Political billboard destroyed by unknown vandals
By LeaAnne Klentzman
You always hear truth is stranger than fiction; well, we can’t make this stuff up!
We, here at the “Star“, have discussed the 2012 Fort Bend County Sheriff’s race ad nauseum. However, this latest turn of events surprised even some of the most jaded campaigners. It appears that Milton Wright, the current elected sheriff and the race for his replacement have reached a new, all time, low, even for good ol’e boys of Fort Bend County!
Candidates in all races have been complaining that their signs are disappearing, especially the race for sheriff. It’s sad but true and it’s commonplace every election cycle. Signs disappear, fingers get pointed and candidates are forced to either do without signs or reorder more. Everyone would like to believe that no candidate has the time or lacks the moral fiber to actually go out and take an opponent’s sign.
Although, after last week, taking signs has now been relegated to child’s play; now, somewhere out there, “someone” is wielding a chainsaw and they know how to use it and have no fear of being caught.
Sometime last Thursday night or early Friday morning, “someone” vaulted over a six foot cyclone fence topped with strands of barbed wire along FM 723 to get to a Troy Nehls’ for sheriff billboard. Not only was the billboard itself destroyed, all 5 telephone poles were sawed off at a perfect angle to fall the structure away from the actor, but the vinyl “skin” attached to the structure was also shredded and absconded, leaving only one corner that perfectly matched the saw markings on the sign. The destroyed “skin” displayed the abysmally low crime solve rate that has been such a bone of contention between Nehls and the current sheriff’s administration.
The opposite side of the downed billboard displayed another Nehls message; it too was damaged. As of press time Nehls does not have a total cost for replacement of the billboard but he believes it will be between $4,000 to $5,000 to replace the two skins, the plywood base for the billboard itself, the five telephone posts that were sawed off as well as the remediation of the existing structure and posts for the sign itself. It appears that heavy equipment will be necessary to remove and reinstall the sign.
The landowner and proprietor of the sign, as well as Nehls, have reported the criminal offense to the appropriate policing agency, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.
Interestingly, on the evening of this incident, after the reports for investigation were filed, Facebook, the social media site, exploded with comments about the incident. It did not appear that any of the four candidates for sheriff accused each other of foul play; however, their supporters did not display such dignity.
Sadly, a post that appeared to be from Sheriff Milton Wright on Nehls’ Facebook page read, “Milton Wright good move if you can pull it off (sic). What kind of saw did you use Troy? Friday at 10:27pm · Like · 1.” That post displayed the official photo of Sheriff Wright, the man who is the head of the law enforcement agency tasked with investigating the crime. He, by the way, is also the campaign treasurer for his chief deputy, who is one of three opponents against Nehls in the upcoming election.
With more than a month to go until the May 29 election, what will happen next? Stay tuned, it is going to have to be real innovative to top the chainsaw play.