The Mayor called me a liar. It was in a mailing you probably received recently.
Seems the Mayor is upset with anyone who would dare to disagree with his plan to subsidize construction of over 700 unnecessary apartments with public tax dollars. So he calls us all liars.
I take offense, and all of Galveston should take offense, at seeing an elected official stoop so low. No one who volunteers to run for public office purely for the good of the community deserves to be treated like that.
In America, Mr. Mayor, we’re free to stand up for what we believe without being dragged through the mud.
In Texas, Mr. Mayor, a man’s reputation is among his most prized possessions, and you’d better be certain of your facts before you besmirch it.
In Galveston, Mr. Mayor, we can disagree without character assassination.
The mailing speaks volumes about how low you’ll stoop to get elected. Even the lowest partisan politicians in the big national campaigns don’t call their opponents liars.
Here, for the record, is the common-sense public housing plan supported by thousands of Galvestonians since I outlined it in November. You’ll notice it is considerably different from what the Mayor attributes to us in his slick direct mail piece:
• Use vouchers to help those people who need housing assistance find safe, secure homes near job opportunities.
• Declare vacant public housing land surplus, make it available for private development, put it on the tax rolls and increase Galveston’s tax base. Those who say this can’t be done should remember it has been done in Galveston, when the Housing Authority’s Island City Homes was sold and eventually became Colony Park.
• Challenge the Conciliation Agreement. Public housing professionals agree it is flawed, created by people from off the Island who didn’t know or care what our population was going to be after the storm. The Mayor flip-flopped on this issue last month, but still wants to build over 700 unnecessary units.
• We have too many vacant properties now, and should not subsidize building any more.
• Appoint Galveston Housing Authority Commissioners who will take a fresh, independent approach.
• Foster home ownership programs to attract people who work here to live here. The city’s own survey showed these families want single-family homes, not low-income apartments.
• Get tough on code violations, enforce Housing Authority standards on voucher-supported properties and assemble a blue-ribbon team of local experts in law and real estate to find solutions to Galveston’s blighted buildings.
I call on you to apologize for that mailing, Mr. Mayor. It was an insult to the countless people who disagree with you on public housing. Maybe your out-of-town donors and advisors think dirty politics are OK where they come from, but not in Galveston, please.
We all want to see City Hall running more smoothly, with a Mayor and Council Members working together with the City Manager toward a better, brighter future. Please vote for me on May 12.