It’s hard to get very excited about the amnesty program the Galveston City Council approved last week in effort to collect some of about $30 million owed in fines and fees on an equally staggering 83,733 outstanding warrants issued for failure to resolve citations over traffic tickets and minor offenses.

People end up on the warrant list when they don’t show up for municipal court or otherwise resolve citations for traffic violations or such misdemeanor infractions as public intoxication and disorderly conduct. By the time a warrant is issued, they’ve typically racked up several hundred dollars in fines, fees and court costs.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206;

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(5) comments

Marilyn Swanson

Great editorial. I totally agree the public has a rght to know. I, for one, might chose not to do business with individuals who have not paid their fines.

Don Schlessinger


David Hardee

Keep up the exposure of the bureaucratic and judicial absurdities. the historical record proves that where bureaucracy and judiciary are involved logic cannot exist. Seems that even a intelligent energetic individual dissolves into placidity once the mantle of "public servant" is their cloak.

The 4th estate is the only statutory protected entity with the megaphone to exposed the absurdities.

Wayne Holt

More thumbs up, 100% dead on. What is the compelling interest the city has in making sure the names are not released? I can't think of a reason why the city would want to cloak scofflaws with anonymity.

Attention City officials: this is exactly how we wind up with egg on our face regarding disparity of law enforcement. Criminal trespass charges for Donald Neely is no small matter but neither is a load of capias warrants that are marinating somewhere in city government's dimly lit porridge pot.

The optics of this are bad. Shouldn't we be just as quick to remedy the situation?

Jim Casey

When I moved to Galveston 23 years ago, I heard that certain families were a law unto themselves. I dismissed it as typical small-town bellyaching. I have come around to the fact that it seems to be true. Some people don't get into trouble, or if they do, their names are kept out of the news.

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