a couple of county officials were trapped in an elevator immediately before the Tuesday afternoon commissioners court meeting. I heard about it and remarked to someone who had attended the meeting, “I heard there was some excitement at commissioners court today (thinking about the elevator situation).”

The reply: “Yeah, there sure was. They had a split vote!”

When I covered commissioners court eons ago before the “agenda briefings,” I tried to keep them honest. I remember one particular day when during a break in commissioners court, they all bunched up in the men’s bathroom. I banged on the door and yelled, “I know you are in there and it’s a violation of the Open Meetings Act.” I may have even threatened to come in, but I certainly did not go in as has been told before.

I also would complain if they didn’t have their microphones on and would shout out, “I can’t hear you!”

But I got tired of the commissioners court beat. It’s difficult to see stupidity played out on a weekly basis. I turned my back and they started their “agenda briefings” to circumvent scrutiny of their actions about who wanted what. So now we have a group of four men and one county judge who can spend millions of dollars on a consent agenda. (A consent agenda is a list of items that are not voted for individually, but all at once.)

These are the same men who want to keep their actions so secret that they designate the least read local newspaper to be their “official newspaper”, rather than publish their actions in several county newspapers. Oh, the cost, the cost. Yeah, but these same men can spend MILLIONS on non-bid items.

Oh, now I remember. I quit covering it because of my blood pressure problems. Plus I was afraid that I might just slap Commissioner Andy Meyers, who, in my opinion, is the poster child for “penny wise and pound foolish.”

Another thing I’ll never understand....I’m writing this on 9-11. It is a mystery to me how we can’t find Osama bin Laden, a very tall Arab, carrying a dialysis machine on the back of a donkey, and on top of everything, have time and a place to dye his beard before making a video. Are we even looking for him anymore?

 

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:  October 17, 2007