Missouri City council man responds to race issues brought up in Letter to the Editor
Editor’s note: The Fort Bend Star frequently used to get Letters to the Editor from Missouri City resident Howard Moline. Some we ran when we had room but many were rants we just felt were too long or too silly so we didn’t print them. After a while, we stopped getting most of them. The following story was prompted by Moline’s letter in another newspaper when Missouri City Councilman Jerry Wyatt finally got fed up with the letters. ‑ BKC
By Betsy Dolan
Missouri City Mayor Pro-Tem, Jerry Wyatt, asked for time on the September 4 City Council agenda to respond to allegations lodged in a Letter to the Editor from the Fort Bend Independent weekly newspaper.
The author of the letter, Missouri City resident Howard Moline, criticized the city in the August 29 edition, for using bond money to build “amenities that only cater to an insignificant portion of the City’s population. As you know, more and more minorities are making their home in Quail Valley, the chief subdivision within the city. Can they really afford golf, tennis, etc?”
Moline, who writes frequent Letters to the Editor that are published in the Independent, did not attend the council meeting but Wyatt addressed him via the city’s television system which broadcasts every city council meeting.
“One thing that I do take from this letter,” Wyatt said. “I think you probably have a problem with me, Don, Danny and Robin because we fit into the context of what your letter talked about. “And I want to let you know, Howard, that I do play a lot of tennis. And people in Missouri City know that I play a lot of tennis so I’m one of those minorities that uses the facilities.”
Moline also accused the city council of ignoring “the priorities of the people that actually inhabit the city. The bond monies should have been spent on the City’s crumbling infrastructure instead of on frivolous items.”
In 2008, 72 percent of Missouri City voters approved a 17.5 million dollar bond referendum to help pay for parks and recreational facilities including the new tennis center, Quail Valley Golf Course and the new community center. “This council has told Moline and others over and over again that bond money authorized by the voters can only be spent for that purpose,” Wyatt said also citing $31.9 million that has been spent on infrastructure projects since 2010.
Moline then wrote that “beautification of the City has not been the priority it should have been. Sure, we’ve planted a few trees. But, what about sidewalk repair and street repair?”
Wyatt held up a picture of the sidewalk in front of Moline’s home and said,”You keep talking about sidewalks but we fixed your sidewalk. Now you need to get off of the sidewalk kick because we’re still fixing sidewalks to the tune of $1.6 million and that does not include the $2 million we spent along Texas Parkway.” Wyatt also stated that Moline has been given public documents that detail how the city monies have been spent.
Wyatt encouraged Moline to try one of the activities offered at any of Missouri City’s parks and to “stop complaining and stop being biased in your statements. I think the real Howard came out in this last letter to the editor.”
During the meeting, none of the other council members opted to respond to either Moline’s letter or to Wyatt’s response.
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