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By Trishna Buch
Current Galveston County district clerk, John Kinard, is
running unopposed in this year’s primaries. Although he
does not have an opponent, we at The Post thought it
would be interesting to learn more about Kinard and his
role and responsibilities as a district clerk, so that all of
you got to know the man who has held the position for
the past five years.
Born and raised in Houston, Kinard graduated with
a degree in accounting from the University of Texas at
Arlington and a law degree from the Southern Methodist
University Dedman School of Law. His professional
career started off as a police officer in the Dallas police
force, before he went on to practice law in Dallas for a few
years. After a stint in practicing law, he applied to the FBI,
where his 27-year long career took him around the globe,
including to Louisiana, Kansas and Washington D.C.
However, after 27 years, when asked what he wanted to
do next, he said that he wanted to go back home to the
According to the County of Galveston website, as a
district clerk, Kinard is responsible for being the “custodian
of all records relating to or lawfully deposited in the
clerk’s office,” including court pleadings and papers. As
district clerk, Kinard is also responsible for indexing and
securing all of the records, collecting filing fees and handling
funds that are awarded to minors.
Throughout his years as district clerk, Kinard has
taken his job quite seriously. Therefore, he has led—and
is still leading—several projects related to the clerk’s
office. One major project he took on was the process
of digitizing immigration records from 1850 to 1950. “At
that time, immigration records were kept by the state and
Galveston was a primary entry point for the immigrants,”
Kinard told me. When he was elected into the position, he
noticed that a lot of the documentation and records were
sitting, forgotten, on shelves. After receiving funds from
the Commissioners Court, Kinard got to work in digitizing
these immigration records. He told me that, today, a person
could go online to the Galveston County immigration
portal, via the county website, and view the immigration
records from all those years ago. “We do realize that we
have not been able to digitize all of the records, but a
person could—for example—type in any location and see
how many people came from a specific country, and see
who lived in a specific area at that time.”
But, when we spoke, what Kinard really wanted to get
the word out on, was the goings on with the Galveston
County jury system. The most important factor he wanted
to discuss was the jury fraud that has been taking place
in the county. Kinard told me that there are scammers
who will call people up and tell them that they failed to
attend their jury duty and they must get a green dot card
and read them the number off of the back of the card
or risk being arrested. “And when you read that number
from the back of the card, the scammers can get hold of
your money.” Kinard wanted to stress that not he, nor any
member of law enforcement, will call you and demand
money. He advised that, if you get a call like this, simply
hang up and then contact your local law enforcement.
He also told me about the new jury system he and the
county are working on implementing. He told me that the
current system, which is 25-years-old, is quite problematic
and inconvenient. “First of all, when you are summoned,
it is a week-long obligation,” Kinard told me. “And
to see if you have to appear the next day, you have to
call the automated system line every evening and listen
for your name; sometimes sitting through 100 names.”
Furthermore, the current system does not provide a way
for the summoned jurors to be told if a court date has
been cancelled. But with the new system—which they
hope to start implementing by May 21st—all of these
difficulties will be dealt with. Kinard told me that the new
system is going to be compatible with smartphones, and
once a person gave their cellphone number, they could
receive text or email alerts for jury summon cancellations
and reminders to attend. And with the new system, juror
questionnaires and other related documents could be
electronically scanned. The new system will also prove
helpful to the county because, with the use of effective
Mailing Enhancement Services, it would be ensured that
jury summons would go out to correct addresses, thereby
reducing postal costs.
Last, but not least, Kinard spoke to me about the passport
renewal and application services available at the
district clerk’s office in the North County Annex, located
at 174 Calder Road in League City. Kinard told me that,
while people can have passport renewals and applications
completed at the post office and the annex, the
annex is more convenient as there is no appointment
required. Furthermore, the application fee is the same
and pictures are only $10 plus tax. And, on March 10th
and 24th, from 9:00am to 2:00pm, the annex will be offering
these services in order to benefit those individuals
who cannot take care of their passport requirements on
the weekdays. For more information contact the district
clerk’s office at 409-766-2424 or 281-316-8729.
Despite not having an opponent, Kinard has been continuously
campaigning. He told me he will make appearances
at different community events and give talks at different
locations such as schools. He also invites anyone
to go online and look at the public records, or to even go
down to the district clerk’s office. And as district clerk,
he told me that his immediate goals are to deal with the
challenges of the jury summons system, by implementing
the new system as soon as possible.
By Trishna Buch
Now that February has arrived, this means that
Valentine’s Day is upon us. A few weeks ago we told
you about a Valentine’s Day sail and a restaurant offering
a Valentine’s Day special, as well as a Valentine’s
bike date from Zagster. We want to continue this streak
of letting you know about exciting offers and activities
on or around Valentine’s Day, by using this issue to
briefly discuss the Valentine’s Day activities offered by
Moody Gardens. Read on to learn more about dinners,
a cruise and much more.
The first is a dinner, officially headlined as “Sea of
Love: A Romantic Dinner Under The Sea With Your
Valentine”. It will take place at the newly renovated
Aquarium Pyramid and when you make a reservation
for yourself and your partner, you will both be treated
to a three-course dinner, admission to the aquarium, a
meet and greet with a biologist, diver chats, your choice
of wine or champagne, a cash bar and the ability to
memorialize the evening with a rose for your significant
other and a souvenir photo. You can reserve a table at
one of five ocean exhibit areas including the Caribbean,
the Gulf Of Mexico or the South Atlantic. Interested couples
have two chances to enjoy this evening, because
it is offered on February 10th and February 17th. To
make a reservation, or for more information on cost and
otherwise, call 409-683-4237 or email grestaurant@
If you and your partner are the type of people who
enjoy having their meal while taking a trip around the
ocean, then the “Love Boat Dinner Cruise” will be right
up your alley. On February 10th, from 6:00-9:00pm,
you can be treated to a buffet dinner and your choice
of wine or champagne, all while taking a cruise around
the Offats Bayou. By making a reservation, which will
cost between $210 and $230, you will also enjoy music,
dancing, a cash bar and—like the aforementioned dinner—
be able to memorialize the evening with a rose for
your significant other and a souvenir photo. To make a
reservation, or for more information, call 409-683-4419
or email
In keeping with the idea of telling you about dinner
specials offered on or around Valentine’s Day, the next
offer is a Valentine’s dinner offered by Shearn’s Seafood
and Prime Steaks. On February 10th, for just $100, you
and your date can enjoy a multiple-course meal consisting
of a crawfish bisque with corn spoon bread, a sorbet,
a crispy Cornish game hen with Texas Cream Peas,
roasted spring vegetables & fresh herbs, and much
more. To make a reservation, simply go online to www. and follow the steps to
make a reservation for “Valentine’s Dinner at Shearn’s
Seafood and Prime Steaks” under the “Valentine’s Day
Getaway Activities” heading.
If you and your partner are the athletic and sporty
type, then the package offered by the Moody Gardens
Golf Course and Pelican Grille is the option for you!
According to the Moody Gardens website, on February
10th and 17th, you can enjoy a package that “includes
an 18-hole round of golf (cart fee included), one dozen
golf balls, one large bucket of range balls and a free
replay (subject to availability) all topped off with unlimited
food and drink, excluding alcohol. For more information
on this package and to reserve a tee time, go
online to
Now last, but certainly not least, is the opportunity to
treat yourself and your partner to some bliss and relaxation.
The Spa at Moody Gardens Hotel offers several
packages, including a Romantic Retreat at the cost of
$360. According to the spa’s website, the Romantic
Retreat offers “a 50-minute Couple’s Swedish massage
with Scandle Candle Body Butter, a Hot Stone Foot
Treatment, and Hydrotherapy,” all while relaxing in the
spa’s private room and enjoying some chocolate covered
strawberries and champagne. Along with a host of
other package options, at a range of prices and all of
which can be viewed at
spa-and-fitness-center/spa-packages, you and yours
can choose to enjoy a couple’s massage in the private
couple’s suite. To learn more about all the offers, go
online to
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show that
special person in your life how much you care about
them. So why not show it, by treating them to one of
these Moody Gardens offers? Although the majority of
these offers are available before and/or after February
14th, this does not mean that you cannot celebrate the
occasion multiple times. So go online to http://www. to learn more about
these offers and to choose the one that best meets your

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