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Letter to the Editor 12-4
I will not conform to mayor's ideology
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You have asked my thoughts on the mayor’s recent action as to whether I perceived it as some kind of political payback or punishment. First, let me be clear it is clearly within the mayor’s powers to make committee appointments.
With that being said, the mayor missed a great opportunity to start the new board off in harmony, rather than trying to silence me and the 1,900 plus voters who voted for me. You see I know how the mayor operates. Anyone who does not agree with his position, he tries to silence in some way or ridicule on the streets. He is right in his commending me that I do not support his agenda.
The mayor in his statement to the Southern Standard said I am not progressive enough and he mentioned three specific instances in his efforts to condemn me. In reference to the Driver Testing Center, it is true I am reluctant to assume responsibilities of the state, or have city taxpayers bear the financial burden for an entire region.
However, when county officials came on board and our state representative promised to relieve us of this burden in the upcoming legislative session, I supported short-term financing of the facility.
Next, he tries to discredit me in my support to nonprofits. The record clearly shows I supported the 25% increase on both votes before the board. I did not support the measure in committee because I would have liked to have seen it divided up differently.
Thirdly, he has portrayed me as being against the health and welfare of the community by not supporting renovations to the Civic Center.
First of all, there has not been a vote before the board regarding the expenditures of money to renovate the Civic Center except the one which I proposed which would allow the citizens to have a voice in the decision by referendum, which the mayor opposed. I have said on the record I am in favor of all renovations which do not put the city in competition with our citizens who are trying to make a living providing the same services.
We can operate without a profit, but they cannot. I also remember the pre-David Rutherford days when the city was virtually broke and I do not want to make that mistake on my watch.
Since I am not one the mayor can influence, control, manipulate, or reward by placing me as chair of a particular board committee, or wine and dine me to support his positions by using his appointment powers to the MES Board like a bribe, he has taken his recent action. In essence, he knows he has no leverage to make me succumb to his ideology and that infuriates him.
I would like to apologize to Kate Alsbrook for the damper the mayor’s action placed on what should have been a festive time Tuesday night, and I would like to thank the board in its entirety who has supported me to help ensure all voices and ideas have a place and deserve to be heard, not just the ones of the mayor’s liking.
Mike Neal
Ross Avenue