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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.


County raises eyebrows

Last week commissioners agreed to give a sheriff’s employee a full 23% increase in pay for a promotion from Lieutenant to Captain.

Sonny Colunga must really be a special employee to have Sheriff Milton Wright show up at the court session and fight for such an increase.

Wright seldom comes to court to make a request. He either sends a representative or just counts on pre-court sessions with this or that commissioner to get his point across to the court when questions are raised.

A few times agenda items have been put on hold until someone could get a response from Wright.

Colunga runs the Internal Affairs Division of the Sheriff’s Office.

Now anyone who watches TV knows that serving in IAD is a good way to get ostracized in the eyes of the street officers. Maybe because he is in that somewhat controversial position, the powers that be think he needs a lot of support for pay.

Or maybe he does a really great job of finding things on employees who don’t live up to snuff in the eyes of those same powers.

Whatever the reason, the sheriff won the battle—you can take that to the bank—Colunga sure will.

And, speaking of raises, commissioners held a special meeting last week to discuss the budget and possible raises for employees and elected officials.

Now if you remember, the county judge and commissioners got a hefty boost in pay that was tied to the state district judges salary schedule in 2006.

At that time, they all agreed that the boost was appropriate to bring their salaries up to a competitive level but that they would forego any future salary increases until the judges were granted increases by the state of Texas.

And, they did this knowing that the state often waits years to increase pay for judges. At last report they all still agreed—well, almost all of them.

Except for one—Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers.

Rumors are circulating that Myers was arguing for a pay increase.

He says he was not seeking a pay increase and there is a perfectly good reason for arguing with court members last week.

Meyers said his contention is that the court agreed in 2006 to tie elected officials salaries to the state district judges and the new budget will give the state district judges (and the county court at law judges) a salary increase of $3,600.

“What I really said was if they get the increase, all elected officials should get the increase and if the court wasn’t going to give all the elected officials an increase then the judges shouldn’t get one either. That is what we agreed on and I think we should stick to it,” Meyers said this week.

It didn’t really matter what Andy thought in this incident, the court voted in favor of giving the judges a raise and not the other elected officials. Andy voted with them after having his say.

Some of his cohorts feel Andy wanted a raise and are saying so.

He says there is no truth to the rumors. If he really wants a substantial raise, perhaps he could look into going to work for Sheriff Milton Wright!


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:  August 20, 2008