Election news….The sheriff department’s budget accounts for over 25% of the county’s budget and is the largest expenditure of the county. It has almost doubled in the past eight years, although one has to remember that county commissioners are complicit in any budget deal.
One of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make about voting has been made. I’ve finally decided who I’m going to vote for in the sheriff’s race. I’ve always known who I WASN’T going to vote for–Craig Brady. But deciding between the other three able candidates was tough.
While I respect and admire both John Minchew and Billy Frank Teague and think they are both capable of running the sheriff’s department–Minchew with his business and law enforcement experience and Teague with his many years of law enforcement experience–I’ve finally decided to vote for Troy Nehls.
The reason I decided to do that is because when Troy Nehls was questioned about his working the early voting polls at Pecan Grove all day, every day, he reminded us that he spent hundreds of days in the Iraqi desert in full battle gear with people calling him names and shooting at him. He said he could stand in front of the polls in Pecan Grove for 10 days on his head.
That’s when I decided I would vote for him.
He is one tough son of a gun.
Troy Nehls also has successfully run the constable’s office in Pct. 4 for the past 8 years, served two stints in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was awarded bronze stars in each. He has campaigned on improving the crime solve rates of the sheriff’s department, reducing wasteful spending, and getting along and cooperating with other law enforcement agencies in the county.
Nehls is being supported by the Sugar Land Police Officers’ Association, The Missouri City Police Officers Association, and District Attorney John Healey.
Nehls points out that the overtime bills for the sheriff’s department is over $3 million for the past three years with $790,000 of that in overtime for the 60 plus detectives who, according to Nehls, keep banker’s hours. Nehls says he would immediately establish an evening shift of detectives.
Chief Deputy Craig Brady is also running for sheriff on the premise that he is the most qualified (based on everyone’s belief that he has been running the sheriff’s department for many years, an idea he has broadcast himself). Unfortunately, I hardly think he has been a proper steward of taxpayer money.
In addition to the overtime issues, there are new county cars sitting at the maintenance department today waiting for someone to equip and drive them. We bought ‘em and they’ve been delivered. They are rotting in the sun.
In fact, 15 new patrol cars had their warranty expire while waiting for the proper equipment with the maintenance department and the sheriff’s department each pointing fingers at the other for the problem.
At one time, there were over 30 cars waiting to be outfitted, while patrol officers were driving vehicles which needed to be put down.
I’ve heard the cars are being franticly worked on since the campaign.
I told you last week I would vote for Jacquie Chaumette and gave you a rather flip reason. This week I would like to point out that it is time for us to send someone to Austin that shines a light on our wonderful county. We have had a succession of representatives in Austin that have not been the best of Fort Bend. We’ve had Tom DeLay who was known as “Hot Tub Tom” and lived in a place he dubbed “Macho Manor” until he went to Washington, got religion, and then got greedy.
Then we had Jim Tallas who was a back bencher who was only interested in golf and running around. He ended up divorcing his popular wife and losing his next election which ushered in Bible-thumping Charlie Howard who promised to serve two terms but ended up serving 8 because he said no one ran against him that he trusted to do the job.
According to capitol insiders, Howard was mostly responsible for the almost melt down of the legislature the year he was given the simple task of “local calendars” whereby the legislature honors local heroes and events. That was the last year of Tom Craddick’s term as speaker as legislators almost rebelled against his authority.
According to Fort Bend insiders who may have had business in Austin, Charlie Howard’s bills were supposedly “DOA” and other legislators were sought out to help.
In any event at looking who might replace Howard in Austin, one has to give Jacquie Chaumette a serious examination. There is no doubt that Chaumette has the education, background, and experience to represent Fort Bend the best.
One of Chaumette’s major competitors for state representative is former Republican county chair Rick Miller. I think the way Miller acted when he quit will give us a good look about how he will act in Austin.
First, Republicans say that Miller’s wife, Babs, tells him what to do and some of her advice is questionable. When Miller quit as Republican chair, he asked the precinct chairs to vote in Sharon Roberts as county chair.
After Roberts was elected, Miller refused to turn over the books, phones, website, to Roberts. It seems he wanted to quit the job, but he still wanted to pull the strings, or perhaps Babs wanted to run the party sub rosa.
Roberts was subjected to several months of being treated like a cretin for wanting to fulfill her duties to the group. She was treated so badly she resigned and withdrew her name to run for the office.
Miller and his wife were implicated in the cabal against Farah Ahmed where an anonymous mailer was mailed out about her when she was running for city council in Sugar Land. You know, that city of diversity.
Well, now we have an opportunity to put our votes where our public relations are.
Jacquie Chaumette will shine a light on Fort Bend when she is elected to go to Austin for us. And if she works half as hard there as she has in her campaign, then we will certainly be well-served.