Letters to the Editor 02/03/16

Stafford State of the City Response

Stafford is a great city with great people who care about their neighbors, their neighborhoods, and the community.  As a resident, I was concerned about the tone of the address given.   The success of our city is dependent in large part on the effectiveness of its city leaders.

As President of the Stafford Municipal School District (SMSD), I wish Mayor Scarcella would have taken just a few minutes to call me or Superintendent Dr. Robert Bostic.  I would have loved to share with him the great things going on at SMSD.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has awarded the district nine (9)  Distinguished marks.  We are working on earning even more acolades. An Academic Booster Club was formed.  Dr. Bostic and the Board initiated a Peer to Peer Tutoring Program.  Stafford’s National Honor Society students are being paid to tutor fellow students who need a little extra help.  Stafford students are participating in UIL Academic Competitions that are actually being held on the SMSD campuses.   A Chief Academic Officer is coming on board soon.  Dr. Bostic and his team are planning to introduce Summer Enrichment courses.

The Board supported a comprehensive Teacher Retention Plan.  The plan includes competitive salaries, incentive pay, and tuition reimbursement opportunities.   With the introduction of a Parent University, parental involvement and excitement is present.  Students are having fun learning in a safe, secure environment.   Great business partnerships are being established.  For example, SMSD is the only district with a fully operational financial institution on site.  Smart Financial Crédit Union is on our campus with Stafford students helping run the business.

Our school board is comprised of talented, committed community leaders.  They are focused on meeting the needs of students and teachers while supporting Dr. Bostic and his administration.   Trustees and administrators are going out into the community meeting with families.  Almost 80% of Stafford’s school age students attend SMSD.  And we are working to encourage even more parents to bring their kids to SMSD.

We are fortunate to have great support by the overwhelming majority of City Council.  With that support we are going to continue to focus on providing SMSD kids with the best education possible.

–Auturo Jackson
Stafford MSD Board President

Missouri City Mayoral Election

Missouri City… Where should I start? We need a new mayor and At large position one.  Ones who’s first order of business is to get our police department in a new modern police station.  I have heard our present mayor  say that they “added” five motorcycle police officers.  These are not new hires but current officers who wanted to be on the motorcycle division.  We are still 25 to 30 officers short.  Now..  Thinking about City Center,  $ 1.2 million golf cart barn that was built partly from our Metro fund,  tennis and rec center and golf course before you have a fully manned and modern police force and building is “OLD” thinking.  We need new blood that thinks beyond golf, tennis and a nice place to eat and drink.  We need to update the entire city including our older members of council.  At one time several years ago the average age of a council member was about 65 years old.  Congratulations to the voters for getting some new blood on council.. Unfortunately, they are outvoted by the establishment  who’s average age is now about 70.  Old is not bad but it is dangerous at times.  I wonder if our mayor is really getting too old.  I read in The Star where he couldn’t remember a $1,000 dollar donation from eight years.  Heck I would remember $1,000 dollars from 50 years ago..  Convenient memory loss.. Id say it’s time for a change.

—Brenda Taylor
Missouri City

Response to Scalia’s comments

Justice Antonin Scalia recently said: “ There are those that contend that it does not benefit African – Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less – advanced school, a slower – track school where they do well.”

On Houston radio I called a local caller’s and Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent remarks “ poppycock”. As a first decade undergrad African American UT graduate, I can tell you we matriculated and graduated at higher rates than the UT average. May I add we stayed often under very trying circumstances. What African Americans “ lacked” in “gaming” the system, we made up in rising to the occasion and sheer perseverance. These patterns of successes prevail to this day. Data supports this claim

— Rodney Griffin
BA Mathematics ‘70
The University of Texas at Austin

“Missouri City residents expect better service at Glenn Lakes Post Office”  

This is ridiculous!  Adding a drive-through drop-off lane is like putting a Band-Aid on a festering wound.  The burgeoning populations on both sides of SH 6 deserve a full-service post office.

(City fathers thought such was planned when the property on which the USPS “warehouse” now stands was obtained from the developer in 2000.  This land alone is valued by the CAD at about $1,000,000, and could have held a property-tax-paying and sales-tax-generating business.)

Councilman Maroulis is correct that the City shouldn’t pay any costs for this drive-through lane.  And is it really needed, when a curbside mailbox is located only three long blocks away in front of the Wells Fargo Bank?

As an absolute minimum, the USPS should restore the stamp machine.  Better yet would be an Automated Postal Center.  APC’s are located in the lobbies of many post offices, and provide most of the basic retail mail services available at a staffed window.

With an APC at the Glenn Lakes facility, local citizens would gladly help the USPS attain one of its goals:

“In its Strategic Transformation Plan, the Postal Service set a goal to double the percent of retail transactions conducted at alternative channels, such as the APC.”

–Irv Smith
Missouri City

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