Letters: Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Losing Sight of Learning
To the editor: I am concerned that the Tarrant County College board has lost sight of the college’s purpose and succumbed to the self-interested and grandiose plans of a few individuals who believe they have “vision.” I just read Betty Brink’s article (“TCC’s Money Machine,” July 23, 2008) and have followed other articles in a similar vein. I believe that the board has capitulated to Chancellor Leonardo de la Garza and turned over its powers to the people it has hired. Somebody is getting a lot of taxpayer money, and the taxpayer is getting the shaft. If our campuses are not being properly maintained, if money is being stripped from existing program budgets, and if classes are at more than double their proper size, then the board needs to be replaced and the college executives fired.
It is unconscionable that the board would approve a three-year contract after agreeing to a one-year contract. Arlington just fired its educational leader over a dispute involving a few thousand dollars in honoraria. De la Garza has managed to waste a couple hundred million and gets a raise and a three-year contract?
No wonder the voters don’t turn out — it doesn’t matter anymore. The people in power do what they want, and the voters just pay and pay.
Disgusting! When are the next board elections?
Corbin Douthitt
To the editor: Thanks to the Weekly and Betty Brink for showing us the tip of the iceberg at another one of our taxing entities – the Tarrant County College. The Weekly did a good job on the Tarrant County Hospital District as well. Who’s next? Maybe Fort Worth city hall.
The other paper, with its watchdogs, reports on individual complaints, and that’s OK, but the Weekly tells it like it is on the “big ’uns.” Keep up the good work.
TCC trustees McGee and Hudson need help. We don’t need to wait for another election. Hopefully a majority on the board will listen to voices of the people. The first priority of the TCC is education.
I’ve seen this work in Haltom City. When the leadership doesn’t listen, pack the public hearing with a group of irate taxpayers. Then find a couple of elected officials who are listening (McGee and Hudson). That’s enough for a motion and a second. Have several speakers with facts at the public forum. The rest is up to the majority.
One last thing: I can’t imagine an employee telling the board of directors “no” when they ask him to do something.
Jack O. Lewis
Haltom City
Katia’s Home
To the editor: Thank you for another great expose in the form of “Saving Katia” (July 2, 2008). I’m a birth mom, so the story was especially sad to read, but also eye-opening.
Luckily, I placed my daughter in a semi-open adoption and get to see her on a pretty regular basis. She knows I’m her birth mom and has no emotional or mental problems.
On the flip side, I was also a resident of a group home as a juvenile and later was a child advocate, so I’ve seen all sides of the issue. It was disturbing to read the quote from an official to the effect that Katia wasn’t in one questionable institution very long. I can say with authority, based on experience, that it does affect you for life whether you’ve been there one week or one year.
I pray that Katia finds her way home.
Terri Rimmer
Fort Worth
To the editor: Thanks for writing such a good article on Katia and the Seidel family. I’ve known about the hurdles the family has had to deal with. I’m glad you have Dr. Karyn Purvis’ comments. I have a background in nursing and healthcare administration, and I know how different disciplines can have narrow views of reality. And then the people who should be helping the situation get defensive, territorial, hurtful, and dangerous.
My daughter is one of Katia’s closest friends, and we visited her in the Cimarron facility. It was so clear that she was in the wrong environment and held as if in prison. Of course my daughter misses her, and I don’t think the “system” that holds her ever considered the effect their actions could have on so many people — especially Katia. It’s hard to believe there are truly any educated (or compassionate) people involved with the entire process.
I think the attachment disorder is a big piece of the misunderstanding, and it will be great if readers — especially those who are the caretakers of people with these kinds of problems — can see the truth and the bigger picture. I do hope Katia can be returned to her family, or at the very least be allowed to live nearby.
Marty Ringler
Fort Worth

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