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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.

Commissioners laud judge for Hurricane Ike efforts

I already said it last week, Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert and the many workers in the Emergency Management Office did an outstanding job of coordinating the multitude of information deluging the public and the media. They also did a super-terrific job of staying calm and up to date on all events, both before and after, the arrival of Hurricane Ike.

Last week Precinct 4 Commissioner James Patterson took the time to do the same. He said he had received so many calls and e-mails from citizens of the county commending Hebert for his calm demeanor throughout the ordeal.

“On behalf of the four of us on commissioners court, I know you and your family have lived up there (OEM offices), we thank you very much. I have been hearing from the public on how much you have done and how calm you’ve been,” Patterson said.

Hebert, who was showing signs of exhaustion, smiled and said a very humble thank you.

Prior to Patterson’s plaudits, Hebert took advantage of the public speaking segment by voicing praise of his own. He also apologized for not being as prepared for the segment as he usually is. “I’m not as prepared as I would like to be because I was tied up with something called Ike, and the governor (Rick Perry, Governor of Texas) and I must say the governor was a lot more pleasant than Ike,” Hebert said before taking the time to speak.

When he did speak, he lauded the county’s many employees and volunteers who worked tirelessly during the preparations for the incoming storm and during the aftermath.

He then went on to remind the audience that things could have been so much worse had the hurricane take a slightly western course.

When things are in total chaos, it is reassuring to have leaders that stand fast and take control. Hebert did both. Of course, OEM director Jeff Braun did a wonderful job too and he saved me when I needed an interview near midnight.

We were not sure we were putting out the paper because of the power loss. Bev, of course, was sure she was putting out the paper even if she had to write the whole issue by hand and run copies on a copy machine. “I haven’t missed an issue in 30 years and I don’t intend to,” she said over and over.

So, late on Tuesday night she contacted me and said “the good news is we are going to have a newspaper and the bad news is you’re it.” Our other staff members were out looking for a roof over their heads or busy listening to battery operated radios by candlelight.

So, I needed the latest updates and some real interviews. I called Jeff, who was pulling an all-nighter at the EOM office and he graciously filled me in on everything I wanted to know and more.

So, thanks again to all of those people, many of whom I don’t know, who supplied the information and looked out for all of us.

It is appreciated.


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:  December 03, 2008