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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 New Year

The New Year promises to be interesting, to say the least. Not all of the public issues were resolved in 2007 and will be carried over into 2008, not to mention there will be the primary and general electionóboth of which promise to bring heated and controversial debate on several levels.

Will Allied Waste be able to get the permit to build the 170-foot tower of trash? A lot of people hope not.

Will TxDOT firm up their reported plans to make Grand Parkway into a toll road and take down businesses and mess up the peace and quiet that many moved along that particular rural route to have? Even more people hope not.

Will the Democrats really replace Republicans in Fort Bend County due to all the nonsensical things that Republicans in Washington D.C. have made a daily news event? A lot of Democrats say yes. Republicans say no and we all will have to wait for the votes to be cast to determine who wins that debate.

Will Precinct 1 Commissioner Tom Stavinoha get to actually unpack his briefcase at the new precinct facility, due to be completed in June? It seems like Tom is a target and a lot of potential candidates are looking to unseat the incumbent in that particular precinct. Tom, of course, is hoping he does get another four-year term.

Speaking of TxDOT

TxDOT officials claim they just donít have the funding to keep Fort Bend County roads fixed and free. In fact, officials at the state agency have lamented over their inability to fund future road projects anywhere in Texas for that same reason. OKóI admit I know zilch, nada, zero about building a road but Iíve been watching a four-mile stretch of TxDOT roadway near our home and I have some suggestions.

For four entire months the independent contractors, hired by the state, have leveled and put gravel on the highway. Now you would think that was the first step in covering the road, which by the way is (or was) in perfectly good shape, and laying another topping of asphalt or whatever, right? Wrong. They put the gravel on, spray some water on it and turn it into something akin to a cross between cement and mud, coat all the cars that travel on it, detour the traffic, stop motorists for what seems like hours, use a little ďguide truckĒ to follow down a one-lane road, and thenóguess whatóthey repeat the process. In fact, so far in the four-months they have been working on this four-mile stretch of road that is all they have doneóover and over and over. I have been told they donít plan to widen the road and that ultimately a lot more miles of roadway will undergo the same improvements, if you can call it that.

My question is, why in the heck would you improve a road that looks good, is smooth, has no potholes and obviously didnít need any form of improvement? And, if you just want to spend money, why do the same thing over and over? How many tons of gravel do you put on the road, wet down, scoop off and put more on before it is considered ready to hardtop?

If this is an example of how tax dollars at work, I want a refund. It would help pay for the cracked windshield and the replacement of two tires! Small wonder the agency is suffering a financial deficit.

Thatís just an example of what I see may be a problem. Of course, like I said, I really donít go out and build roads for a living. But, if I did, I think I would choose a road that has potholes or dangerous curves.

If it ainít brokeódonít fix it and donít expect us to pay for it!


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:  January 28, 2008