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Rollover Pass: Government Takeover of Private Property
by Michelle Hatmaker
Monday, February 10, 2014

Rollover Pass located on the upper Texas coast on Bolivar Peninsula is one of the most fisherman friendly places one will ever visit.

The reason why is simple. You don't need a boat. It is either bank fishing, or wade fishing. And, it is loaded with trout, reds, flounder, croaker and sand-trout during the fall season.

Unfortunately, the Galveston County Commissioner’s Court under the direction of the Republican county judge has done the unthinkable:  they seized private property against the wishes of landowners and a community. 

Owning property is one of the very tenets of the American Dream.  And, the county judge has just violated that trust. 

To be fair, the county judge points to a study for his reasoning of the government takeover.  What the county judge does not tell you is that the study was funded by the General Land Office of the Texas state government which has long been at odds with Galveston residents - see the Open Beaches and Public Housing issues experienced on the Island since Hurricane Ike; or, that the government funded study purposely left out information about freshwater inflow into the East Bay.

That is corruption at its best.

Clearly the county judge believes the government knows better than private property owners who maintain Rollover Pass.

Rollover Pass is a place that illustrates a wonderful example of how communities, industries, and Mother Nature work in concert to provide both local economic prosperity as well as local quality of life to those in the Bolivar Peninsula. It is disheartening watching the current county judge use flimsy statistics to justify the dismemberment of a community and the fishing industries which sustains that community.

Rollover Pass is owned and maintained by the Gilchrist Community Association and the Gulf Coast Rod, Reel, and Gun Club.  It provides for easy access including handicap accessibility for free fishing and recreation.  Rollover Pass is a place where Sportsmen regularly gather for trophy fishing which boosts the local economy and protein for the dinner table.

Rollover Pass is a place where our local fishery and oyster industry thrive: facilitated by allowing water inflow and a “highway” for fish migration from the Gulf to the Bay.

And Rollover Pass is a place where proud private property owners  live day to day.

The reality is that Rollover Pass is part of our community.  The county judge may not like it because maybe he is not a recreational fisherman, or just one who can afford guided trips and fishing boats, but that does not mean he should blatantly go against the will of that community. 

And if Rollover Pass could be seized under a government takeover, which part of the county is next?

I believe Rollover Pass and the Bolivar Peninsula are diamonds in the rough; ripe for economic growth and opportunity. This is part of the tried and true tradition of being a Texan.  Generations of families have fished Rollover Pass, and future generations should have the same opportunity and right to experience Rollover Pass.

As your county judge, I will make this promise:  I will fight for you, for private property rights, for Rollover Pass, for Bolivar and for all of Galveston County.


Michelle Hatmaker
Republican Candidate for County Judge




Remembering Jim Guidry GRCC Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership


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