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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."


 

Slap yourself in the face....Is it just me or does anyone else out there feel that AIG is just as big a crook as Bernie Madoff? If we, the taxpayers, own 80% of AIG now, why don’t we the taxpayers do something about the “bonuses” AIG is paying is non-deserving employees.

Also, did you realize that a large percentage of the money we gave AIG was then given to foreign banks? When will this madness stop?

Remember that this big bag (nay pallets) of cash was given during the last administration. Also remind yourself that the DOW Jones dropped from about 1300 on January 2, 2008 to 8175 on Oct. 27, 2008. That was before the election and was the largest drop we’ve had in many years. That’s a drop of 4868 points.

Since then the DOW has continued to go down 959 points when it has started to oouch back up in the last few days to 7216.

This is just a little numerical remainder for all the Rush Hannity fans.

Same old, same old....Fort Bend County officials have their underpants in a bunch over State Representative Dora Olivo’s amendment to the local government code about civil service. Her bill would create a framework of creating a civil service commission in Fort Bend County once the population reaches 500,000 as certified by the state demographer. According to the law on the books now, the county would not have to meet the mandatory requirement until the once-every-ten-years census found 500,000 souls in Fort Bend County which should be around 2010.

A civil service commission system would only include sheriff department employees and would protect their jobs to keep them from being fired simply because their supervisor doesn’t like them. An appointed civil service commission would have the power to stop job dismissals and change employee disciplinary actions. The civil service commission would consist of three people appointed by the commissioner’s court.

Of course, the elected official who is the most upset is the county sheriff whose department is notorious for firing employees because they don’t like the cut of someone’s jib.

They fired a lot of people in January at a time when the sheriff’s department couldn’t even fill the jobs it had available.

We remember one case a year ago when a lady was fired because the sheriff and his chief deputy Craig Brady were convinced she talked to the media. They thought she told the media about convicted felon/wealthy backer John Hamilton’s daughter, who was incarcerated at the time and was supposedly receiving special treatment at the jail. So this deputy is gone.

Many smaller counties and cities have civil service commissions and they work very well. Employees feel good about working where they know they can only be fired for cause.

I talked to County Judge Bob Hebert who told me commissioners would vote today (Tuesday) about protesting Olivo’s amendment. “She didn’t talk to any county official before filing this bill,” Hebert said. (I didn’t know that was necessary, but silly me.)

Judge Hebert said that using demographics to certify the 500,000 population would mean that September 1, 2009 would be the start date and the county, and the sheriff’s department was simply not ready for that. He said that the 2010 census and a start date of 2011 would give the county time to train its employees in how the system works.

According to Hebert, studies show there are many more complaints in the first months of the implementation of a civil service commission, and he says that is expensive. It would be more cost effective and organized to go through a year of training, he said.

Yeah, tell that to the gang of deputies fired last year in one day. Hey, maybe they are the ones who asked Rep. Olivo to file the amendment.

A little more background.....A city or county can vote anytime to give civil service protection to its police employees. Several years ago, just such a request was made to the Sugar Land city council by a policeman.

Honey, you would have thought he asked to date their daughters as he was vilified and practically run out of town. Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen him in some time.

I just love these Bubbas.

Double indemnity...I’ve been reading that County Judge Hebert commented the other day that housing prices in Fort Bend County had increased. I was shocked but suspected that he was preparing us for another shock when we opened our Central Appraisal District assessment of our property this year. Maybe he was also warning the CAD to keep those appraisals up!

Remember that commercial property went up 30% last year when we were already seeing a downturn in the market.

Please remember that the CAD appraisal district appraisal amounts are used for the other 17 entities you pay taxes to--like city, school district, junior college district, water district, levy district--shall I go on?

But what really dropped my jaw was when I read that Hebert had forecast to employees that there was going to be less money so every department needed to cut their budgets by 5-10%.

Big chief Bob speaks out of two mouths. Both means more wampam.

Patience, patience...I’m still working on my HOA stories, so if you know any more, hook me up.

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:
April 30, 2009