Fort Bend County Bar Opening Survey
The global pandemic isn’t man-made, but the decisions coming out of the Governor’s office in Austin are. Too often, last-minute statewide directives fly out of Austin that affect the lives and livelihoods of every man, woman, and child in the State of Texas. Whether unilaterally closing secure absentee ballot locations a few days before Early Voting or haphazardly opening up commercial enterprises like bars, confusion and chaos seems to be the constant from the Governor’s office as opposed to calm, collected, and common-sense public policy.
As these major decisions are made, input or consultation from legislators and local officials would go a long way in crafting strategic, community-supported decisions without causing controversy and division. During these difficult times, we need to be working together and building bridges, not continuing to rule from unilateral Executive Order. I have said it before, and I will say it again: I stand ready to work with any official on either side of the aisle to make life better for our residents.
When Fort Bend County got the first case of COVID-19 in the State of Texas, the Governor indicated that local jurisdictions could make decisions based on the needs of each local community. Since then, that ability has been seized – a pattern of dismantling local control and centralizing it with state government – and is slowly given back but only for the tough decisions. Just yesterday, Governor has now pitched the decision of opening bars and similar establishments to local officials.
The top priority for Fort Bend County is a fast economic recovery without compromising the safety and wellbeing of our residents. I know our residents make smart decisions, and I rely on their valuable input in the decision making process. I have always said my decisions will be based on the science, data, expert opinions, and community input. While consulting with the respective medical authorities and reviewing the data, I am issuing a survey for bar owners to fill out, so I can ensure your voices are heard during this major process. Please fill out the survey and provide your feedback.
Thank you for your patience during this pandemic. I pray better times are ahead. Together, we will prevail.
Fort Bend County Judge