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Letter: Brady’s town halls should be better publicized in advance

March 6, 2017 GMT

Brady’s town halls should be better publicized

To the editor:

I read Kevin Brady’s guest editorial, and he says, “And a special thanks to the constituents who joined me for five town halls and roundtables last week.”

I’m just wondering if the “five town halls and roundtables” were advertised. I would assume that the constituent-planned event would not have been necessary, had the organizers of the Conroe Tower event been aware of Congressman Brady’s “town halls and roundtables.”

In addition, I read the two Letters to the Editor, the first claiming the Conroe Tower event was attended by “phony, rude, fake ‘constituents’ who have been organized by nefarious outside forces whose goal is to overthrow the duly elected leaders of my county and my country.” What evidence does this person have? These are scurrilous, unsubstantiated claims.

Seems to me that this is typical Trumpian projection. Just because Trump hired actors to cheer him on when he announced his candidacy for the presidency at Trump Tower, doesn’t mean other people sink that low. The fact that Trump hired actors from a movie extra firm is not fake news, having been confirmed by legitimate media.

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The second letter to the editor asserts that the attendees at the Conroe Tower event were homegrown, concerned local constituents. In my opinion, many of Congressman Brady’s town halls and roundtables are not meant for all his constituents, but only for those he can count on to support his positions and not criticize him.

I witnessed that when I attended the mid-January event at the Chamber that originally was just meant for Chamber businesses to gripe about how the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, aka Obamacare, was horrible. However, to the Chamber’s and congressman’s credit, the meeting was eventually opened to the general public. Unfortunately, I don’t believe it was advertised that it was open to all in time for much of the public to attend. Nevertheless, quite a few people did show and were able to share their positive experiences with Obamacare.

The bottom line is this: If Congressman Brady is going to have private sessions, that’s all well and good, but don’t pass them off as constituent meetings. These are meetings with special constituencies. He should have more meetings open to all constituents; and if anyone has any doubts whether the attendees are outside agitators or concerned citizens, feel free to ask to see their driver’s licenses. I’m happy to show you mine.

Alan Richel

The Woodlands

‘Under house arrest’ in The Woodlands

To the editor:

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So once again, the residents are locked like prisoners in their own homes as our streets are taken over by those who belong to the marathon crowd. With their holier-than-thou attitudes, they feel entitled to the exclusive use of our streets while those of us who are obviously lesser human beings who still rely on our gasoline-burning, carbon-emitting vehicles wait on the sidelines for our chance to use the very roads our taxes created and maintain.

And like clockwork, we are constantly reminded of the greater good that is generated by this takeover in terms of the nonprofits and volunteer organizations that are supported by this invasion, though for some reason, these great causes are never listed by name and now we know that whatever they are, many if not all, are located in areas other than the community that has to come to a grinding halt to support them.

I realize that I am one of only about 5 percent of The Woodlands residents that has an issue with this and the upcoming Ironman marathon that will keep me prisoner for an entire day instead of just half. How do I know this? Well, none other than the event director of The Woodlands Marathon Management says so. According to his “research,” conducted in his self-serving mind, 90-95 percent of the community supports this invasion. Wow, so only one out of 20 people who can’t drive their streets, can’t shop, can’t support local businesses have an issue with this. Geez, if you are going to come up with self-serving statistics, why not go for 100 percent? Well, make that 99.9999 percent.

Until I see a check for my share of this supposed windfall for our community, I am just not buying it.

Tom Sadlowski

The Woodlands

Double standard on media outrage

To the editor:

The Left is going nuts trying to take down our country, but where was the media’s indignation about Obama’s ties to Russia when he said with an open mike to the Russian Medvedev, “I’ll have more latitude when I am re-elected?”

Where was their hateful comments on health care when Pelosi said, “You have to pass the bill in order to read the bill?”

It’s amazing how tolerant the GOP folks were to these comments that were glossed over by the media. The lack of comment then versus current left demagoguery presented by the media only points to the leftist Dems not recognizing their own failings. No wonder they lost. Sad, very sad.

Arron Angle

The Woodlands

Sad times for property tax relief

To the editor:

All sarcasm aside, the sage of Montgomery County is spot on regarding the pitiful property tax savings that our elected representatives have fought so hard to “win” for us. The good news is that they can now say they have lived up to their campaign promises. The bad news is that it hardly even matters as they have once again failed to properly fix the tax code for Texans and, selfishly for Montgomery County residents.

Frankly, I don’t think they want to fix it, or more positive measures would have been proposed and passed that would actually make a difference. We are left with an appraisal district that does not give a hoot about the logical and factual FMV data you bring them to contest your taxes. As I have said in past posts, the only solution is a “repeal and replace” of the property tax code. Now, that looks to be at least another two years away when the next session convenes and perhaps we will have elected folks who don’t care about what restroom the less than 1 percent of the population uses so they can focus on the real issues that face Texans.

To put it in Trump’s Twitterese: Sad, Very Sad.

Arron Angle

The Woodlands

Big disappointment comes in small tax break package

To the editor:

I saw on the front page of The Courier a photo and story about how the big guns from Austin, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, came to pay homage to Commissioner Noack for spearheading the recently passed property tax cut. It is wonderful for the county to get such attention. I am full of joy knowing that I bought my house years ago and will make thousands of dollars in tax-free profits when I sell. Plus, while living in it, I get an extraordinary tax cut; how spectacular is that?

I am so excited, my palms are sweating, thinking about what I am going to do with this celebrated gift of a tax cut. Maybe I will buy my lovely wife a diamond tennis bracelet. Or I will buy me a four-wheeler; I always thought it would be fun to run the trails around Lake Stubblefield. Like a kid at Christmas, I can’t wait until next year’s tax bill to see my windfall, so I am going to calculate it and share it with all of you today.

I am too lazy to dig out my tax info, so I am going to use the guidance provided by The Courier. On most Sundays, they publish a column by the brilliant and knowledgeable real estate agent Marion Franke. Those that read my letters know I am a math guy, so I figure I can parse her numbers and come up with a reasonable average home price to use as a base. This should give us the tax cut value for the Average Joe in Montgomery County and my tax cut and most of yours should be similar.

I am ready to do the calculation. Wait a minute, with Lt Gov. Patrick watching there is a lot of pressure to get this right. I need to take the advice of part-time Courier lifestyle columnist Jan Dial and focus on breathing. First, I’ll run the formula in my head. Let’s see: Property value times the homestead percentage divided by the tax units times the tax rate. I got it. This isn’t even mathematics it’s only sixth-grade arithmetic. Easy as Pi.

I am ready to do the calculation. Oh wait, I almost forgot property taxes are deductible, so if you get a tax cut you have to pay the IRS. Let’s see the incremental federal tax rate for an average family of four is 25 percent, I will make that adjustment. I now understand the edginess actors at the Oscars feel waiting to find out about their prize. I am shaking with anticipation.

I am ready to do the calculation. Wait, I want to be polite and courteous to those who worked so hard to give us this windfall. I figure when someone gives you a pile of money, you should do a celebratory touchdown dance while focusing on what to write in your thank you note. My wife has a much higher EQ so I will enlist her to write the note. Then again, I will have to proofread it because she did graduate from Conroe High School. That is an inside joke and I will deservingly get a slap on the back of my head for adding it to this letter. I am now going to take a break to dance.

I am back and excited as ever and ready to do the calculation. If our reward is large enough, I bet we can get Gov. Abbot to come to our hometown and give the commissioners a medal. That would be great for their careers. Let’s calculate. Based on Ms. Franke’s numbers, the average home price is about $235,000. A little higher in The Woodlands and a little lower in East County, but on average it is reasonable.

Now I am finally ready to calculate. Let’s see, home price times the HSE percentage is $235,000 X 10%= $23,500. Looking good so far. Then divide by TU and times TR is $23,500/100X.4667= $109.675, adjust for taxes $109.675X.75= the answer: drum roll, please. The much-celebrated tax cut for the average Montgomery County family homeowner is $82.25. Wow!

My tax cut is a whopping 82 bucks, give or take. Holy cow, there goes the diamond bracelet and four-wheeler, how disappointing. All you readers should write a letter to the paper and share how you plan to spend your whole 82 bucks. I am curious. I guess rich guys like Creighton and Noack who live in giant, expensive houses are excited about their tax reward. But at the risk of sounding like a Debbie downer, to me it doesn’t seem like much of anything to brag about.

Tim Doherty

Conroe