July 14 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

If you think Charlie Brown is not relevant, think again. He may be goofy but he does embody kindness, hope and humanity. These qualities were throughout the Sul Ross production “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at the Kokernot Outdoor Summer Theatre. A carpool of friends from Fort Davis went to see the performance on Sunday and we were not disappointed at all.

The play was spectacular. The actors and musicians are top notch. The choice of the play is perfect: cheerful, lighthearted and witty –– just what everyone needs in these doom and gloom times. How perfect was the cast, all professional actors and greatly talented. The music was first class. The set was very imaginative, the sound system and lighting were just right. 

The remaining schedule is for the next two weekends: Friday, Saturday and Sunday on July 15, 16, 17 and 22, 23, and 24 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.bit.ly/sulross-theatre or at the door. The cost per ticket is $20 for adults, $15 for children and seniors; veterans are free. They post on their website any performances that will be postponed due to weather and they do issue rain checks. For questions, call (432) 837 8218; a nice student gave me all of these details. It is a good idea to bring your own folding chairs since the benches are not comfortable. The Kokernot Outdoor Amphitheater is scheduled for renovation in the near future. 

Thank you, Theatre of the Big Bend, for an excellent program. It was a breath of fresh air.


Elaine Harmon

Fort Davis



In May 2022, Jeff Davis County purchased the Fort Davis Outfitters Building for the proposed use as a community center. Some issues arising from the acquisition of this building include the following:

  1. Evidently, there was little thought to what purposes the building would serve until after the acquisition, when a committee was formed. A comprehensive report on any future uses has still not been publicized.
  2. How many people will utilize this facility when there are other similar facilities available such as the Prude Ranch, lndian Lodge, Sproul Ranch or Mountain Trails Lodge? The county judge’s secretary stated, in the last commissioners court meeting, that there were “several” groups wanting to hold “conventions” here in Fort Davis. Who are those groups and where are the booked reservations, or plans, for any type of convention?
  3. There is not enough lodging and restaurant capacity to support a proposed convention center that sporadic business would generate. Local businesses must be able to plan for such events, as they require additional staff and supplies to meet such needs.
  4. How much revenue would this center raise, in view of the long distances from major population areas in East Texas? Where is the business plan for the facility? What revenue estimates have been made, and what data was used to make these estimates?
  5. Government-operated businesses are never cost-effective or as responsive as the private sector. Many local tourist-related businesses struggle to keep their heads above water and why is it necessary to burden them with more competition and additional taxes?
  6. The appraisal justifying the $658,000 cost for the building may have been overstated in reviewing the comps for other like/kind sales in the areas, with the valuation of $750,000 likely not accurate. lt is not exactly a seller’s market here for vacant commercial real estate in view of the long-term vacancies that frequently occur with these properties.
  7. To date, there have not been any projected costs for the renovations for proposed facilities and how they are going to be funded. ln fact, the commissioners are now considering budgeting, from general funds, at least $50,000 per year for utilities and additional funds for a new county employee to serve as some type of administrative scheduler. Where is the data to support these planned expenditures? Where are the grants that were mentioned by several county employees that were going to “pay for” the operation of this facility? What is the “true” cost of the purchase, maintenance and operation of this facility?
  8. The settlement statement for the building failed to list any commissions paid for this sale, and to what parties any commissions were paid. There is no record on file at the county clerk’s office. A lack of full disclosure raises questions how taxpayer monies were being expended and to whose benefit. 

The county cannot afford this frivolous exercise in creeping socialism. Perhaps the building should be sold before any other additional funds are expended on this rash and poorly planned acquisition. It is doubtful that the county would be able to sell the building based on the aforementioned appraisal, but perhaps we should cut our losses now and rid ourselves of this white elephant.

If you support our efforts, please contact your county commissioner by phone/email expressing your opinions regarding this building. Some of the best deals ever done are the ones you will walk away from.

Graydon Hicks, Robert “Mac” Sproul, Dirk McDonald

Fort Davis