Some’s Hot, Some’s Not 08/29/12

It costs WHAT?……When I saw news reports of hundreds if not thousands of kids showing up at health fairs and what not to get free backpacks and school supplies, I couldn’t imagine so many poor kids willing to listen to health lectures or what not in order to get free backpacks and school supplies.

Then I noticed at my local Krogers that a typical school supply package was over $68, and that’s not including the backpack. Heck, I’m taking my own grandchildren to the next free giveaway.

Okay, you are going to have to listen to a “I remember” story from me.

When I was young, I remember that we didn’t have to jump through any hoops to get something special when we bought what few school supplies we bought. We got a free cigar box from the place where we bought our school supplies. Back then, cigars weren’t considered evil and unhealthy, just smelly, plus the cigar boxes made neat pencil and crayola boxes.

When I was going through my daughter’s stuff after her death, I found an old cigar box with some of her treasures in it, like her grandparents social security cards and driver’s licenses. She liked to keep things like that and who knows where the cigar box came from. Either from one of the grandparents or maybe she picked it up at an auction. I don’t think they were still giving away the cigar boxes during the 60’s when she was in grammar school, but maybe so.

I also found an old cigar box full of arrowheads. My father was a rock and arrowhead hunter, (they used to be called “rock hounds”) but I suspect he bought these arrowheads wholesale in Mexico. I gave them to my grandsons who have probably already given one to each one of their classmates. Bound to make them popular. If anyone needs an arrowhead for “show and tell,” see the Fredrickson boys.

But in going through my daughter’s things, I also found the miniature cedar chest that the local furniture company gave each one of the high school graduates in my day. I don’t remember when I gave it to my daughter, but she still had it along with a bunch of pictures of her father (my first husband) who also died in his 50’s . Enough of that.

Power grab?…… As if the county commissioners didn’t have enough to do. Well, really that don’t, according to me. But according to them, they are overworked. So why does Andy Myers want to give them even more duties? Andy’s bragging around that he and Rick Miller (provided that Miller beats his popular Democratic opponent, Vy Nguyen, pronounced Ve Win) are going to Austin and pass a law that kicks County Clerk Dianne Wilson and County Tax Assessor Patsy Schultz off the elections committee and installs the county commissioners onto it.

Right now, by law the members of the elections committee are the county clerk, county tax assessor, county judge, and the two party chairs. This committee is a little more powerful that you might imagine. They decide how we will vote (what voting machines to buy) and who to hire as Elections chief, among other things.

For some reason, Andy Myers want the elections committee law changed so that the committee will be made up of the County Judge, commissioners court, and two party chairs. I guess Andy wants a little bit more patronage in his power. Good luck on Miller passing a law during his first term. Charlie was there for umpteen years and never passed one.

On the other hand……At the request (I guess) of the Budget Director, who lays the blame squarely on Commissioners Court in her memo, a “fleet management department” is being established for next year under the direction of the Road and Bridge Department. According to the memo I read, this department will standardize and control fleet inventory for the county’s vehicles.

This is something the county has needed to do for the past 18 years, but even with numerous complaints over the years, as long as Milton Wright was sheriff and Craig Brady was chief deputy, cars were treated as rewards for friends. Commissioners ignored the problems of inappropriate inventory and lack of any consistent policy plus ignoring what policy was in place.

I always thought that commissioners could control the vehicles with their power over the budget, but apparently not because either the sheriff’s department had something on each of the commissioners or commissioners didn’t have the courage to stand up because for the past 18 years, the vehicle policy has been out of control.

Now, finally, when Milton Wright and his chief deputy will soon be out of office, everyone else is going to have to pay the price.

Certainly the budget needs to be controlled and certainly a consistent policy should be established, but up jumps the devil and a Fleet Management Department is created willy-nilly without any discussion or action of commissioners.

Oh, I get it. Things commissioners don’t care about are on the agenda and discussed openly, but other things are done in the back room without any commissioner discussion or action in the open. Talk about Republican transparency!

A few more questions: Who is on this committee?

What is their expertise for the particular vehicle they want to purchase?

Who and what connections do they have with a particular vendor/all vendors?

Are the same guys that purchase dump trucks and Grad-alls at Road & Bridge going be responsible for ordering ambulances and life saving technology?

Does a 17’ tire not fit on all 17” rims? Are we going to end up with taxi packages vs police package on vehicle? Do we need all police package or just a few with more responsible placement and disbursal within the police agency? The person elected gets to do that, unless the Commissioners are now going to handle personnel for the elected official too. Which Commissioner has a friend who needs a job?

We’ll delve into more transportation next week.

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Posted by on Aug 29 2012. Filed under Bev's Burner. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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