Fort Bend County, one of the nation’s fastest-growing and most diverse counties, is a place brimming with activity.
One need only peruse news and think piece articles on Google to understand that fact intellectually. People everywhere are paying attention to what’s happening here.
But the events of last week, at least for those of us working for the Star, are a perfect reminder of just how much is happening, and how hard it is to cover everything in Fort Bend County.
The week began on a high note, with food writer Stefan Modrich learning that two Fort Bend County restaurants – Dozier’s BBQ in Fulshear and Harlem Road Texas BBQ in Richmond – were both granted a coveted spot on Texas Monthly’s list of the top barbecue places in the state, which only comes out once every four years and spurs trips across the state for many barbecue-obsessed residents.
Modrich had actually visited Harlem Road a year earlier, and has plans to visit Dozier’s. But the honor was the latest acknowledgement that it’s not just us who want to highlight the amazing food in Fort Bend County.
Then, the news began breaking in quick succession. First, there was the announcement that Fort Bend ISD’s board of trustees had voted to denounce one of its own, asserting that Denetta Williams had discriminated against a former employee and not followed board rules with her incendiary posts on social media, among other reasons.
Politics on the board of trustees has been testy in recent months – spurred, no doubt, by the spike in the delta variant of the coronavirus and extreme partisanship over all education issues. The recent vote against Williams highlighted those issues aren’t going away anytime soon.
Then, in Missouri City, the city council moved forward with plans to interview eight candidates for the open city manager position. But those interviews won’t actually happen until November – after voters decide whether or not to approve up to $85 million in bond propositions and two open council positions.
We’ve asked for details about who those eight candidates are, but city officials required us to submit an open records request for the public information. We will write a follow-up as soon as we hear back.
And in Sugar Land, crews will soon break ground on a $1.9 million drainage project in the Greatwood neighborhood that they hope will reduce flooding in the future. The funding came through a bond proposition voters approved back in 2019.
The Texas Legislature also ventured into Fort Bend County by awarding the University of Houston about $52 million to build a second administrative facility at its Sugar Land campus.
Beyond the major headlines, there’s also all the small, but important encounters we had last week – with residents, with elected officials, with business leaders.
Where are you going with all of this, you might ask? Well, by providing some recap of everything that happened in the last week alone, I’d hope to talk about the relationship between the Fort Bend Star and its readers.
Just like the leaders and people featured in the breaking news this week, you all lead busy, busy lives. Whether you’re someone who drives to the Medical Center each morning, or a realtor helping residents find their first home or anyone else – your lives are filled with just as much activity and uniqueness as the county itself.
So, it’s our job to get out there, make phone calls and bring the latest and greatest about Fort Bend County directly to you. If ever we had a bias- it’s for seeking more information that is publicly available for our many loyal readers.
Even though we gather news on a full-time basis, it’s still hard to keep up with every noteworthy thing happening in Fort Bend County. This is where our readers become important as sources as well. A journalist is only as good as those in conversation with them. We thrive on feedback from readers and interested people. Have you noticed a big new building on the side of the road and would like to know what it is? We’re here to get answers for you.
We’re also working this year to meet the demand on instantaneous and on-the-spot updates about the workings of Fort Bend County, moving beyond an overreliance on the print product to newsletters and a more regularly-updated website. Please visit us at www.fortbendstar.com to see the work we’re doing there, and also subscribe to our newsletter.
The winds of change and innovation are ever-blowing in Fort Bend County, and together we’ll strive our hardest to keep up with them – the good, the bad and everything in between.