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 February 02, 2004

a column by Nelson Thibodeaux or Things that chap my butt!

On October 3rd, 2003, I wrote a column about Star-Telegram's Dave Lieber declaring that the GCISD Board of Trustees had "destroyed itself". In that column, I reflected on the responses of the Trustees posted on LNO concerning Lieber's revelation.   I concluded the following, "Every Trustee that took the time to respond clearly demonstrated their personal understanding of responsibilities in public office. The simple fact that a group of seven does not agree, may not like each other's style, even think that a member is out of line, does not justify some public damnation of these members."  The only Trustee that failed to give input, consistent with her previous conduct, was Vicki Thomas.  Click Here for that column.

Now Poison Pen Dave has taken after GCISD Trustee Freda Ward again.  Lieber concluded that Ward's questions to Trustee Jesse Rodriquez concerning the purchase of textbooks from his company by GCISD is "hypocrisy"!  According to Ward in her column, Click Here  , "He (Lieber) told me on Tuesday, when he called to question me, that if I had not questioned my fellow trustee, who he has high regards for, that he would not need to write a negative article about me." 

Unlike Lieber, I live in and pay taxes to the GCISD district and both my children graduated from Grapevine High School.  Rodriquez, Ward and John Eubanks were elected to the school board at the same time and received cross over support from each other's candidacy.  I supported all three of these individuals and fully intend to support them again for re-election, once again that would be ALL THREE.

 Now with typical sanctimonious arrogance Lieber writes that "...I made the news judgment that I would not report what I believed was an apparent conflict of interest..." , he goes on to say he "felt sorry that she lost her job," referring to Ward. First of all as a journalist, I would have hoped that Lieber would simply have reported the facts, but of course making a "news judgment" by a columnist is a dangerous precedent.

Through his inflammatory columns, blatant generalizations, personal attacks, and political bias, Lieber has done more to discourage "new faces" from getting involved in local public service than any political machine.  Lieber has delivered political heartburn to many locally elected officials through his perceived "conflict of interest" conclusions.

Unlike Lieber, I have served in local elected office. Everyone I worked and came in contact with, including my most ardent opponents, I felt were doing what they thought best for their community.  Getting elected wasn't about grabbing a free meal at a convention or expecting favorable treatment.  Your neighbors elected to council or school boards spend hours and hours of their personal time without any compensation.  Both while serving as an elected official and from a journalist's observation, I believe  these elected officials are doing what they think is best for their community. While I may have vehement disagreement about policy or approach, in my opinion, none of these individuals served in local public office for their own personal gain, that is all except ONE! 

You might recall the ex-mayor that help direct $7.5 million in Colleyville's TIF funds and then, in less than six months, took a job with the same firm?  You might recall, when I served on city council with this individual my disagreements with the ex-mayor's policy and conduct were discounted by Lieber because I was simply a "meanie" and the poor mayor was being "victimized." 

Get a load of this guy, Lieber calls Ward's conduct "hypocrisy" and he was not surprised because of her previous votes  concerning a certain ethics policy. 

What about ethics in the City of Colleyville.  Might he recall the big push for "Ethics Rules" in Colleyville by the same mayor?  Not a WORD from North East Tarrant's political conscience about the absolute blatant, unethical confirmation of conduct by his newspaper's favorite local ex-mayor. 

When it comes to "hypocrisy", there is one thing for certain. Local elected officials may from time to time conduct themselves in a manner some may think is hypocritical, but they are truly amateurs compared to the self-promoting Dave Lieber.  You see, the rest of us find it hard to compete with a Professional Hypocrite. 

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