San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 6th, 2008
The Court of Public Opinion

COMMENTARY
By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large

The so-called Court of Public Opinion rarely makes its findings as clear as District Judge Robert Pfeuffer late last month in the matter of Nick Ramus vs. Hays County.

We’ll see how the Court of Pubic Opinion reacts to this one, because public opinion has a unique opportunity to express itself in November.

Ramus is an aspiring restaurateur who has fought the county for years over his septic permit. A two-acre property on Old Bastrop Highway, which Ramus hopes to open as Texas Heritage Kitchen, was platted in 1977 with a 1,400-gallon septic system. When the county tightened its septic regulations under new development regulations in 1997, Ramus argued that his On-Site Septic Facility (OSSF) permit should be grandfathered under the old regulations.

In 2006, the county granted Ramus his permit. But the new court revoked that permit in April 2007. The revocation raised eyebrows, considering that it was a pet issue of County Judge Liz Sumter’s political allies. Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe (D-San Marcos) and Precinct 4 Commissioner Karen Ford (D-Dripping Springs) voted with Sumter in a 3-2 decision.

Meanwhile, the two minority commissioners were fierce in their opposition. Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley (R-San Marcos) called the revocation “un-American,” while Precinct 2 Commissioner Jeff Barton (D-Kyle) said he believed the county put itself on shaky legal ground.

The matter further rankled Barton when a county resident, Florinda Martinez, needed a variance in February so she could install a septic system on her residential property, which hadn’t been properly platted. As if to argue for consistency with their vote on Ramus, the same court majority voted to decline the variance for Martinez. An exasperated Barton complained that the court sold out a little old lady over politics.

Last June, Ramus sued the county, arguing that commissioners acted illegally by revoking his permit. On March 26, Pfeuffer issued his ruling in a one-page letter to the attorneys for both sides, granting the summary judgment for Ramus.

The county, which already has spent a mountain on legal fees, could appeal. But now it is an overtly political issue. Ramus filed in early January, without opposition, to run for Ingalsbe’s seat on the Republican ticket. Ramus will certainly campaign against Ingalsbe on the basis of her vote that the district court over-turned.

But even if Ramus is right on this one, according to the district court, it remains to be seen how the Court of Public Opinion will respond through the course of this campaign. Ingalsbe is a three-term commissioner with a stable political organization. Ramus is a relative unknown.

The district court has spoken. Perhaps, an appellate court will speak on the matter later. And, perhaps, the Court of Public Opinion, speaking through election results, won’t agree with either one.

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4 thoughts on “The Court of Public Opinion

  1. Might as Well carry this thread from first site that you wrote this article.

    Susan Delgado on April 15, 2008 5:45 pm This court case is an embarrassment to the citizens of Hays County!!! It is absolutely absurd to see the judge and her cronies buck the rules of Hays County to serve their own political interests. It is too bad it comes out of the pockets of the honest and hard working citizens of Hays County.

    Charles O’Dell on April 16, 2008 1:48 pm To read a factual account of this issue go to http://www.hayscountyroundup.blogspot.com

    Susan Delgado on April 16, 2008 6:45 pm That’s a good one:::to read the facts follow this link that doesn’t work.

    Phil H on April 16, 2008 7:50 pm The link worked for me. O’Dell writes well but I’d like to see a link to the regulation that requires 24 acres for a commercial septic system in Hays County. That just doesn’t sound right.

    Phil H on April 16, 2008 9:40 pm Well, it’s a slow night I guess so I’ve spent some time surfing around on this Nick Ramus story. Man, what a goldmine. I recommend http://www.stophayspowergrab.org for Nick’s side of the story. Google Ramus, Nick hays county for some of the other stuff. This is all going on right over by the new high school on Old Bastrop Hwy.

    Nick Ramus on April 17, 2008 6:05 pm Charles O’Dell touts “To read a factual account of this issue go to http://www.hayscountyroundup.blogspot.com.”

    Not one of his so called facts are factual. Charles O’Dell and Carolynn Logan had a perfect opportunity to bring their so called facts to court. They could have brought their witnesses, pictures, captured conversations that supported their case. They even touted to the judge in court about their facts. The judge interruped their volatile verbal ejaculations. The judge required that their turbid protestations be supported by evidence.

    No evidence was forthcoming by their attornies that support their wild and viscious accusations verbally ejaculated in court, given to the county district attorney, ranted to TCEQ or made on their website.

    They have been weighed and measured and their claims were found to be without merit or proof. By the way, it came out in court when asked how much money the county has spent trying to run me out of business. Not including court costs that run into $150,000 range, the county has spent $500,000 in services, labor to put me out of business.

    June on April 17, 2008 10:51 pm That’s ok, it’s just county money, it doesn’t belong to anyone. It’s $500,000 out of our pocket to support the commissioner Ingalsbe campaign against you.

    money bags on April 17, 2008 11:03 pm well hell if we where worried about money we should have voted for somebody else. Everyone knows that our County Judgette Ms. Sumnter or whatever the @#$@&Y%$@Y& she calls herself today, needs to pay off her supporters and take care of her needs like O’dell and Logan. So if you dont like it TOUGH. Either run her off or quit complaining. She is the Judge and if you dont beleive me just as………………………. sorry you have to finish the ending.

    Phil H on April 18, 2008 8:43 am I’ve done a bit more snooping around. Seems that Odell’s claim that it would take 24 acres for Ramus to have his system is wrong. It’s more complicated than that but it would be much less acreage. Ramus was not convicted of the nuisance charge. Corrective measures were taken by Ramus and charges were dropped on appeal. At this point I dont find Odell believable.

    Charles O’Dell on April 18, 2008 1:45 pm OK Snoopy, tell us how to calculate required acreage according the our Hays County OSSF Rules, and post your calculations. Be sure to cite the relevant OSSF Rules.

    Of course Ramus was convicted and the charges weren’t dropped. Public records show that the appeal was dropped after Ramus agreed to clean up his property and pay the fine. If the charge were dropped why did he pay the fine?

    Phil H on April 18, 2008 1:55 pm You first Chuck. You claimed 24 acres. I’ve seen a fair number of septic served commercial properties (including restaurants) and developed a few myself and the 24 acre number didn’t pass the smell test (so to speak).

    If the charges were dropped is that a conviction?

    Charles O’Dell on April 18, 2008 2:35 pm There Ramus goes again with his diatribes and outlandish embellishments. Read the pleadings and evidence that Ramus says isn’t there. You will quickly find nothing inaccurate in my statement. Let’s take it from the top:

    “The judge interruped (sic) their volatile verbal ejaculations.” Only four individuals spoke at the hearing: Judge Pfeuffer and three attorneys. The court transcript confirms this. Ramus makes up his facts. We rely on official documents.

    Ramus was a cook at Texas State until he was fired in 2000. This is easy to verify, although it wasn’t particularly relevant to this case. His pleading and the allegations in the pleading are on file in at the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas Austin Division Clerk’s office for Civil Action No: A O2CA O58 JN. This is the suit Ramus filed claiming age and race discrimination. He has a history of calling people racists.

    The March 14, 2002 official citation for a residential system failing on his property based on the fact that sewage was surfacing is exhibit A-4 to the Intervenor’s Motion for Summary Judgment. This citation was for Ramus’ address but was made out to Juanita Camereno, who is Ramus’ friend (girl-friend, live-in, common-law-wife?).

    The fact that Ramus filed his first application for a commercial permit in 2002, over five years after the 1997 rules were adopted is part of Ramus’ evidence, and a copy of that first application is attached to the deposition that Ramus’ attorney put in the record.

    Ramus’ commercial size septic system requires 24 acres under the 1997 rules (These rules can be found online at the Hays County web site.). Table III to the state septic rules (30 TAC § 285.91(3)), says that a restaurant should have 35 gallons per day per seat as a baseline estimate for a restaurant disposal system.

    Ramus asked for 100 seats and two seatings per day. That calculates to 7000 g/p/d.

    Hays County Environmental Health Department (EHD) simply accepted Ramus’ reports of “similar restaurants” that grossly underestimates the requirement at 1400 g/p/d.

    EHD also failed to make the proper calculations for Mandola’s restaurant, and now Mandola is spending a fortune pumping and hauling the waste off the property until they can get a properly sized system installed.

    Under Hays County rule 10.1(a)(3)(B) a commercial business is required to have one acre for each 350 g/p/d of disposal capacity. You can do the math, but even the lowball Ramus estimate requires four acres, not including the one acre required for his existing residential system.

    The other objections such as not having an offset for the power line, and the fact that Ramus doesn’t even own the property, are right there for anyone interested in facts to read.

    The letter from EHD revoking the permit in January of 2007, due to problems with the system and before Ramus ever used it, is Exhibit A-7 to Intervenor’s Motion for Summary Judgment.

    A copy of Ramus’ conviction for Public Nuisance was attached as exhibit A-5 to Intervenor’s Objections and Reply. Ramus’ plea sheet claiming to be indigent is included, along with county tax records showing Ramus has paid property taxes on his “million dollar” property as if it were worth less than one twentieth that amount is also attached to that document as Exhibit A-2.

    The Martinez variance is similarly easy to confirm. The EHD citation based on the neighbor’s complaint about raw sewage running across the property is available from the Hays County EHD, and the lack of any proposed alternative system in the variance request, as required by the rules, is obvious from the public record of the hearings.

    It is all well and good for Ramus to spout off about a lack of evidence, but to lie about the public record and the filings in a public forum is just more of the same from this guy. Check the public records and then decide who is telling the truth.

    Charles O’Dell on April 18, 2008 2:51 pm Snoopy says: “It’s more complicated than that but it would be much less acreage.”

    More than two acres?

    Snoopy says: “If the charges were dropped is that a conviction?”

    Go argue with Judge Rodriquez and the jury who convicted Ramus, and the Hays County Court Clerk who produced the official court conviction document.

    Nick Ramus on April 19, 2008 10:04 am Charles O’Dell can’t get anything right. You lost in court for the same reasons you will lose overall. You attack people with lies. Nobody has the time to constantly check your erroneous facts. All we have to do is realize once that your words cannot be trusted on even the smallest of accusations. I was always Executive Chef at Chartwells, I was hired as Executive Chef by Professional Food Services Management in 1982 which was bought out by Chartwells. Produce your proof I was fired in 2000. You can’t because I was not fired. If you can’t get the smallest fact correct how wrong are your biggest facts?

    Nick Ramus on April 19, 2008 11:10 am I find it odd that TCEQ, the Texas Agency that gives authority to counties for their effluence activities found under internal audit with the Hays Environmental Health Department no errors or discrepencies in the Hays EHD activities. They also looked over my file with a fine toothed comb and found no irregularities, problems or wrong doing. In a letter to Debbie Ingalsbe the Legal Department explained to Debbie in 2006 that my system was built properly and in accordance with Hays County Regulations. Sumter and Ford were appraised of this decision by TCEQ legal department and yet they still went ahead in closed session along with Ingalsbe, without notice to me or my attorney that they would decide to revoke my legal septic permit under their decision that my system did not follow the codes as they saw fit. It is this decision by Sumter, Ford and Ingalsbe to revoke my permit that the District Court saw fit to overturn unequivically. Still Charles O’Dell if flashing the same arguments that failed to bring them success in court onto the public forum.

    What is even worse is that Ingalsbe, Ford and Sumter chose the fiction of Charles O’Dell over the decisions of their own EHD staff, the staff at TCEQ and legal counsel to allow my permit. Maybe they are just smarter than the rest of us or maybe we are just not making steps to fall into line with their arguments?

    Susan Delgado on April 19, 2008 11:21 am I still think it is interesting that Hays County will spend $500,000 on this issue!!! I think it is a huge waste of county funds. We have larger issues in this county like ROADS! It again seems as if the personal agendas of a few are dictating the use of our tax dollars!!!!!!!!!!!

    Charles O’Dell on April 20, 2008 8:16 pm One of the first rules of credible posting is to cite your source. I identify specific official documents from which I obtain my information. No other poster has done this.

    Remember the first rule of credible positing.

    Ramus claims he wasn’t fired from Chartwell’s Inc.

    On page 5 of his federal court complaint (A 02CA 058 JN), one of two reliefs he requested was, “Re-instate wages lost.” Can Ramus explain to us the conditions under which he lost wages?

    Ramus writes, “They (TCEQ) also looked over my file with a fine toothed comb and found no irregularities, problems or wrong doing.” Which specific TCEQ document is he referencing? Did he receive a letter to that effect from TCEQ? Will Ramus identify his source document so others can check his credibility?

    Ramus has claimed (in official documents) that he is Caucasian, Native American and Hispanic. For example, he is Caucasian for his divorce, but Native American in his Chartwell’s suit. His ancestry seems to change according to his circumstances.

    Ramus and Susan Delgado have both made outlandish and unsubstantiated statements. Can either identify the official document or county source that substantiates a claim the county has spent $500,000 on this issue?

    Why should anyone believe what is posted if the source isn’t identified?

    I have identified the official documents substantiating what I post. No one else has. Why not?

    The first rule of credible posting is to identify your source.

    Sean on April 20, 2008 10:35 pm For God’s sake O’Dell. Time to switch to decaf or something.

    First off I didn’t know there was an Emily Post section regarding the etiquette of posting on the internet…the home of unsubstantiated claim. If you expected something different then you deserve the disappointment that is bound to be yours. However, the county has spent a great deal of time and money (I am very interested in the exact amount) regarding one septic permit. As a dedicated public watchdog perhaps you can provide those figures. You file FOIA requests over dang near everything else so one more should not be too much of a burden.

    Furthermore, why such a vindictive and petty attitude towards Nick Ramus? You seem to got way out of your way to drag his name through the mud. By all appearances you take a measure of delight in attempting to humiliate him (questioning his heritage, posting personal information, personal attacks, etc) over one septic permit. Granted, you are somewhat spunky in your zealous pursuit of this case, but this is bordering on obsession…and a very ugly one at that.

    You strike me as an unpleasant little man O’Dell, unpleasant and bitter, again, over one septic permit. The man is just trying to earn a living, yet you insist on being a bully, and an unbelievably ineffective one at that. I’m just trying to figure out why. What did this man do to you personally that deserves this level of vehemence? Did he run over your dog? Pour sugar in your gas tank?

    What is your stake in this? Could it be that Ramus is running against Debbie Ingalsbe and if she lost you would lose a good pal on the court? I mean if I stood to lose a friend like that in such a position of authority I’d be a little miffed too.

    Come on O’Dell. Inquiring minds would like to know.

    Charles O’Dell on April 21, 2008 2:23 pm First off Sean, do you need to keep your identity secret? Why not post your full name like others have? Are you really Ramus posting under a fictitious name or just someone who doesn’t want to be accountable for what you post? I understand more about your post than you might expect.

    And don’t try your cheap tricks on me. I requested that Ramus provide a source for his outrageous and unsubstantiated claim about how much the county has spent on defending its health and safety authority, and you try to avoid the issue by asking me to provide the information that Ramus should provide to support his claim.

    Nick Ramus is running for public office in Hays County and inquiring minds want to know if what he says in public is true. He is simply being asked to document his public claims. How is that being petty or vindictive? Just another diversion tactic. It won’t work.

    According to official documents our organization has obtained through open records, Ramus hasn’t told the truth, and we have identified those documents. Further, we have offered to post them online. Ramus won’t even identify any documents to substantiate his public claims. What’s Ramus hiding?

    If Ramus cannot stand public scrutiny regarding his telling the truth then why should anyone vote for him? All anyone on this thread knows about Ramus has been documented by me. Ramus has only offered claims that he refuses to document, and only engages in banter and evasion.

    Documented Facts:
    – Ramus was Caucasian when he divorced his wife.
    – Ramus was Native American when he sued his employer.
    – Ramus hasn’t posted how much acreage his commercial septic system requires under the law. We did and provided the source and calculations.
    – Ramus won’t identify any document to substantiate his claim that TCEQ reviewed his Hays County Environmental Health Department file and found nothing lacking.
    – Ramus is a convicted public nuisance.
    – Hays County Sheriff’s Department removed dying animals from the Ramus two acres on behalf of the Humane Society

    Has anyone driven by the infamous two acres for the proposed Texas Heritage Kitchens? Would you take your spouse to eat there if it were operating?

    Why doesn’t Ramus post his sources?

    Phil H on April 21, 2008 2:45 pm I drove by expecting the worst but I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. It’s no Taj Mahal but it ain’t no scrap yard either. I figured the neighbor must be using this septic issue to run off some type of junk dealer but really doesn’t look that bad. Part of the risk of living in the unincorporated county is that pretty much anything can go in next to you. That’s why I moved away from Don Nellie’s fish camp. I’d love to know the real reason this neighbor (and O’Dell) are so energized against Ramus. It’s got to be more than what we’re hearing.

    Sean on April 21, 2008 3:22 pm Hey, way to not answer anything!

    My name actually is Sean. My last name has nothing to do with any of this. I’m not Nick Ramus. I don’t know Nick Ramus nor have I ever met him. I’m just another citizen of Hays County. I have been for many years. The questions speak for themselves. Just answer them. They aren’t that scary are they?

    Is this how you operate? Someone throws something back at you and this is the best you can do? Quite disappointing. Once again, what’s your stake in all this? What do you have to gain or lose? Why are you taking one septic permit so personally? You might call them cheap tricks but to me, and probably a great many others, it’s a perfectly valid question.

    And what is it about my post that you claim to “understand”? There wasn’t a lot of subtext to it. I asked what your stake in all this was, why are you so passionate? I believe I also called you unpleasant and an ineffective bully (something I stand by even more now)and that’s a pretty straightforward opinion as well.

    And it is petty and vindictive to engage in the kind of smear and sleaze you seem to delight in. What does his race have to do with a septic tank? What does his employment history have to do with a septic tank? I thought the issue was a septic tank, and while many of your “arguments” doubtless belong in one, the issue fails to match the passion you seem to have.

    Unless, of course, you have other interests. I’m not saying you do, mind you. I don’t know you either. I just know what I see and I might “understand” more than you give me credit. However, if you’re this invested in a septic tank perhaps you need a hobby.

    Just answer the questions O’Dell. If you can’t explain your stake in this or why you are taking it so personally, then I can’t think of a single reason to take you or anything you say seriously.

    Charles O’Dell on April 21, 2008 8:55 pm Hey Phil H,
    When you were visiting the Ramus site did you see his “million dollar” property that he swore in court documents he owned? No Taj Mahal you posted.

    So who do you believe, Ramus who just says its so or the Hays County Appraisal District?

    Let me make this easy for you.

    Go to: http://www.hayscad.com/Appraisal/PublicAccess/default.aspx

    Click on PropertyID Search (on the left side)

    Enter: R14459 in the box.

    You should see THK PROPERTIES LLC with an appraisal value of $58,890

    Now click on the blue underlined R14459 to see all the details of the Ramus “million dollar” property located at 2511 S Old Bastrop Hwy, San Marcos, Texas 78666

    Ramus transferred his two acre property to THK Properties LLC, a limited liability corporation of which he supposedly owns 70%.

    You wrote: “I’d love to know the real reason this neighbor (and O’Dell) are so energized against Ramus.”

    OK, it’s about two issues. The first issue is whether Hays County can and will enforce state public health and safety codes it adopted to protect all of our citizens. According to state law, Ramus doesn’t have enough land for a second septic system. He already has a residential septic for his mobile home that THK Properties LLC owns.

    The second issue has to do with his campaign for county commissioner. It’s about character and integrity.

    Ramus claimed to be indigent in a court pleading filed in January of 2005, and then sworn under oath that close to $1,000,000 is invested in this “restaurant”. Of course this is relevant to his integrity and should be aired and discussed.

    Ramus has called his neighbor a racist on his website and in the newspapers. The neighbor lives downstream and at immediate risk from Ramus undersized septic system on too little acreage. It’s incredible that now I am being accused of the very tactic Ramus uses against his retired neighbor without any concern or repercussion. Indeed, since we don’t know what “race” Ramus is, it’s difficult to imagine how he could be discriminated against on that basis.

    The nuisance conviction, and Mr. Ramus proclivity to sue his employer, and then the County, is also of concern and important to his qualifications to be part of the County’s OSSF permitting function.

    If you still don’t get it that Ramus is a charade then go to:
    http://www.hayscountyroundup.blogspot.com/

    and click on March 16, 2008 on the left side. Read a Clear and Present Danger.

    Phil H on April 22, 2008 7:47 am I don’t know the context where Ramus claimed to have a “$1,000,000″ property but a property owner seldom agrees with the appraisal district on the value of a property. As for Ramus running for office, you were all over him before he announced. Now if I was the neighbor I might be concerned about Ramus opening a beer joint or a busy restaurant and that’s a valid fear but why not just say so?

    Hattie Mccoy on April 22, 2008 9:18 am Oh my – haven’t had this much fun reading a blog in a long time. My grandson introduced me to blogs and they are wonderful and entertaining.

    I have not met Mr.O’Dell nor do I wish to. Just from reading this thread it appears that Mr. O’Dell is a highly educated “nut case”. I don’t remember electing him to any position of oversight?

    I do look forward to future threads where he is exposed for his malicious attacks on innocents while defending me from the evils of developers. My goodness what a Herculean task he has taken upon himself.

    I will not be following the links provided by Mr. O’Dell because – who cares? I got the giggles when thinking of all his time squandered on this Don Quixote quest. I am so glad that Mr. Ramus won in court and is allowed to pursue his dream. I do not reside in his district but would certainly vote for him if I could.

    Thank you to all the contributors for the entertainment – cheaper than an afternoon at the movies.

    This internet business is wonderful.

    Hattie

    Todd Webster on April 22, 2008 10:42 am Hey Chuck,

    Looks like more and more people are starting to see you for who and what you are. Keep it up. The more you say the more you expose your transparent your need for attention and propensity to engage in libel.

    What is becoming tremendously clear is your paranoia. Isn’t this the third time you have accused another blogger of being someone other than who they purport to be. That’s some nutty stuff your throwing out there for the whole world to see. Face it, there are a lot more people out there that can see through your bs than what you apparently are capable of believing.

    As for your assertions about Ramus and the septic tank saga, all I can think to say is SCOREBOARD! Ramus won in court. The County Judge and you along with her LOST. I guess you will have to think twice before your next attempt to use your influence over a public official to intimidate and harass a private citizen.

    BTW – your website is pretty pathetic. Nevertheless, I’m sure that creating a forum to have a one-sided conversation on these matters during the election is what you intended. It sort of reminds me of Kyle Klips but with improved grammar. Hmmm.

    Todd Webster

    Ted Marchut on April 22, 2008 11:21 am I’m not going to re-read all this again, because unlike some of the other posters, I don’t really find it particularly entertaining.

    I will say that Mr. O’Dell appears to be posting specific data points with citations and links to many of them. On the other side, I see little more than personal attacks.

    I have no idea who is right, because the issue does not concern me enough to go look any of this stuff up. I know who sounds more credible though.

    If I were one of the folks on the side of Mr. Ramus, I’d post more facts and fewer attacks.

    Honestly, has anyone been swayed since high school by comments like “SCOREBOARD”?

    Also, people posting multiple comments under multiple handles is far from unprecedented or even uncommon in online forums and suspecting this might be happening is far from nutty.

    What is amazing to me, is that this issue has been brought up on this site over and over again and it wasn’t until this article and the subsequent comments that I was even able to discern what was going on.

    Maybe I am just slow, but I suspect that there are many of us who have been seeing this pop up here and there and scratching our heads, thinking WTF?

    It doesn’t help that my introduction to Mr. O’Dell was a writer from this site dedicating an article to the idea that he is “bat-shit crazy” or something along those lines.

    I’m here for news. More facts and less emotion, please.

    Ted Marchut on April 22, 2008 11:30 am Thanks Bill Peterson for taking the time to actually explain the issues in a clear and coherent voice and initiating the first (somewhat) meaningful dialog I have seen on the subject.

    Charles O’Dell on April 22, 2008 11:49 am Nice try Nick (Ramus). Your mother’s name was Hattie. You have to be more careful with the names you use to post.

    Phil H on April 22, 2008 12:15 pm One of the more compelling features of this new media, as we shift away from newspapers, is the instant feedback. The vendor (Newstreamz) gets to know instantly what the customer wants. If this little Ramus/O’Dell soap opera is bringing hits it seems incumbent upon the vendor to follow up. That said, what I’d like to have is some follow-up on the pages O’Dell is citing. I’ve heard it said that he depends on us not having the energy or time to surf the web or trudge down to the courthouse or file an FOI because the docs don’t really say exactly what he claims. Maybe O’dell would just save us the trouble and post .pdf docs on his site so we could all read for ourselves. It does seem pretty clear though that Ramus has prevailed in court. I don’t know Judge Pfueffer but I trust him more than I trust RAmus or O’Dell.

    And for the record, I’ve never posted under any other name. I don’t know of another site like this that requires your name. I know it keeps it civil but it also reduces participation. I think I prefer anonymous but moderated.

    Lila Knight on April 22, 2008 12:16 pm Those of us who have watched O’Dell’s use of his so-called facts and documents aren’t impressed by them. He showed up in Commissioners Court one week with a photograph of the WRONG house to prove to the Court that they shouldn’t issue a variance for a septic permit to F. Martinez. Facts and figures can be used in a deceptive way. Besides, isn’t this a blog? Where people state their opinions on a subject?

    I find it sad that O’Dell’s activism is so often corrupted by what appears to be elitism. His fear of septic systems and Ramus prevented a poor working family here in Kyle from obtaining a much-needed variance to get a permit to install a septic. They worked hard to build their own home, with their own hands. When it came time to put in the septic system, they couldn’t get a permit because O’Dell blocked it with his so-called facts. Only they were the wrong facts. Now they will have to pay additional money to get the property subdivided before they can get the septic installed. Meanwhile, the family continues to live apart with friends and relatives.

    They are a poor, working class Hispanic family. They have never claimed, to my knowledge, to be Native American or Caucasian. But they did have a real need for an exception to the rules. But you need to clear exceptions to the rules with O’Dell before you go asking the Commissioners.

    Now, this really isn’t O’Dell’s fault. It is the fault of the Commissioners who listen to him. Because they make the decisions. Or at least they should.

    I guess if O’Dell could just show a little compassion now and then, I might be able to believe he really cared about something other than himself. But I just haven’t seen it yet. It’s always about O’Dell and his opinion, and whether he is right or wrong. And trust me, in his mind, he is ALWAYS right. That’s just not healthy.

    I keep a Nietsche quote on my mirror to remind myself of the consequences of becoming too overtaken with my latest quest:
    The man who fights too long against dragons, becomes a dragon himself.

    I also keep another reminder from an anonymous source: We are who we protect, who we stand up for.
    Does this make O’Dell a septic tank?

    Charles O’Dell on April 22, 2008 12:21 pm Hi Todd,

    After getting the Kyle City Council to waste $20,000 of taxpayer money to intimidate the Kyle Klips citizens, I thought you had resigned from city council and moved to Ohio to be with your wife and children, and to care for your father.

    What are you doing posting on the rag website? Did Commissioner Jeff Barton put you up to it?

    Did you get your job back in Gov. Perry’s office?

    You need to get back to work. As president of HaysCAN (a non-profit government watchdog group) it’s my job to inform the public and sometimes it requires dealing with bad faith posters like most of those here.

    Sigh.

    Good to hear from you.

    Phil H on April 22, 2008 12:23 pm OMG… LOL!

    Lila Knight on April 22, 2008 12:35 pm Where do you get the figure of $20,000 O’Dell? Can you document that?

    At least the money the Kyle City Council spent got some results. The Texas Ethics Commission ruled that the publishers of Kyle Klips violated State Election Laws. Check out the final ruling at:

    http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/sworncomp/2006/2609190.pdf

    It’s certainly more than what the county taxpayers got for the Ramus case.

    And campaigns in Kyle since then in Kyle have been fair and run on the up and up.

    FYI. It’s rumored Todd Webster will be running in the future for the position of County Judge. But I wouldn’t worry too much, I think we’re swinging back to becoming a Democratic County again.

    Charles O’Dell on April 22, 2008 1:34 pm The Bartonistas are here! The Bartonistas are here!

    Hi Lila,

    Who sent you, Bob or Jeff Barton?

    You tell a hearth warming story but you leave out some important details.

    Commissioner Barton misled his court colleagues with the skimpy agenda backup and tried to make then believe he was just representing his constituents.

    Turns out they live in Precinct 1 and Barton had to go looking for someone he could use to help the Ramus case which he supports, at the expense of restricting county authority to protect the public health and safety. I just blew the whistle on him.

    But I’m not asking anyone to take my word as you are. Readers can go to the Hays County government website and see a video of the proceedings for themselves.

    http://www.co.hays.tx.us/commissioners/archive/video/

    Select 2008 and then January 29, 2008. Once loaded slide the view bar at the bottom to about 25 minutes, sit back and enjoy the show.

    Am I the only one who recognizes that the posters have come to the aid of Ramus who is running for commissioners’ court but he needs to post here under at least three other handles? Is that any qualification for public office?

    Nice hearing from you Lila. I would have suggested that you were “in bed” with the Barton’s but I’m concerned that you would not understand my meaning and embarrass yourself again.

    Charles O’Dell on April 22, 2008 1:36 pm Lila,

    Are you responding for Todd, or just repeating rumor?

    Nick Ramus on April 22, 2008 1:59 pm Charles are you saying that because my mother’s nickname was Hattie that I posted under the nom de plume Hattie McCoy? My generation knew my mother’s name as Harriet. Sorry to disappoint you but I have only used my own name to post on this website. Another wasted effort on your part Charles, more of your conspiracy mindset?

    We used facts that came out in court where they are properly vetted. Because of those facts I won my case and Charles lost his.

    Charles, you are beating a dead horse? Don’t you think it’s time for you to try and bully someone else?

    Ted Marchut, if you would like to discuss the legal issues of my case I would not seek such facts on an opinion website. Never seek facts from Charles O’Dell because he can’t get the simplest detail correct.

    You can go to my website http://www.stophayspowergrab.org and get alot of facts, we have the documentation to back up those facts but this is not the forum for such facts.

    Charles O’Dell, Carolynn Logan, Judge Sumter, Commissioners Debbie Ingalsbe and Karen Ford lost in District Court where the facts of both sides of the case were presented weighed and measured without emotional bias by Judge Pfeuffer.

    Ted Marchut on April 22, 2008 2:25 pm I’m sorry.

    I thought this was Newstreamz, not fictionstreamz.

    I have enough websites to visit already, despite how impartial “stophayspowergrab” sounds.

    Thanks, though.

    I will look to other threads for facts. Fortunately, as I stated before, this issue does not concern me. If it concerns others, they should stick to facts, if their goal is to convince people to support their position.

    If that is not the goal, then by all means, continue with the exercise. Obviously some are entertained.

    Nick Ramus on April 22, 2008 2:49 pm Hold your horese! This is not in the least entertaining for me. I have stood up, fought for and won my civil rights to operate my business and develop my property under the rules and regulations of the State of Texas and Hays County. Newstreamz blog is the court of public opinion not a court of law. I won my csse in District Court. You can contact my attorney and pay for his time to get all of our documents that pertained to winning our case to you so that you can have the same documents that Judge Pfeuffer had at his disposal in order to understand his judgement this case.

    I fought against slander, libel and the miscarraige of justice coming from the other side. I did not go through all of this for anyone’s entertainment value. I did it for my rights and for the rights of all Hays County citizens. If I did not fight and win this case the rights of every citizen in Hays County would now be held at the vageries and arbitrary whim of Commissioner’s Court and the likes of Charles O’Dell, Judge Sumter, Commissioners Debbie Ingalsbe and Karen Ford.

    Both Commissioners Barton and Conly Deserve Medals for staunchly standing up to Charles O’Dell and Judge Sumter in this and other cases under threat of smear campaigns by O’Dell and Sumter’s political hacks.

    Ted Marchut on April 22, 2008 3:10 pm Nick, the “entertaining” comment was for those who have posted nothing but bait here and who have even commented on how “fun” and “entertaining” this is.

    I don’t need to go anywhere or pay anyone. If someone wants to convince me, they can use facts and cite their sources. If they don’t want to convince me, they can post insults and bait.

    If, by some chance, I wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night and think “My God, what really happened with that whole septic tank thing?”, then I will go dig up the facts myself.

    That day has not come and I don’t expect that it will.

    So again I say, if there are people on here hoping to convince people to support their position, they should use facts and cite their sources.

    Phil H on April 22, 2008 3:25 pm The question that might wake you up should be “My God, who controls our county government?” Like you Ted, I don’t have a dog in the hunt either but I’m getting enough info from other sources to wonder if all the O’Dell citations would pan out. I’m tied to this desk though and can’t go check it out. The links provided don’t really get you to the good stuff.

    Ted Marchut on April 22, 2008 3:33 pm Indeed, I might.

    Unfortunately, this thread and the ones before it have left me wondering if there was some way that both sides could lose, and go away.

    I too am tied to my desk and to wade through all the bullshit, just to come to the end and have one person who does have a dog in the fight tell me to look elsewhere for facts and to pay his lawyer for answers to questions that I am not even asking, but merely observing because I thought that both parties, as evidenced by their incessant posting on the issue, were concerned about what I thought…

    Well, what a glorious waste of my fucking time.

    Ted Marchut on April 22, 2008 3:37 pm On the bright side, the folks at Newstreamz should get a Nobel Prize for proving that anonymity is not what makes people online assholes.

    Myself included.

    Phil H on April 22, 2008 3:39 pm Now you’re getting real! Maybe Scott G or one of his reporters will run those traps for us and we can know once and for all.

    Ted Marchut on April 22, 2008 3:50 pm That would be great, but it would be even more interesting to see something on the bigger conspiracy theory about the county.

    Show us a pattern of a small collection of individuals influencing the county to move in ways that do not benefit the larger population.

    Because, if it is only about a septic tank…

    Charles O’Dell on April 22, 2008 4:07 pm Hi Nick,
    So your facts are true and public records are misleading?

    Your fact: You have a $1,000,000 property and $100,000 septic system

    Official appraisal records: Your property is valued at $58,800

    Your fact: You have a $1,000,000 property and $100,000 septic system

    Court records: You claimed to be indigent when convicted of being a public nuisance.

    There are two Hattie McCoy in Texas and both live in Houston, Texas
    One is 51 years old. One is 78 years old. I know at least one of them is posting on this site.

    I’m looking at a Certificate of Live Birth for Nickolas George Ramus and it says Mother’s Maiden Name: Hattie Mary Howard. I suppose that really isn’t your mother.

    The district court went against all previous case law in ruling the county cannot void your septic permit even though it isn’t in compliance with state laws. There was no arguing of facts in court and no order has been signed by the judge.

    Finally, you posted:
    ‘If I did not fight and win this case the rights of every citizen in Hays County would now be held at the vageries (sic) and arbitrary whim of Commissioner’s Court…’

    The reason this crazy district court ruling that defies all previous case law must be appealed by commissioners’ court is for just the opposite of your claim.

    What the judge ruled is that the county cannot exercise its governmental functions, and that places ALL citizens in jeopardy of folks just like you and those in government who support you for political reasons.

    Appellate courts were established for exactly the kind of ruling you got that defies established case law, common sense and the structure of our society.

    Phil H on April 22, 2008 4:14 pm I don’t care if it’s a small collection or a whole town, I only care that they move in ways that are consistent with the laws. Plus I don’t want the court’s time being taken up or my taxes being wasted on frivolous matters.

  2. Actually (not that it really matters), this piece originally appeared on The Hays Highway (www.hayshighway.com) and was reprinted on another site by a news partnership agreement.

  3. I will be posting the facts, letters, documents that will illuminate why we won our case. By the way, Charles O’Dell’s facts about septic systems are completely bogus. If his case had merit it would have won. The county has the right to police septic systems and to bring them into compliance. Charles O’Dell makes outright falsehoods when he states that my system is out of compliance. My system is up and running and its inspection regimen is up to date with county standards. If you don’t believe me call up Hays Environmental Health Department and ask if my system is compliant with county regulatiohs.

    For all of you that are unaware of the deeper issues at stake for Charles O’Dell I will share them with you. Under Judge Sumter’s court Charles O’Dell feels comfortable that he runs the Commissioner’s Court.

    Charles O’Dell has publicly and privately told the Commissioner’s Court to act outside the boundaries of its authority. He has perverted the court wih his agenda and convinced a majority of the Commissioners with Judge Sumter’s help to vote for causes and emotional/political causes dear to the heart of Sumter and O’Dell’s supporters irrespective of the law. Charles O’Dell has stated that, “they are the Commissioner’s Court and can do whatever they like, if they don’t like it force them to sue the county!”

    To Charles O’Dell and now Sumter’s court, “the end justifies the means.” When I get my papers together, I will post a letter from the legal department of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that catagorically states that Hays Environmental Health Department and my progress through the permitting process was done legally, lawdfully and in accordance with Hays County rules and state rules. So Charles O’Dell have patience while this gets done, for me it takes time I am not a professional web page developer. I received these pages from Hays County under the Freedom of Information Act. Charles O’Dell abuses this priviledge constantly looking for information of wrong doing.

    Don’t you know that there would be a current document available for him to wave in the air if my septic system was not compliant with county regulations. He cannot provide such documentation even though he has many of the same document I have only the documents do not support his case they support mine.

    Charles O’Dell makes out that he is smarter than everybody including the presiding Judge, the County Commissioners, Hays Environmental Health Department and that if only the judge and county officials would take his word for it he would get all of his needs met by the court behaving the way Charles O’Dell sees it.

    Hays County enjoys one of the finest Environmental Health Departments in the State and just because the EHD won’t kowtow and jump when Charles O’Dell says frog then Charles O’Dell abuses the Environmental Health Department and those county employees that will not obey Charles O’Dell even after he bullies them.

    The County Employees refrain from vocal or written complaining of Charles O’Dell, be aware that Charles O’Dell has bullied them vociferously in an attempt to get his way with them. Only Jeff Barton and Will Conley have stood up in defence of county employees under Charles O’Dell’s abuse of them.

    Steve Klempfer is Judge Sumter’s hand pick to run against Commissioner Will Conley because Will Conley votes his conscience for the people of Hays County. Sumter and her cronies have stated that they will run Will Conley off the court because he votes his own conscience.

    Commissioner Jeff Barton chastized Charles O’Dell August 14, 2007 in open court for abusing county staff with bullying, lies, innuendo and fabrication in order to get his way with them. For Jeff Barton Standing up to Charles O’Dell, O’Dell is waging war on Jeff Barton by innuendo, false statements, lies and abuse.

  4. http://www.stophayspowergrab.org

    I find it amazing Charles O’Dell that you opine over the judges ruling when Judge Pfeuffer has yet to post his ruling. You are a fatuous, gas bag liar Charles O’Dell, the court case had nothing to do County rights issue, it is a property rights issue. The Septic system is up and running and under county inspection and acceptance. The legal issue at stake on whether or not the county had to live up to its own laws.

    Sumter and her court jesters attempted to revoke a legal septic system under the density rules of the 1997 rule changes. However under the same 1997 rules state that all property platted prior to 1984 are exempt from the new rules. My property was platted in 1977 20 prior to the rules inacted and therefore grandfathered under the old rules.

    There is no county court precedence that supports the county’s claims.
    The only precedence comes from cities where wrongdoing was proven evident. All of the issues that Carolynn Logan and Judge Sumter used were bogus and without merit. That is why they lost the case!

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