AN OPEN LETTER TO LAND COMMISSIONER GEORGE P. BUSH
by RICHARD L. RANGE
Sep 06, 2017 | 986 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print

AN OPEN LETTER TO LAND COMMISSIONER GEORGE P. BUSH:
QUESTIONS REGARDING THE REIMAGINE THE ALAMO MASTER PLAN



Many concerns have been raised recently about the direction taken by the GLO in its effort to restore and rebuild the Alamo complex. Concerns such as the universally rejected glass walls (rumors now suggest the walls are “off the table” but there is no official word from the GLO), to concerns if not outright furor over the multiple statements by the chief Alamo planner hired by the GLO, George Skarmeas, that emphasis cannot be placed on the 1836 battle because it was “…just one moment in time.”



However, there are financial transparency and basic management concerns as well.



Therefore, we the concerned citizens of Texas seek answers to the following questions related to the finances and management of the Alamo.



  1. Is it true that in an attempt to seize the DRT’s Alamo artifact collection on Sunday, August 23, 2015, the GLO unlawfully broke into and entered the DRT’s Alamo Library premises, hacked DRT-owned computers, padlocked the entrance, and demanded that employees arriving for work Monday morning resign from DRT employment and become employees of the GLO, or be fired?



  1. Is it true that the resulting litigation related to this incident was resolved on June 23, 2016, when the court awarded the entire Alamo collection to the DRT and required the GLO to pay all the DRT’s court costs, clearly rebuffing the GLO’s underhanded and unlawful attempt to seize the property of the DRT?



  1. Is it true that appropriations by the Texas legislature totaling over $100 million dollars have been, or will be, directly or indirectly deposited in, and disbursed from, one or more tax exempt entities such as the Alamo Endowment Inc., or the Alamo Complex Management Inc., instead of being deposited in, and disbursed from the appropriate GLO accounts?



  1. Is it true that Commissioner Bush is the board chair, or appoints the board chair, of both the Alamo Endowment and the Alamo Complex Management nonprofit corporations?



  1. Is it true the GLO asserts that financial information of either the Alamo Endowment, or the Alamo Complex Management or any other Alamo-related 501c3/nonprofit entities are exempt from disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act, even if these entities are either directly or indirectly receiving or disbursing funds appropriated by the Texas legislature?



  1. Is it true that while under oath in February 2017 Commissioner George P Bush stated to a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee chaired by Representative Larry Gonzales that the nonprofit corporations under his control such as the Alamo Endowment and the Alamo Complex Management both comply with Texas Open Meetings and/or Texas Open Records laws?



  1. Is it true that the GLO has refused to fully comply with open records requests from investigative reporters such as Mike Ward of the Houston Chronicle that sought financial information and meeting minutes of the nonprofit entities such as the Alamo Endowment and the Alamo Complex Management—instead claiming that as private corporations these entities are exempt from disclosure even if legislatively appropriated tax dollars are being used directly or indirectly by these nonprofits?



  1. Is it true that the GLO has repeatedly requested supporting opinions from the Texas Attorney General in an attempt to avoid compliance with these open records requests?



  1. Is it true that Commissioner Bush or his designee informed a concerned citizen who wished to serve on the Alamo Endowment Board, or the Alamo Complex Management board, that he would need to commit to contribute or raise $250,000 to serve on the board?



  1. Is it true that a new computer system for the GLO, as well as a new telephone system and new vehicle for the GLO,  have been purchased using monies appropriated by the Texas legislature for the Alamo?



  1. Is it true that the GLO led by Commissioner Bush, has contracted with one or more nonprofit corporations chaired by or under the direct control of Commissioner Bush (including but not limited to the Alamo Endowment Inc. or the Alamo Complex Management Inc.) and that Commissioner Bush has signed these contracts for BOTH parties thereby creating a potential conflict of interest?



  1. Is it true that one master planner was paid $3.1 million, and that he then hired a second consultant for another $3 million?



  1. If all of the Alamo funds are being used legitimately, why was it deemed necessary to raise the projected total cost of this plan to over $450 million?



  1. Since the taxpayers of Texas are providing the vast majority of all of this money, why are they not entitled to know to whom and for what it is being spent?



Richard L. Range
702 Briarwood Drive
Garland, Texas 75041
rickrange702@yahoo.com



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