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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."


 

Same song, second week....I complained last week about the fancy cars the Fort Bend County sheriff’s department wanted to buy with confiscated drug money.

As far as the actual number of cars the sheriff’s department has for patrol versus the number of cars that are used for free “rides” for anointed employees, I discovered that more cars are used as take home cars than are used as patrol cars.

According to numbers obtained from the county budget office, the sheriff’s department has a total of 236 autos, yet only 103 are used as patrol while another 145 are used as take home cars. The apparent 12 car discrepancy is a result of some patrol cars being taken home also. Remember that a take home car is worth approximately $6,000 per year, what with insurance, gas, tires, batteries, etc.

More than one person pointed out to me that the cars in question were to be purchased with drug money that the sheriff’s department was awarded, and the county couldn’t tell them how to spend the money as it was not taxpayers’ money.

Well, it may not be taxpayers’ money but if it were used in a way to relieve the burden taxpayers’ experience furnishing all those take home cars for the sheriff’s department, then it would be a far better thing they do. And I might also point out that taxpayer money and equipment was used to confiscate the drug money.

If the sheriff’s department could just refrain from buying some teenage boy’s wet dream of a “muscle” car, and spend the money for a patrol car, then nobody would criticize.

Another thing I would like to point out is that with the amount of drugs and drug money that comes through Fort Bend County on the way to Houston, $44,000 is a pittance. They ought to be ashamed they haven’t confiscated much more money than a paltry $44,000. I’ve always wondered about that.

But then, I wonder about the quarter of a million dollars that was donated “anonymously” to the sheriff’s department.

Cooler heads prevailed....Thank goodness the county and FBISD nixed a new $6.4 million facility for the Central Appraisal District.

On May 27, Star reporter Cheryl Skinner opined in her weekly column,”So, let me get this straight. The CAD needs a new building to handle the protests from the citizens, business people and landowners in Fort Bend County who are outraged about high tax evaluations in a depressed economy.” Skinner suggested that the CAD go back and evaluate property in Fort Bend at a lower rate and then people wouldn’t line up for miles to protest and the offices wouldn’t be crowded.

That same week, commissioner Richard Morrison (our hero) started working on a resolution asking the CAD to redo their current headquarters at less than half the cost. Morrison lined up some mayors and even went to school board meetings to get their support for revamping, rather than a new building.

Evidently it worked because the CAD pulled its request and is going back to the drawing board. Perhaps to remodel?

Thank you, Richard Morrison. Now some of you other commissioners and the county judge, get your head out of other parts of your anatomy and do what we pay you to do.

Next week..... I am going to jump right into the middle of FBISD about a bus driver. I believe they have their heads about the same place the commissioners and county judge do. Sorry I don’t have room this week.

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:
September 09, 2009