Victoria County does not need more courtrooms
July 21, 2013 at 2:21 a.m.
Editor, the Advocate:
There are times that actions taken by area government officials in Victoria County cause one to enter a state of confusion. Other times, those similar actions invoke anger and frustration. The recent revelations regarding bogus claims of the need for more courtroom space invokes both. There is absolutely zero need for additional courtrooms in Victoria County, and any claims to the contrary are misleading and erroneous. I personally challenge anyone who agrees with the claim to venture to the courthouse and spend appreciable amounts of time there, particularly at varying times of the day. Anyone making this effort will find most of the courtrooms vacated on most afternoons. I find it curious that, among the tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars that will be spent on surveys, not a single dime will be spent on a utilization study.
Of equal intrigue is the claim that has been repeated of having eight judges sharing four courtrooms. I have no idea where that number originates, unless County Judge Don Pozzi is being included. To my knowledge, Judge Pozzi has never presided over any court other than that of the commissioners, which has a separate and fifth courtroom. Of the remaining seven judges, four preside over multiple county districts; the point being that the figures of eight and four are misleading, at best.
Although the data is too voluminous to include in this letter, a simple survey of similarly populated counties around Texas will reveal that, if Victoria were to add even one additional courtroom, it would far exceed the norm in terms of courtrooms per capita. There are counties whose population exceeds that of Victoria by nearly one third with either fewer or an equal number of courtrooms.
What everyone needs to realize is that this issue has nothing to do with actual needs. It has to do with builders, designers, surveyors, suppliers and contractors of all sorts wanting to get paid. You will find their names littered across the campaign finance reports of most of the commissioners. Isn't it time to connect the dots?
Matt Ocker, Victoria