The Last Straw

Frozen, fierce and fed up.

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

It has finally happened.  That last nerve of mine that has been poked, proded and provoked over the course of the past 12 months has finally snapped – kind of like our water pipes this week.  It’s not so much that the wicked winter wonderland did it; it was the response – or lack thereof – of our leaders.

This winter thing is serious; we are in quite a fix, and what we need are solutions and solid advice. Now don’t get me wrong, we are getting just that from a few amazing Fort Bend leaders, and I am going to call them out right here for their diligence in providing solutions, cogent information and compassion. These men are the real deal, and as I dealt with no water, no electricity, evacuating mother from a dangerous situation and sending a magazine to press, I appreciated their guidance because that’s what they did:  they guided, they led, they offered solutions during a crisis.

They distributed information about warming centers, they answered real questions about ERCOT and our power instability and most importantly, they shared their dedication to legislative accountability. And my understanding is that two of these leaders weren’t even in Fort Bend. Congressman Troy Nehls and State Representative Jacey Jetton were on this situation from Washington and Austin.  Thank you, gentlemen.

Missouri City Mayor Robin Elackatt and Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman stepped up to do what their jobs required:  lead.  When the water supply became dangerous, when more warming centers needed to be opened, when vital information about city services needed to be shared, these leaders were there.  I thank you, gentlemen.

Now for the less than stellar news.  Here is what we do not need from leaders during a crisis: snarky comments.  No “Good morning to everyone but ERCOT” or “Good morning to everyone except those with power who are not conserving.”  Wow.  And I thought I was cranky in the morning.  That is not helpful nor is it indicative of a leader.  It’s rather adolescent in my opinion.  Could anyone really imagine – during a crisis where people are losing their lives and their livelihoods – the highest-ranking county official saying something like that?

I don’t know what we are going to do Fort Bend, but we need to do something. It’s important; it’s imminent.  It’s not easy being an elected official. I have and have had many dear friends in public service, and the name says it all: serving the public for the greater good. It’s work. It’s hard. It’s self-sacrificing.  Kind of like running your own business and raising a family – just sayin’. I have immense respect for our leaders who chose this arena as their life’s work and do it well.  I reiterate:  it’s not easy.  And frankly, it’s not for everyone.

Or maybe it is. I know people who run their own successful businesses, take care of their employees, raise their families and give back to the community.  So, who’s going to step up?  Honestly, I think it could be any of us – and yes, I did say us – you or I.  I don’t know what the future holds.  My crystal ball froze up this week.  But please remember my friends, we are Fort Bend Strong; not Fort Bend Petty.

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