Saturday, July 5, 2008

Atascocita 4th of July

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, my family and I, along with a group of our supporters, participated in the Atascocita 4th of July celebration. We had a wonderful time meeting the residents of the community both before and during the parade.
A number of children were in their strollers, on their bikes, in their golf carts and in their vehicles decorated with flags and ribbons to honor our forefathers and the birth of our Nation.

Also, I was wearing my Vietnam Veteran cap and I was greatly honored as fellow vets stopped by to shake my hand and wish me luck in my campaign. As we waited for the start of the parade, I was approached by some of our neighbors who said that they were Republicans but were not happy with the current state of the GOP.

I reminded our neighbors that the problems facing the district have nothing to do with party affiliations. It is not a question of being a Republican or a Democratic candidate, a Liberal or an Independent candidate but it is a question of who can get results. The truth is that our district has no voice in Austin.

I was then asked my views on the proposed property tax hike by the Humble ISD that would be facing the residents in November. I advised these folks that after attending various meetings, including a personal meeting with Dr. Sconzo, Superintendent of Humble ISD, I believe that the school board had very few options before they proposed the tax hike. Further, I believe that they were made certain promises by the state leadership regarding school funding but were later betrayed by the State Leaders that they help send to Austin.

I was then approached about the mobility problem (or lack of mobility) facing the Atascocita, Humble and Kingwood areas: specifically, the lack of Metro services. I explained that I understood their frustration given the fact the gas was close to $4.00 per gallon; however, Metro issues need to be addressed on the City and County level of government. But as an elected official, I would be able to speak on the people's behalf to request added services and routes.

Generally, I am aware of the proposed expansion of FM 1960 and FM 2100 in hopes of relieving the traffic problems within these areas. Further, I pointed out that the next State Representative must be willing to go toe to toe with the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) to ensure that delays are at a minimum, cost overages to the State are non-existent and that they are accountable to the people of Texas, no matter the situation.

Finally I was asked about the Joe Horn case.

As I responded to this individual, I pointed out that I was speaking as a citizen, a retired federal agent, father and brother with family members in law enforcement presently serving our community.

I do believe in the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, we all have the right to own firearms; especially if we are properly trained in their use. Further, I believe that an individual has the right to protect his/her family and property, including the use of deadly force if necessary, but that said, we are also responsible for our actions when using these weapons.

As a retired officer, I can say that one of the worst calls an officer is faced with is that of a well-meaning citizen holding an individual at gun point. In this situation the officer is faced not only with apprehending the criminal, but also the possibility of being shot or having to shoot in most cases an inexperienced civilian who is an emotional state and is not thinking clearly.

When individuals are advised by law enforcement professionals that they are responding to a situation and are given specific instructions that the individual elects to ignore, the individual not only placed themselves in danger but also the officers responding to the call. For this reason, a person must be held accountable for their actions.

The Houston Community News reported last month that applications for Concealed Handgun Licenses have risen 39% this year and I believe that this is a result of our population growth and the public's lack of faith in our law enforcement community. Was this a factor in the Horn case?
In Mr. Horn's case, I understand that he believed that he was acting in good faith and the Harris County Grand Jury agreed; however, in his last statement to the media Mr. Horn appeared to regret his actions. I believe that Mr. Horn, although well meaning, made a poor decision.

The individuals who ask me this question departed with mixed responses, some positive, some not so positive, but with the understanding that they may not agree with my views, I am willing to listen to their opinion.

I wish to thank the organizers of the 4th of July parade and they should be proud of this grand event. In my opinion, the event is an example of what hometown America truly is.

Your Democratic Candidate for Texas House District 127
Joe A. Montemayor

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