Some’s Hot, Some’s Not 02/20/13
WARNING! Do not drive thru Missouri City…….Maybe you shouldn’t even go over there to shop. Because if you do and one of its gang-bangers runs over you, you may be charged anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for the police to come. And since every wreck is attended to by a fire truck, there may be additional charges.
What’s going on here? This week the Missouri City council voted unanimously to approve an consent agenda item which included a “crash charge” for the Missouri City police to attend a wreck in the city. The minimum charge is $500 and the at fault driver will have his/her insurance company billed. If the insurance does not pay and you are a resident of Missouri City, the matter will be dropped. But if you don’t live in Missouri City, you will be billed directly.
Of course a billing and collection company has already been hired to facilitate this option.
The reason there has been no outcry? The “consent agenda” has many items on it and council members simply vote on it pro forma. No discussions, no pesky reporters wondering what the hell is going on.
What seems to be going on in Missouri City is a budget shortfall in a city that bought a failing country club and had a expensive ligation of it for many months. This is the same city with a really bad gang problem it can’t control, that just built a $9.5 million community facility, and lost $83,000 on its golf club last year. The $50,000 this “crash charge” scheme is projected to bring in doesn’t seem worth the trouble.
According to the city’s press release, this is being used in other cities although no examples are being cited, even though I specifically asked the Mayor Allen Owen for examples.
And do all those Council members who voted unanimously for this honestly believe that the insurance companies aren’t going to raise their rates for this?
Say, you are driving through Missouri City and some cretin runs into you. His insurance company refuses to pay or he has none so since you are the out-of-towner even if it wasn’t your fault, your insurance company will be billed. Don’t you think they are going to increase your rate in a Missouri City minute?
I read of a family in Indiana who had their house burn down. The fire department sent them a bill for $28,000 even through they didn’t save the house. The insurance company was billed and when the family’s insurance paid the family, the company deducted the $28,000 dollars.
Also, the companies hired to do the billing in many places are accused of jacking up the prices and adding that to the bill. Some state have even outlawed this whole practice.
If they are going to charge for this, how long before they decide to charge for cops to come to your house to arrest a burglar. Is there a 911 fee or is it covered by the garbage-sold waste disposal fee that we currently pay each month?
And will we eventually have to pay the DA to indict the burglar who broke into our home? Will the attorneys have to pay for space in the courtroom to represent their clients? Where will this end?
I think the Missouri City police and fire department should have to return any government grants they have received. After all, they get our tax money, then they get it again in the form of government grants, now they want us to pay again. The primary job of the government is to protect its people, not gouge them to buy unsuccessful country clubs! Am I the only one outraged by this?
Can you get used to Sugar Daddy?……With Missouri City trying to rack in money on the backs of its citizens, is it any surprise that Sugar Land has been offered $4.5 million to change its name to SugarDaddy.com, a dating website that links rich older men with younger women.
Mayor Jimmy Thompson has politely declined. I heard either he or City Manager Alan Bogard said they would have to add several zeros to get them interested.
Before you get all high behind about someone having the nerve to make that offer, I must remind you that before I moved to Sugar Land and started the Star here, when someone mentioned “Sugar Land,” I thought it was a theme park. I now love Sugar Land, but indeed there are some days when I think my first assessment was right. It is a theme park.
B.K. Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend/Southwest Star. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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