Earlier today my phone started blowing up telling me that local radio personality Michael Berry was belittling Elm Grove because of an ad I was featured in supporting Cindy Siegel against an apache helicopter fighter pilot Wesley Hunt.
I want to address Michael Berry as well as Houston at large. We have a very large flooding problem in Houston and it is being caused by rogue developers and lack of sensible building requirements, in my opinion. After my neighborhood flooded in May in a 5” rainstorm, I started to learn that a majority of the people, many of which are Republicans, that were elected to protect people like the people that live in Elm Grove, were bought and paid for by large corporations like Perry Homes. The more I delved into this problem trying to find help for the 500 homeowners in my neighborhood, the more I found that there was an overabundance of campaign donations from Kathy Britton to both sides of the politic spectrum. Every law that was put in place to protect neighborhoods like mine had a blind eye turned to them on every level of local government.
The more I delved into this, the more corruption I found. Organizations that I held in high esteem that built homes for were taking donations from Kathy Britton and Perry Homes. Yet the same Kathy Britton and Perry Homes were turning a blind eye to the vets in my neighborhood. Vets, like Carlos who bought a home so his son could have a better life with the money he has saved while serving our country And unlike Wesley Hunt, Carlos is not a West Point grad, he is an enlisted man. He is one who had to work his way up from the bottom and used his money from his service to this nation to buy his dream which was destroyed but the same Kathy Britton and Perry Homes who espouse their support of vets. So as Michael Berry chooses to belittle my neighborhood, these are the people he is besmirching.
So let me give some general background for those of you reading that may not know of our plight. On May 3 in a freak rainstorm, our neighborhood of Elm Grove flooded for the first time in its 40+ year existence. On May 7th we flooded again, this time the damage was expanded by 175 homes, from another freak Texas rainstorm. Upon investigation, we realized that 100s of acres were clear cut without the proper sequencing or detention put in place. According to Montgomery county, another place that seems in the tank for Perry Homes, they didn’t have the people to enforce the infractions. Perry was only to cut 30 acres at a time and put in adequate detention as they went. But as the county commissions of MoCo may have gone to Astros games with Perry Homes, the pleas from my residents went unheard. We don’t’ live in MoCo, although their poor management now had effected over 500 homes in Imelda and polluting the city’s drinking water daily. Everyone accepts that Perry Homes has caused this problem, other than maybe Perry Homes themselves.
As we have continued to walk through this, the amount of money and power and influence that Perry Homes wields up against my neighborhood is abhorrent and intolerable and what appears to be a power grab with Hunt is only the latest iteration. That has been THE biggest obstacle to helping the people of Elm Grove in my opinion. Elm Grove is not a rich neighborhood. It is comprised of small business owners, vets, teachers, nurses. Not lawyers and doctors and deep-pocketed individuals that could have blunted this far quicker than our small neighborhood. I have often said that Elm Grove is the true embodiment of America and we are the people that make the country work.
In October I was made aware of Wesley Hunt, not buy Cindy Siegel I may add. And I was made aware of the entire situation including that he had been given a sum of money that appeared to be equal to his pay at the mortgage company right before he started to run for office And there was some concern that this was another power grab by Perry Homes is the way it was presented to me. Hunt checked a lot of the right boxes, came for the right background and private schools, West Point. There is a hard push to get him elected and from where I sit, it was another sphere of influence Perry Homes would have.
Berry seemed to make fun of us this morning, using Hunt’s service as the reason as if we were too stupid to know better. I will always defer to vets and especially vets like in Elm Groves living in houses with no walls and no one is coming to help them as they are still sitting ducks for the next time it rains. No one is helping our heroes in our neighborhoods, as Kathy Britton wants to make videos saying all she does is help veterans.
So why do I care about a congressional race?
What has happened to Elm Grove can happen to anyone with real specific characteristics, which of course none of us knew ahead of time. Elm Grove is butted up against what is called an unmapped flood territory. As a result, Perry Homes has exploited the lack of FEMA mapping and perused poor water management, whereas it is not required in unmapped territories. And we have found there is a trend developing in at least 10 different developments that abut Harris county, built-in lesser counties. It is my belief by having a congressman, that is an employee of a major developer, has the potential to allow this practice to continue and innocent hardworking people losing their life savings
So Michael Berry Called Me
When Berry was on city council I admired his work and his love for the city of Houston. And for him, this is about someone, namely me, smearing Wesley Hunt. I challenged Berry to look at Hunt’s disclosure statements. That start at the end of Nov 2018, when he started his career at Perry Homes By April 2019, he was running for Congress.
He said I should be ashamed of myself for smearing a vet. To be clear I am not ashamed and I am not smearing a veteran for his service. I don’t’ smear vets and always thank them for their service and would extend the same to Hunt. However, Hunt’s behavior since 2018/2019 has been questionable at best and if this is not as it appears then I encourage Wesley Hunt to give the money back he took from Perry Homes and work elsewhere. But being a vet does not give you a pass for the rest of your life on questionable behavior. If anything it holds you to a higher standard. Berry asked me if I thought any person working for Perry Homes should be barred from running from Congress. Although I think barred is a strong word, I do not think employees of major corporations should not be running for elected positions, especially when their tenure with that company started a few months prior to the congressional run. We aren’t talking about a 10-year employee here. Additionally, I pointed out that Siegal had championed flood causes in Bellaire and worked to bring about change for her community that saw positive results. She has a track record. In typical lawyer and somewhat bully fashion Berry again said I admitted to smearing Hunt. It’s not a smear Michael Berry, it may be the actual truth. If the facts are wrong explain how this all came about to Houston. Don’t just stand and say he’s a vet and you’re smearing him …and that is why…It’s like a mom saying because I said so. And if he wins the primary you think Lizzie Fletcher is going to overlook all of this as she is joined at Nancy Pelosi’s hip?
He again said I was smearing Hunt and that who better than a vet to stand up for a vet. And I asked where Hunt had been standing up for the vets in Elm Grove that had no walls. For that matter, where was Michael Berry who said he knew of our situation out helping us stand up and rectify our situation or helping those vets? Using his microphone for good would be a huge help for us, when I know the Residents of Elm Grove asked for his help early on and its been crickets. I know our folks could use a champion like Berry to help us.
So it’s easy to have a bully pulpit and scream I’m doing something wrong when all I’m standing up for 500 people that have been dumped on literally. And if calling attention to the fact of this and trying to say it’s a dirty political trick, then prove it wrong. it’s a real live concern for people who have flooded and trying to stop further devastation to Houston neighborhoods. I get I am very passionate about all this and am very aggravated that he belittled so many in so much pain in the name of smearing a vet. And he terminated the conversation when I told him that Dan Crenshaw, who I will remind everyone gave back the money Kathy Britton gave to him, was the vet that came to help us.
And this is why I’m so opposed to anyone that is in the pocket of a land developer holding an office such as this. Congressman. Dan Crenshaw Dan Huberty and Dave Martin have been invaluable to Elm Grove. They have stood by Elm Grove. They have helped Elm Grove. But there are so many more that could be helping that choose not to and have Perry Homes on their donations sheets and I am of the belief that Perry Homes knows this and wields its political capital at the expense of people just trying to hold on and survive in this world.