Kiddies In Kemah

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My brand new granddaughter inspired this latest report on our never-ending source of journalistic inspiration – the tourist town of Kemah.

We have apparently hurt the Mayor’s feelings in our latest investigation, and we say that’s what she signed up for!

We bring you the latest episode of babies tv.

You know where else they apparently need some new pacifiers?

Down in Kemah.

Residents of our favorite Galveston County tourist town woke up to the startling news on  Facebook, “a media embarrassment at Wednesdays city council meeting” reads the post post.

“The rushing of the mayor just before council started session.”


Reported the private Facebook group founder Daniel Conrad.

We’ve highlighted Conrad before because he says he’s all about open government. He even quotes James Bryce, “sunlight kills the germs and corruption inside the government.” We agree.

“Texas government does not belong to elected officials but to the people of Texas. Texans have the right to see how their government is spending their money their tax dollars and exercising their powers that they have granted,” said Daniel Conrad at a Kemah City Council meeting.

Conrad didn’t show the towns people video of this frightening incident. The mayor reported she was scared to death after it happened.

Only a few people were inside city hall to see the horror unfold. Are you sitting down because we have every frightening second caught on tape.

“Can I ask just a couple questions about some issues regarding Matt Wiggins? The property,” asked Dolcefino Consulting’s Andrea Palacio.

“No ma’am. Not tonight. Not during our meeting,” replied Mayor Robin Collin.

“The parking lot? Has the meeting started yet?” continued Palacio.

“It should be. We are waiting for them to walk back in,” said Collins.

“How about after the meeting?” asked Palacio.

“No ma’am, I will never talk to you all. Ever,” said Collins.

Mayor Collins then got up and hid by the back of the council chamber, until the media went away.

We think folks in Kemah know what the word rush means.  But in case you don’t Mr. Conrad, it means to move with urgent haste, to attack.

So, we will play at regular speed exactly how the intrepid reporter from Dolcefino Consulting approached the mayor.

I’ll be glad to splurge for Mr. Conrad’s personal binkie if he needs me to, but enough of that silliness.

Robin Collins has been mad at us ever since we correctly reported she had been sued for delinquent property taxes.

We shared reporting by the Texan that the new Kemah Mayor has a mortgage held by a guy we’ve called the “king of Kemah.” One of the towns richest citizens former mayors Matt Wiggins.

A judge dismissed a criminal case against Wiggins for misusing water funds this year, but he was found guilty of unethical conduct by the Texas Ethics Commission

We’ve been reporting for years on allegations Wiggins just doesn’t like to play by the same rules as everybody else in town and gets away with it.

There are now complaints that Wiggins’ five parking lots inside the city limits. That they are violating city ordinance. As you can see, they are unlit grass fields near the boardwalk and entertainment district. There’s a city ordinance that parking lots in town should be paved.

Yes, there is,” said Kent Myers

We’re seeking to get his compliance on that regulation. Code enforcement is investigating,” continues Myers.

Code enforcement in Kemah is being handed by an outside contractor, Mike Garcia, fire marshal in Willowbrook.

Who says Wiggins could get a citation.

“Until I get permission from city council or my city management there won’t be any citation issued until I get it approved for them,” said Michael Garcia.

That’s why we were at city council. A discussion about the 5 unpaved parking lots owned by Wiggins was on the agenda.

We were there, but Mike Garcia wasn’t, and city council did nothing. But why?

We learned that in January of this year, the Kemah code enforcement officer issued second violation notices for at least three of the parking lots. Giving Wiggins 30 days to fix it.

Warning a failure to fix it could result in fines up to $500 per day, per lot.

In June, five of Wiggins lots were found breaking city ordinance. We did the math, on just three of the lots, if Kemah was enforcing its ordinance, the “king of Kemah” could owe $225,000, maybe a lot more.

It makes the inaction of City Council even more suspicious.

Wiggins claims his parking lots are grandfathered and says the city is powerless to make him pay for any improvements, but he’s charging for parking on those lots $20 per day. Much more than the paid city lots do.

Improvements Wiggins made to put up a fence and get people to pay by an app may kill his argument.

In June of 2021, Wiggins sent an email to council that his company would be glad to collect parking money for the city on the July 4th celebration for a 25% cut.

We can’t find evidence that happened.

That was the same year Wiggins cut a deal with the city to lease the Kemah visitors center, the old schoolhouse.

“And according to his proposal he’s offering to do an awful lot for that visitor center,” said Isaac Saldana in the city county meeting. 

The deal was supposed to be a showcase for Kemah historical artifacts, current arts and crafts, and tourist info.

Wiggins said he’d loan the place some real cool stuff like bar from the Dry Bean Saloon from Lonesome Dove and Howard Hughes conference table.

Wiggins said he planned to publish a Kemah daily visitor guide too.

The lease began in April of 21, but two months later the lack of work at the old Kemah schoolhouse brought some buyer’s remorse.

“It appears we have leased to the wrong person. So, unless that person is going to do what they said they’re going to do, I have a problem with it,” said Saldana.

But council did nothing again to challenge Wiggins. He is paying the rent but now two years and four months later, look at what the place looks like inside.  Nothing but empty shelves.

But Councilman Doug Meisinger shared the news on July 21st that was excited. A museum was finally coming, a studio for I45 NOW. Locals have heard that before for two years.

If all that is true, it will require a new contract because Wiggins wasn’t allowed to sublease the city property.

Should Meisinger and Collins even vote?  Meisinger, we know, lives in a building owned by Wiggins. He’s his business partner.

And the mayor, she has a beach house that Wiggins apparently helped arrange the mortgage for.

It’s just one more never-ending Wiggins related drama in Kemah.

If you don’t mind me asking, who am I speaking with?” asked Michael Garcia.

The city code enforcement officer clammed up a bit on the parking lot questions when he found out we were those evil Dolcefino Consulting folks, but what he said speaks volumes.

“It’s really sensitive because, of course, you know, everything is sensitive around here,” continued Garcia.

Maybe that’s why Daniel Conrad tried to make our simple questions the other day into something it was clearly not.

Would he rather us take a page from white house reporters and shout questions?

Because we could do that.

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