Help from a reader

February 21, 2017

In Crumbling roads we pointed out that the city’s pavement condition index was not working.

Mr. Michael Bray (one of our loyal readers) contacted the appropriate department and got this response:

Mr. Bray, there were some technical difficulties with the address locator part of the web site application.
The application is now functioning properly.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are still having issues accessing the information.
Our thanks to Mr. Bray.
If you want to see how the city has rated a local street, click on this link:
You might be surprised at how good your road is!
The index was based on a 2008 study.  The city could ask their employees to rate the streets as they drive on them and bring the condition index up to date.
We deserve better

EPISD–not downtown

February 20, 2017

Where will the new EPISD central office building/s be?

The Times printed an article suggesting that the old Hotel Dieu site and/or the high rise adjacent to it might be chosen.

The EPISD board publicly stated that they will move downtown to support downtown development.

Neither of the two properties mentioned above qualify.

We deserve better


Paying the bill

February 19, 2017

Do you remember that children’s hospital that our county judge and others told us would not cost us any money?

The 2016 preliminary financial statements for the county hospital are out.

The auditor’s report includes this statement:

…which resulted in the $48 million owed to UMC being recorded at a fair value of approximately $16.7 million.

That means that the taxpayers are eating another $31 million in losses that our county officials told us would not happen.

The new guy is like a breath of fresh air.  Hopefully we will see a turn around in our fortunes.

We deserve better


DDC not providing meeting minues

February 18, 2017

When city council decided to build our ballpark they created the Downtown Development Corporation (DDC).

Note that it was not named the Ballpark Development Corporation.

That should tell us something.

While the DDC is required to comply with Texas local government rules it seems to want to operate behind the scenes.

They have held meetings in June, August, and October of 2013 as well as in March of 2015 and April of 2016.

None of the meeting minutes for those meetings are available on the DDC website even though minutes for earlier meetings are.

We deserve better



February 17, 2017

Our county commissioners have reconstituted the county  historical commission.

According to the county judge the action has nothing to do with the opinions of the ousted members but instead has to do with perceived violations of the Texas open meetings act.

Chapter 318 of the Texas local government code establishes the county commissioner’s authority to create a local county historical commission.  It gives the county commissioners the responsibility of appointing at least seven residents of the county to the historical commission–in January of an odd numbered year.

The very fact that county commissioners appointed new members in February is a violation of the rules.  Don’t look for the county commissioners to remove themselves for their own violation of Texas law.


Few of us believe what the county judge has said.  The members were removed because of their attempt to interfere with the placement of the arena.

She claims that the members were removed because they may have violated the law while at the same time she violates chapter 318.

We deserve better




EPISD–special board meetings

February 16, 2017

EPISD used to make the video of their special board of trustees meetings available on their web site.

The last one they published was for the March 15, 2016 meeting, almost a year ago.

Since then the the board has held twelve special meetings.  None of those videos are available on their website.

The January 17, 2017 special meeting included an agenda item that allowed them to take action on the new central office.

It seems that they are using special meetings to handle issues that they don’t want us to know much about.

We deserve better


EPISD–ambushing a contractor?

February 15, 2017

EPISD recently filed a lawsuit against a prominent local builder.

The contractor built an elementary school for the district in 2009.

The company’s senior vice president was quoted at saying:

“To date, EPISD has not notified us directly of any issues with our work performed at Tom Lea Elementary School in 2009, aside from routine warranty work, which was completed and approved by the district,”

If the builder is correct and EPISD has not worked in good faith to resolve whatever problems there may be then EPISD is out of line.

EPISD’s board president was quoted by the Times as saying:

“It will affect the score during the procurement process,” Fenenbock said. “If there are defects, if litigation was required to resolve it and if there was a settlement and the defects were cured – all those things will be scored and taken into consideration” when awarding a contract.

Bond money

Is this EPISD’s way of taking the contractor out of contention to get contracts out of the new bond money that the district has?

The school was built in 2009.  If EPISD has problems with it why have they not put the contractor on notice that the problems must be fixed or a lawsuit will be filed?

If the contractor is telling the truth EPISD has damaged the contractor’s reputation unfairly and may itself face litigation.

We deserve better


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