FORT BEND FAIR. BALANCED. INFORMATIVE.
P. O.BOX 623, SUGAR LAND, TX 77487-0623WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARy 3, 2010
VOL 3 No.5
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Seshadri KumarPublisher & Editor
10701 Corporate Drive, #282, Staff ord, TX 77477Mailing Address: P.O. Box 623, Sugar Land, TX 77487
Fort Bend Independent is published every Wednesday (for a sub-scription rate of $20 per year) by Fort Bend Independent, LLC., 10701 Corporate Dr., #282, Stafford, Texas 77477. Periodical post-age application pending. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Fort Bend Independent, P.O. Box 623, Sugar Land, Tx 77487.
By SESHADRI KUMARA candidate for the Fort
Bend County Democratic Party Chair has successfully forced the Fort Bend County Election Administration to correct his name on the bal-lot, after a few mail-in ballots were already sent out.
The Democratic Party Chair candidate Steve Brown had submitted an application to the incumbent party chair Elaine Bishop.
On his application, Brown indicated his name should appear as Stephen Steve Brown.
However, when the offi -cial ballots were released his named appeared as Stephan Brown, both misspelled and omitting the short form.
The county has already sent some of these ballots to absen-tee voters, such as servicemen overseas.
Bishop, who has been the county Democratic Party Chair for the last years, is seeking re-election and Bish-op says she has been asked by numerous community mem-bers to run again because they felt it was important.
On the correction to Browns name on the ballot, Bishop said We have re-solved. It is a done deal. We
are moving ahead.Ms. Bishops lack of dili-
gence in carrying out her of-fi cial duties was a motivating factor in my decision to run for this position. This isnt the fi rst time Ms. Bishop has made errors in submitting a candidates name for the bal-lot... her lack of attention to detail in the discharge of her public duties costs the taxpay-ers, Brown said in a state-ment.
The Texas Election code re-quires that a candidate appear with the name of his choice, and that ballots be corrected if changes are made to the vot-ers choices in an election.
As only a handful of ballots had been mailed, the admin-istration agreed to reprint the mail-in ballots instead of pre-cipitating a litigation.
It may seem like a small thing, but my campaign ma-terials, which were planned months in advance, are af-fected by the misspelled list-ing and the omission of my nickname, which is how I am known to voters around the county, Brown stated.
My website, social net-working tools, mail advertise-ments, and signs all use the name Steve, which is how I was told my name would ap-
pear on the ballot, and which is how it has appeared in the past.
County elections offi cials assured Browns campaign that the correction process, which includes reprogram-ming the countys electronic voting machines, would be complete before early voting, which begins Feb. 16.
Browns career in politics began as a campus organizer for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Harvey Gantt, and founder of the North Caro-lina A&T State University - College Democrats chapter. Those efforts resulted in be-ing awarded an internship in the Clinton White House.
He has since worked on a number of campaigns and in the legislative offi ces of such Democrats as U.S. Congress-woman Sheila Jackson Lee, State Rep. Sylvester Turner, and U.S. Trade Representa-tive Ron Kirk.
Fort Bend County stands at a political critical juncture. Through leadership, resources and an engaged base, we can speed the pace at which we turn our county blue, and be-gin electing Democrats to of-fi ce today. But, it will take an united and energized move
County Democratic Party Chair race starts with a hiccup
See BALLOT, Page 3
Bill and Robyn Tompkins, Quail Valley residents, recently welcomed home their daughter Lieuten-ant Alicia Tompkins Carey, who was visiting between deployments with United States Air Force.
Lieutenant Alicia Tomp-kins Carey, a graduate of El-kins High School, the United States Air Force Academy and daughter of Quail Val-ley residents Bill and Robyn Tompkins, recently returned home from deployment in the Middle East for a delayed Christmas with her family.
When the Quail Valley Ex-change Club heard the news, the members quickly went to work getting permission from
the Tompkins neighbors, to line their street with Ameri-can Flags upon her return. It is our pleasure to honor these fi ne young men and women who are serving our country, said Kirk Wilkerson of the Exchange Club.
Carey is a C-17 pilot in the U.S.Air Force 15th Air-lift Squadron in Charleston, South Carolina. In the fall of 2009, she deployed with the 17th Airlift Squadron to Qa-
tar and fl ew daily missions to transport supplies, equipment and personnel as well as per-formed medical evacuations and Command transport ser-vices.
Carey is scheduled for re-deployment mid year.
Her husband, Lt. Zach Car-ey, is also in the United States Air Force.
He is a Security Forces Of-fi cer presently deployed to Afghanistan.
Quail Valley accords heros welcome to USAF pilot
Mike and Judy Schmid, left, bought a U.S. fl ag in an auction during the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner of the Fort Bend County Republican Party on Jan. 29. The fi nal bid was $7,800. The fl ag was fl own over Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on Patriot Day, Sept.11, 2009, in honor of Spirit of Freedom and the Republican Party of Fort Bend County for their support of U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The family who donated the fl ag is Catherine (far right), son Nick and daughter Noelle. Their father and husband is Navy Commander Michael Smith. Smith is due to return this week from Kuwait. He was called back into active duty last year. He sent the fl ag in October to Mary Favre to be auctioned off to the charity of her choice.Favre has been sending him suppplies to help support his troops. The Smith family lives in Sugar Creek. Third from left is Laura Ingraham, keynote speaker. More on Page 8.
Priceless fl ag
By BARBARA FULENWIDERHaving just left a turbulent
decade the city enters anoth-er as it scrambles to rebound from a tumble the likes of which occurred only once be-fore in the citys history -- in the mid-1980s when the lights went out in Houston, Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella told his audience at the civic cen-ter.
This time tumbling oil prices arent the culprit but instead it was an insatiable and unchecked greed on Wall Street that led to government bailouts, which, Scarcella said threw the people and busi-nesses on Main Street un-der the bus, Scarcella said while delivering his annual
state of the city address.He said the results have
been devastating for the citys vibrant corporate network, which continues to reverber-ate with negative impacts on the city.
Staffords strong local econ-omy pays for the great major-ity of the citys services via sales taxes. When that fi nan-cial base is eroded, Scarcella said, the damage is signifi -cant and that is exactly what has happened to the Stafford economy.
Despite the downturn, the mayor said the city has pre-pared for the past 20 years to withstand such a severe down-turn, and that preparation in-cludes eliminating debt.
Stafford prepared to face economic downturn
See STAFFORD, Page 3
After 15 consecutive years of zero property tax, Stafford continued to eliminate debt this past year. The citys ap-proach resulted in cutting out-standing long-term obligations to less than $1.7 million part of the goal to be debt free in four more years.
Not everything was about the economy in the mayors speech.
He pointed out that in 2009 Stafford saw the completion of widening and improvements to U.S. 90A, which gives the town a new, vibrant look, and quiet zones negotiated with Union Pacifi c have eliminated the noisy train horns that have reverberated across Stafford for the past 150 years.
Scarcella noted that last year the city acquired rights of way and engineering plans for the multi-entity Stafford/Stafford-shire roads plan to connect the Fifth Street expansion to Belt-way 8 at a total cost of $19 million. The city will pay $6 million of that total.
Improvements to Brand Lane and Dulles Avenue are also on the radar at a com-bined cost of $2.5 million. Renovating Kirkwood Road and extending Cash Road are being considered.
AN EVENING WITH WIND-BERG. Sugar Land Area Art-ists will present An Evening with Dalhart Windberg at Sugar Lands Lakeview Au-ditorium on Feb. 10, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Dalhart Windberg will also be con-ducting a 3-day workshop Feb. 11-13. To get a regis-tration form, go to www.sug-arlandareaartists.com, then to workshops and Windberg. You may download the regis-tration form or contact Pam Bravenec at 281-265-7256.
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