Was out of town, someone yesterday told me that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had a good article about Somervell County within the last couple of weeks. A few choice quotes from the article.
Comanche Peak’s decreasing values, coupled with tax increases including those from a new hospital district, have sparked complaints from many residents who argue that the commissioners simply don’t know how to manage assets.
But what did Judge Mike Ford say about the Comanche Peak situation?
Last month, Moody's Investors Service said it expects parts of the company to seek Chapter 11 protection before year’s end.
Ford, the county judge, said he tries to ignore the rumors.
“Somebody calls me weekly saying that they’ve declared bankruptcy or the plant’s been sold,” Ford said.
Right, because the response is to stick your fingers in your ears and pretend you don't hear what's going on, particularly when it is your JOB to prepare for the future. But then, that's likely why, now that he has been in charge of creating this Welfare Queen mess, he's going to be out of the picture. We also wonder if he's been feathering the nest he hopes to plant in, for some job at the Glen Rose Medical Center (but only if the job includes a mirror where he can admire himself daily).
The article goes on to talk about how much Somervell County residents are kicking in through taxes to keep some expensive buildings open.
Squaw Valley Golf Club. The county has been adding $540,000 annually just to keep it running, despite having someone whose job it was to bring in business and make it self-supporting. That person now WORKS for the county, while a long term course employee was summarily let go shortly before retirement. Also the appraised value of the golf course is 2.5 million but Somervell County has spent 15.7 mil on it. And don't think that just because the county took over running the golf course that now we won't have to pay anything. Still going to be a deficit.
Somervell County Expo Center. How much do we taxpayers get soaked for this Welfare situation? $921,000 a year. And I'm a little tired of hearing this "It brings in money", such as this quote from Ford
“That’s why individuals don’t run these things, because they don’t make money,” Ford said. “But it has a multimillion-dollar effect with the hotel-motel taxes it brings in and the visitors from out of town. We have already started the process of looking at personnel structure, our administrative structure, to make improvements.”
Oh, please. Prove it. One of the local motels closed down during a large event that the Master Gardeners had planned for a couple of years and the people therein had to hastily look for other arrangements. I'd like to see a completely unbiased report, not done by some marketing firm, that showed, overall, including the city, EXACTLY what monies were not only brought in, but what salaries and expenses went out of it, etc. Because I just don't believe what Ford said, as anyone can say any type of baloney without proof.
Texas Amphitheatre. Also being run at a deficit of $100,000 per year. And for what? A religious show. Why should taxpayers be kicking in money to keep a building open STRICTLY for a religious show, The Promise, that could just as easily be put on in a church? Is it even legal for the county to be trying to float that boat? I note the the 2 people, besides Ford, that they quoted there, don't even live in Somervell County. Maybe these Promise people should just BUY the building and grounds. Again, Ford's comment
“I’m having some good conversations with them over management and maintenance,” Ford said. “We don’t want to lose the asset.”
and of course, not to mention the Somervell County Hospital Authority, which we will mention again on a new post.