Afterburner 09/18/13

By LeaAnne Klentzman 

Tap, Tap, Tap – This week we were prepared to tell everyone all about the specific raises and changes coming for VIP personnel. The one’s that toil so tirelessly for us, you know – we the people, the taxpayers and voters of Fort Bend County.  However, we the people are just going have to cool our jets until the Bureaucrats we employ to maintain our information, consult with the lawyers we employ, to tell them, to tell us, what we can or can’t have. Never you mind all those rules and regulations on government transparency and all.

Just so you know, we do not expect to snap our fingers and get documents; however, according to the law, when such documents are part of the routine operations they should be readily available.  Not in this county! You are going to wait the allowable 10 days whether you like it or not.  Plus, if one dare to request something like – who specifically is getting a job reclassification and what pay they are going from, then to, then add in an inquiry about the qualifications used to determine those changes and raises….well, you know how that is going to end up….. Tap, Tap, Tap…that is the sound of your foot hitting the floor, waiting.   And we are, waiting.….

It does not appear that Fort Bend County can’t afford raises since they are spreading them around in management like warm butter on fresh bread; our question is…what about the working folks?  They don’t need double digit raises too? Are they less integral?  Who on earth thinks paying the clerks pennies above minimum wage is acceptable when Commissioners and the County Judge gift their assistants substantial raises with a reclassification then add the annual pay raise on top of that.

Hello, we the people would like to see our money spread across the whole county system.  This is not Wall Street. As of today we are still waiting for the Official Records of who is getting what and as soon as we have it… so will We The People.

Cars – For years Bev carped about county cars.  While she and I had different ideas on cars, one thing we adamantly agreed on was…. If we own’m, roll’m!  Since changes in the Vehicle Maintenance Department happened about five years ago new cars are being delivered while last year’s models are still sitting on the lot waiting to be outfitted by the vehicle maintenance installation guy.  Trying to figure out who is responsible for that SNAFU is harder than trying to get records.

For years, the head Outfitter has shopped on Ebay, grown a garden, composed music on his personal computer while sitting in his work bay and BBQed for the masses all on  work time. In fact, Thursdays are known as Mark Grant Thursday over at Vehicle Maintenance because Big Boss Mark Grant (Head of Road and Bridge) drops by to lunch at the Outfitters BBQ pit each week on Thursday. Which means, Mr Grant has to drive by the lines of 2013’s still waiting to be outfitted while the 2014’s are being ordered.  Don’t believe it. Swing by the Maintenance Barn over on Legion Drive behind the jail in Richmond and see the pit and the mass of new vehicles, for yourself.

Mark Grant, a department head, NOT an elected official, is tighter than skin on a sausage with Commissioner Patterson.  You remember him, the Schoolmarm who wants to be in charge of all cars and contracts across the county. Well, the bulk of the vehicles that arrived in April of 2013 have yet to hit the streets and are still sitting on the not ready lot, ready to be outfitted that is.

Sixteen of the Tahoes are assigned to the Sheriff, another handful belong to Constables. Rest assured, there are enough excuses to go around, but the bottom line is….get them doggies roll’n!

Commissioner Patterson, you want to control things, then get to controlling and get those cars on the road.  Mark Grant, hello? No more BBQ, and no more law enforcement officers outfitting cars because your guys can’t get it done.  We want the cops on the street cop’n and the outfitter, outfit’n.  This is a simple management issue, and you guys just keep throwing money at it by hiring more cronys expecting to get different results.

With the new Fleet Management department, there are at least three more salaries with the same end result.  Heck, we can’t even vote them out – they are protected by cronyism. Yes, shake your head, more mismanagement!

Road Warriors – Now, for the information we requested and were able to get within 4 working days, Commissioner’s travel reports from January through July 2013.  Good thing their pay is not based on following rules. …

The documents from which this information was derived are available for viewing at so feel free to take a gander.  Understand that over the years Commissioners have returned their county cars and taken a car allowance, then did away with the car allowance, rolling that stipend into their pay and now they claim mileage at .565 cents per mile. So, following you will find the month, mileage, and amount each Commissioner has been paid.

Pct 1 Commissioner Richard Morrison reported a total of 1,399.59 miles for a total of $820.15 for April through August of 2013.  No records were submitted for January through March.  Most of his mileage was traveling to and from the Needville area. According to these records, in a 40 hour work week Commissioner Morrison will travel about 35 miles per day for the taxpayer.

Pct 2 Commissioner Grady Prestage reported a total of 3,126 miles for a payment of $1,816.94 for travel February through August. No records were submitted for January 2013.  Most of his travel was back and forth to Richmond and to visit with Commissioner Meyers over in Katy. According to these records, in a 40 hour work week Commissioner Prestage will travel about 78 miles per day for the taxpayer.

Pct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers reported a total of 5,755 miles for a payment of $3,250.73 from January through July 2013.  Most of his travel is reported to be checking roadways and tollways. He had a lot of lunchtime travel.  According to these records in a 40 hour work week Commissioner Meyers will travel about 144 miles per day for the taxpayer.

Pct 4 Commissioner James Patterson reported traveling 1,976 miles for a payment of $1116.83  No records were submitted for January, June or July. Most of his travel is to Richmond for Commissioner’s Court. According to these records, in a 40 hour work week Commissioner Patterson will travel about 50 miles per day for the taxpayer.

View Documents here

Until the tap dance is over…..

Send questions or inquiries to LeaAnne Klentzman
Fort Bend Star
4655 Techniplex Dr. Suite 300
Stafford Texas 77477

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