Won’t you come home, Rick Perry, Won’t you come home……I’m so glad Gov. Good Hair reads my column as I have a few more words of advice to pass on to him.
Right after I wrote last week that he should get his behind back to Texas instead of traipsing around running for President as Texas was drying up, burning up, and throwing up, Gov. Rick mounted his white horse and headed back to these parts. Either that or he didn’t want to share the stage with his fellow Republicans in a scheduled national debate.
The reason I think Gov. Rick is so foolish to leave Texas in our time of crisis is because I simply can’t believe that independent voters all over the U.S. will vote for another Texas president on the heels of Bankrupt Bush. We may not like everything Obama has done, but it’s been a hell of a lot better than what would have happened under John (You kids gets off my lawn) McCain. Oh, wait, under John McCain we would have had Sarah Palin to help him govern.
While I don’t resent aid to the Texans that have been so dreadfully hurt by the drought and most recently, the wild fires, and may need help, I’ll bet Gov. Rick will be first in line to get those hated federal government subsidies.
In fact, I’ll bet that’s why he is burning rubber (or aviation fuel) to get home. Not because he’s read my column but because he wants to start work on getting those government emergency subsidies before those nasty, money-grubbing Yankees along the east coast who suffered devastating floods and hurricane damage last week get all the federal monies.
If we know, we tell…Sources in the sheriff’s department (and I’ve got some good ones which just really ticks off the sheriff, who subscribes to the “mushroom” theory) tell me that since Fort Bend County has reached over half a million people, the deputies have petitioned to have a election about putting the department under civil service rules.
This rumor has been confirmed by County Judge Bob Hebert who says the petition he received from the deputy sheriff’s association is even now in the office of the county attorney who is verifying the names on the petition to make sure they work for Fort Bend, which the judge says he believes will be verified quickly.
In the last census, Fort Bend sailed past a half million people and that census, by law, became official on September 1. Judge Hebert said he and the commissioners and the sheriff knew this was coming and have had preliminary discussions about it. He said the election he will call very shortly will be voted on simply by the sheriff’s deputies, not the citizenry.
By going under civil service rules, deputies can only be fired for cause, not at the whim of a newly elected sheriff. It allows the employee appeal rights if they think they have been wrongfully terminated and it also allows for competitive examinations for promotions. It removes employees from being employees at will. It actually protects the county from rogue elected officials.
As it stands now, any newly elected sheriff can refuse to “rehire” the deputies who are currently working for that department. That was one of the things Milton Wright did when he became sheriff. He didn’t “rehire” any deputies he didn’t like, including a deputy who had served admirably and well for that department for over 15 years under four different sheriffs. After she left, several things were inserted into her personnel file without her knowledge or permission and contrary to policy which requires for entries to be signed, these were not signed. All of the letters of commendation and attaboys also magically disappeared.
She was fired without cause. She is now a reporter for this newspaper.
So the first day Milton Wright served as sheriff, he fired without cause, the deputy he didn’t like, just like George Molina, who his first day in office, did the same thing. I supported both men until their first day in office and I realized that Fort Bend had attracted two very unqualified men to run for sheriff, who hired and fired according to their misguided likes and dislikes of employees, not their qualifications. Yes, civil service is a long time coming.
Which brings us to another matter……I’m not sure how much you trust my judgment after the Molina and Wright fiascoes, but another new candidate for sheriff has asked me to lunch and, I guess, is seeking my support.
His name is John Minchew and I’ve actually known him for several years as he used to live in Missouri City, although now he lives in Pecan Grove and he and his wife are very active in the community there. He first got into law enforcement while in the Army and Air Force. He has worked as a peace officer in Harris, Fort Bend County, and Florida, his home state.
But he has been more involved in security services, first working in upper management for Wackenhut Security for many years, then starting his own security companies. He’s already told me his motivation to run is all about business as he thinks we need a sheriff with some business experience and the ability to manage employees and a budget.
So I’m going to lunch with him and see if he laughs at my jokes (unlike DA John Healey who has to buy a grin and wouldn’t even laugh at my jokes while soliciting my support). I’ll report back.
One more story…..I lived through a wild fire on our ranch when I was a young girl. It was only grass and did not endanger our house as it was on a remote section of the ranch and we contained it before it got to the house.
But it was frightening. In the middle of the night a neighbor who lived next to that part of the ranch called to tell us that our pastures were on fire. By the time we arrived, our neighbors were out in force and started beating the fires with wet tow sacks. Fortunately, the pastures were near a small creek (Oak Creek) and we filled wash tubs with water and soaked the tow sacks (burlap sack for all you people unfamiliar with what a “tow sack” is) in the tubs.
We started a firebreak where we set a controlled fire so that when the large fire reached the firebreak, there was no vegetation to feed it.
I was young and didn’t understand how you fought a fire with fire, but it gave me a front row understanding from then on. I’ve used the same precept in my life many times, sometimes successfully.
I want to emphasize how frightening the fire was. We watched some valuable land and crops become cinders and I was actually frightened that it was the end of the world. I can sort of understand how those people in Bastrop and Magnolia feel.
It’s getting cooler. I hope next week is better.