This is an ARCHIVE of my web site at about the 2002 November election
Some links on this page may not work. Some links connected to updated material
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Welcome to
Van Zandt E-Forum

E-Platform for Udo Birnbaum, independent candidate for
  Van Zandt County Judge

About me    Independent candidate    My upcoming book  

An electronic forum for Van Zandt OPEN "anonymous political speech",
 with emphasis on our Courthouse as both our problem and our solution.

Courts matter    (The lawlessness going on in our 294th District Court. From official records)
On the lighter side  (judge telling the jury that I am not allowed to tell them what I was sued for!  How ridiculous.)
Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee (about "white collar crime" in the courts.  The next Enron?)

        Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any person or firm or corporation  which may appear on this site will be gladly corrected upon being brought to my attention.  Also, if  I have erred in any facts, or conclusions, or if your facts or conclusions differ from mine, please let me know.  E-mail:  Brnbm@aol , Snail-mail: Udo Birnbaum, 540 VZ CR 2916, Eustace, TX 75124, Phone 903/ 479-3929

Make Comments or Suggestions.  Enter your comments on this race, this website, Van Zandt County problems, or how to make our County still better. (Note: Courthouse Awareness News provides a more organized forum)

Commissioners' Court Agenda:  See for latest                                                 
Aug. 12, 2002    Aug. 26, 2002  Aug. 30, 2002  Sept. 9, 2002  Sept. 16, 2002
Response to Fisher "state of the County" letter on the  The "balanced" budget    Links

About me
 (a short biography) 
Independent candidate
(why we need an independent in office)
My upcoming book "Journey into ????) (excerpts)

The "balanced" 2002 - 2003 County Budget (click here to see the individual documents)
A  $432,827.34 DEFICIT.  Look at the five numbers on the bottom line of the first document, titled RECAPITULATION OF BUDGET BY FUNDS - 2003   It is clear to see that this is not a "balanced" budget.
Lessons from Hans Christian Anderson (1805 - 1875), storyteller:
     The Emperor's New Clothes (adult version)    ("But the Emperor has no clothes on!")
     The Emperor's New Clothes (children version)

 Earlier "ON THE TRAIL" (latest to oldest):
        "Learn to Participate Locally"  July 16, 2002
        "On Exchange of Ideas"          April 2002                               home

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Pursuing Happiness While Dodging Potholes"
or From "potholes" to the "pursuit of happiness")
(Aug. 8, 2002)

        As I make the rounds it becomes ever more clear that our problems stem from lack of open government. The County website should of course have been running long ago, with the Budget on it. But as things are, it will never be "up", certainly not before the November elections. (Available on this web site!)

ROADS: This is the only problem out "on the surface" where everyone can see it. The others are not as "open":

DRUGS: Causes "crime" and all the associated costs of "processing" (arresting, housing in the jail, court costs, fees for appointed lawyers, probation, etc). Problem not getting any better. Big expense for the County. More detail on this at another time.

EDUCATION: The County does not control education. But lack of education causes lots of problems to the county. Like poverty, crime, drugs, and health problems.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: Everybody is for it, of course. But Law Enforcement is far more than a sheriff's deputy picking someone up. The problem is repeat offenders, and that is not a sheriff's office problem. Our Sheriff is doing the best he can with what he is given. They had a very nice prisoner garden patch out there before it got so hot. Support the Sheriff and the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office Employee's Association.

VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS: There was a very informative Letter to the Editor in the Aug. 4, 2002 Van Zandt News that gets right to the issue. That the volunteer fire departments are the best bargain the County has. Although each department may get something like $4000 per year from the County, they provide services worth something like $2,000,000. The County needs to support the local fire departments more, instead of being at war with them.

JOBS: Most important thing. But we need the proper atmosphere in the County to have good industry come in. See all above.

VOTER APATHY: Some claim that there is such a "problem". But what I have seen, out on the trail, is more in the nature of frustration and anger at having no choice at the polls except between equally distasteful alternatives pushed by "insider" elements in each of the same two parties. Voters are not stupid, just frustrated and angry. This time they have an alternative.

    As an independent I am free to promote open government because I am not bound by the politics of any party. Vote for someone independent who can provide the leadership and is not the problem.

TERRORISM AND LAWLESSNESS: In the national news all the time. September 11, Enron, Anderson, World Com, and the list keeps growing. "Insiders" doing evil.
    But we are not immune at the local level. We have a right to fairness and integrity, especially from all of our public servants, from the cops on the street, all the way to the highest judge.
"Politicians and babies need to be changed often, and for the same reason." VOTE.

COUNTY VETERANS SERVICE: Our veterans were the ones that protected us from past terrors. The likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Saddam. Our veterans deserve the best.
    But I notice that the Veterans Service Officer is the only position cut in the entire budget. If elected, I will do all in my power to address this problem. I will also try to promote some sort of volunteer group.

THE PROPOSED BUDGET: Despite all the hype and fanfare we had, this is not a "balanced" budget. Rather more like $433,000 "deficit". ($1,242,875.33 cash reserve going into it, $810,047.99 going out and into the next budget.
    That is even with a $221,000 reduction of total "road" funding from last years actual road expenditures. That funding, and this year's, of course caused the road problem. So count on the roads getting something like $221,000 worse, unless you put someone else into office. Note: TWO commissioners voted against budget.

SHERIFF/JAIL FUNDING: Next year's budget is up $133,257 and $160,843 from last year's actuals, $103,522 and $43,300 from current budget. Step in the right direction, but even at that, it is not a cure, just an indication of crime going up, and some on the commissioners' court having been at war with the Sheriff.

CONCLUSION: Act locally. Reach out. Volunteer and give of your talents. Become part of a network of people dedicated to doing good. We cannot all go out and cure dread diseases. But we can all go out and vote, and vote intelligently.

I assure you that working for the betterment of all of Van Zandt County is my pursuit of happiness.


 Earlier "On the Trail" (Latest to oldest):      home
        "Learn to Participate Locally"
        "On Exchange of Ideas" 

 This is an ARCHIVE of my web site at about the 2002 November election
Some links on this page may not work. Some links connected to updated material
To go back to the top of this site (active home page), click