• Gabe,
    If you are going to investigate whether or not County employees got an extra day might well take a look at how many days off the employees of The Victoria College received.  It's my understanding that they closed for the Holidays on Wednesday, December 17 and will not open again until January 5th...a total of 13 days of paid time off.  In addition, they always receive another 5 days at Spring Break.  That's in addition to MLK Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4,  Labor Day, and Thanksgiving days off.  That's a total of over 5 weeks paid time off, in addition to their vacation time. That's our tax dollars at work...or NOT at work, in this case.
    County employees receiving 1 extra day pales in comparison, I believe. Also, from my understanding, the extra day was a one-time thing only...due to Christmas being on Thursday this year...why make people travel back to town for one day of work and then have the weekend off again?
     It would be nice to know what the new President of Victoria College thinks about all this time off and if he plans to do anything about it.  There are people who work all their lives at one place of employment and never receive that much time off. A person just beginning at the College automatically is eligible for all that time our expense!

    December 29, 2008 at 11:28 a.m.

  • Good question, BIGJ. Thanks for posing it.
    Same goes for you, sandwhichh. I'll call Monday or Tuesday about that.
    Cleric: As funny as your question is, I plan to find the answer. "Watchdog" doesn't always have to be serious, right? :)
    Just Wondering: Great questions. It may be a bit time-consuming to find the answers, but we'll dig into them. The VISD question may actually deserve a story in and of itself.
    Thanks -- Gabe

    December 28, 2008 at 1:32 p.m.

  • What's the deal with corn nuts?  Is it corn, or is it a nut?  Who are these people?

    December 26, 2008 at 1 p.m.

  • Watchdog,
      I wonder what the budget status is of the VISD bond to do construction for new/refurbishing the schools.  It seems things have changed quite a bit in the economy since the bond was agreed to by the voters.  Is it possible that with the downturn in the economy we could actually have agreed to more than enough to pay for the projects.  Or, are we going to be woefully underfunded to complete the projects.
      Another opportunity would be what are the proposed routes for the rail bypass around Victoria.  We heard a lot about the idea some time back, however I never saw a planned route.  South of town, right?
    Thanks for the new blog.  I think if the citizens of Victoria get their head out of the sand, they could prevent trouble in the future.

    December 25, 2008 at 10:45 a.m.

  • Here's one.  Why is the owner of the Victoria Hobby Store and HIPro Audio so damn grumpy? 

    December 24, 2008 at 3:23 p.m.

  • I got one for you.
    Why did the the Victoria County Tax office close at 2pm on the 23rd? That's almost 3 1/2 days off for Christmas. And the other county offices close for 3 days?
    Now, I am all for being off Christmas eve and day but this is a little too much abuse of taxpayer money UNLESS one of those days is unpaid which I am not sure of. Word I got is that all were paid. At a time when we are all having to cut back because of increase prices, layoffs, etc. I believe it is out of line for our taxpayer funded  agencies to abuse the system like this appears to be.

    December 24, 2008 at 2:27 p.m.

  • Ernie Cash: Good to hear from you again. I'd say the major focus of the columns will be on local stories -- those stories that are unique to Victoria and the Crossroads. If you have a great regional, state or national story idea, share that, too, though. I can work on those outside regular business hours. 
    This column will look into all sorts of stories, not just politics. I hope to cast a wide net and cover an array of topics.
    onewhoshappy: Thanks for the tip. Interactivity editor CJ Castillo and I talked about that one this morning.
    Your Suddenlink idea illustrates an important point I'd also like to convey in here. We have to be careful that our discussions are constructive. Often, those sorts of tips can be one-sided and unfair to the other party. If you are upset about a particular local company, politician or product, the best way to share those tips would be by e-mail:
    That way we can look into your complaints without prematurely and publicly tarnishing a person, company or product.
    Editor Chris Cobler and managing editor Tom Martinez describe the purpose of this blog in this way: It's a Watchdog blog, and not an Attack Dog blog. I hope that makes sense.
    Thanks again for sharing your ideas -- Gabe

    December 24, 2008 at 10:57 a.m.

  • How deep can we go with this, Gabe? Local politics? County? State? Or can we at least try to nail some of the big boys to the outhouse door?
    I'm really not aware of - or have any convincing evidence of - corruption in local politics. A few things have looked pretty fishy to me in the recent past but as I'm sure most here already know, attempts to bring that to light were not successful. There are some activities I'd define as less than the wisest course of action but there's a big difference between just being wrong and being crooked.
    On the other hand, there's some insanity at the federal and corporate level that I'd really like to get to the bottom of: $1.7 billion in financial institution bailout funds going to compensate 650 or so banking CEOs being not the least of them.
    We've got to get the "little people" (like me) involved in the goings-on in D.C. and, for that matter, in Austin before their shenanigans make Texas and the entire USA nothing more than a fond memory.

    December 23, 2008 at 8:40 p.m.