Here’s hoping that the insulting political divisiveness witnessed at the national level does not make it to Fort Bend County, where there has been a political shift within the last year.
Local elections in this area have been non-partisan in the past, but that is no longer the case. Political affiliation is now front and center.
The county and its municipalities, for the most part, have historically been under the leadership of predominantly white Republicans. But in November, the most ethnically diverse county in Texas elected many Democrats of color to government roles.
The old guard might feel like it has lost control of the community and is likely keeping a close eye on the newly elected officials. How they should be handling their affairs can be heard in hushed, barely audible concerns expressed by some longtime residents who supported previous administrations.
What do those community members see from their new leaders? Things are run a bit differently, and that is to be expected. But what they really want to see is that those in office continue to build upon what has brought Fort Bend County and its municipalities to its present level of reverence and respectability.
Longtime residents, in particular, maintain that the county enjoys its renowned model-community living because of fiscally conservative policies and fair-minded practices of those that were part of the foundation of Fort Bend County. The former Imperial Sugar factory, for example, even had its own currency and took care of its own with an impressive physical and community infrastructure.
More recently, the community’s foundation also includes the work of real estate visionary Gerald Hines, whose First Colony residential development in Sugar Land had homes with a variety of prices and now houses more than one-third of the city’s population.
What community stakeholders really want to know is that with its celebrated diverse population, culturally and also geographically from within the U.S., will Fort Bend County continue to have people at the forefront with similar interests coming together to unify and combine all its multiple parts to add to the greater whole?
Will the whole be as great as it has been? Will it be greater?
At this point, it’s important to acknowledge the contributions of the departing office holders in spite of the change of political control. They, too, built upon the Fort Bend County community foundation.
While the new leaders are entrusted by those who elected them, those who did not have been sitting by the sidelines, maybe even keeping their fingers crossed in hopes that the community will not start cracking and even break.
Let’s face it, it’s always a good idea to make an assessment of those in office to make sure they’re leading us, taking on new challenges and improving upon what is already in place. Their successes will also be added to the whole that will become part of their legacy.
We live in and have a healthy system of representative democracy. Let’s keep it that way because Fort Bend is not the kind of place where nobody cares and nobody is watching where the tax money goes.
What do you see going on?