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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.


We prevailed

A week ago one of our regular readers contacted us to help him with a problem. Now, this is not unusual but the problem was. It seems that Ray Feaga was a little more than perplexed about the tattered giant American flag still flying, day and night, over the grounds of the bankrupt Bill Heard Chevrolet property.

Ray had contacted everyone and their cousin trying to get the flag taken down. “At this time in our lives, with all that is going on in our country, we just don’t need a dirty, torn up flag. It is against all regulations on how a flag should be handled and it is disrespectful too,” he said.

We agreed and I starting calling everyone that Ray had not mentioned on his “already called” list. Local, state and federal representatives all expressed understanding and agreement, but said the flag was on private property and little could be done.

I even contacted the attorneys handling the bankruptcy for Heard.

Then, Friday evening I called Ray to compare more notes. Well, he had just been notified that the flag was down and said one of us had prevailed. The city of Sugar Land code enforcement people had taken the flag down.

Not sure who was at the helm but this is greatly appreciated.

The media

While trying to get that flag taken down in a respectful manner, I had a few light moments. One local county official, who shall go unnamed, gave me a hard time. Sure, he agreed the flag should come down and be treated in an honorable way.

But he questioned why I would want to ruin the national image of the media.

He said I was going to put a damper on the new attitude about the media because I was obviously showing “I cared” and was fighting for truth, justice and the American way.

Luckily, the local media does still care.

Trees and stuff

We are keeping a very close watch on an evolving court case in Fort Bend County. Seems one Pecan Grove resident put up a fence that is not in compliance with the homeowner’s association rules and regulations.

Now the homeowner’s association is trying to get the fence removed and wanting to put fines on the property that exceed the value of the home.

Now, everyone knows that once you move into a subdivision or townhome community with rigid homeowner rules, you must follow them to the tee.

The catch on this one is that the homeowner, a older lady, single, who is a recent cancer survivor, actually got permission to put up the fence in question. She has proof.

But the association hierarchy changed and the delay in putting up the fence, due to cancer treatment, put the lady under a new association. These new officers are apparently dead set and determined to follow the rules by the letter.

Of course, the interesting thing is that other homeowners, in a different section of the community, seem to be getting by with fencing that doesn’t follow the rules to the letter.

Anyhow, hopefully the judge will look at the human side of this whole issue or the association will mellow somewhat.

The CAD wants new digs

Remember when the new appraisals were sent out by the Fort Bend County Central Appraisal District and the chief cook and bottle washer for the agency said that while he realized the nation was going into a slump that wasn’t the case here in Fort Bend and the value of everything was high, foreclosures low, real estate was selling well and folks could just appeal the appraisals if they didn’t agree.

Well, no one agreed and a gazillion appeals and angry taxpayers later, here we are with a local economy that while still healthy is slowing, home sales that are lagging, foreclosures that are increasing and a local CAD that wants new digs to handle all the protestors.

I’m not kidding, Glen Whitehead, FBCAD chief appraiser, is talking about the need to build a whole brand new, larger and better facility.

And, get this, Whitehead partially justified the need to expand by saying that traffic congestion and the numbers of protestors appearing at the current property have increased.

I’ve got a really good idea. Why not substantially lower the property values, make everyone giddily happy and then there will be no need to build a big new building with a humongous parking lot for protestors?

That’s just a thought.


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:  February 05, 2009