I am writing today to speak on the recall petition for the mayor of Mineral Wells. There are many opinions, many stories and many reasons for and against the signing of this petition. I am for the recall of the mayor. I wanted to take a moment to share with you and your readers why.
I am what you would call an "average" citizen. I am involved in a couple of organizations in town. But largely, I just go about my own business of shopping, going to the occasional movie and restaurant, mostly keeping to myself. If I wanted community activity, I would go to Weatherford, there was nothing here.
Until I heard about this new place called Coffee & Cocktails. I did not hold high hopes, but my family was in town visiting, so I thought I would check it out. It has since become my go to place when I am out and about. This is the type of community activity I used to go out of town for. Then I see a few new restaurants come up. Then these beautiful murals are all over town. I am thinking wow, this town is waking up and pride starts to grow in my heart.
Most recently, the town got together for the 4th of July. There was a place for kids to engage, food trucks, even a live band to bring it all together. It was a great day of community – no fussing, no fighting, just having fun together.
The next thing that I learned was that The Baker project had lift-off. I was (and am) so excited about the possibilities of this grand hotel being restored. It was then that I learned about other projects in the works to bring the town back to life. So, you understand my confusion when I also learned that the mayor of the town seemed to be set on destroying all this progress.
I wondered why I didn’t see the mayor in the announcement about The Baker, why he hadn’t made any statements about how wonderful this was for the town and its citizens. How many jobs and much needed funds would come into town to help continue the work that was started. There was a reason for this, the mayor was (and is) against the project. So much so that he will not sign the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) which would give him a seat at the table to get information about the project and possibly have some input into it. This, to me, is not in the best interest of the town of its citizen.
There was a time where he addressed one of the organizations that I am involved with and said that he was not allowed to get a copy of the town charter. Which I found strange. So, as an experiment, I ordered a copy, fully expecting to be denied. Imagine my surprise when it came into my email a few days later. This, copied with his actions (or inactions) on The Baker project, got me thinking.
Then I hear about the recall. In it, it is reported that he wanted to take away non-profit funding – which would include the Senior Center and Meals on Wheels – two programs that much of our community depend on for necessities such as food. Why would a person who had stepped into to a leading role of the town seem to be determined to keep it down? I couldn’t focus on that – my focus was (and is) to get enough signatures to recall him.
As I began to collect signatures for the petition, I met some incredible people. Some seniors that I met depend on the Senior Center for community activities that keep them busy and vital in their retirement years. Others invited me into their homes and shared with me why they were signing the petition. It was heartbreaking to learn that these people who have worked hard all their lives were threatened (even just briefly) of not being taken care of. While working at tables collecting signatures, still other citizens were confused, some angry, with one or more of the 11 points that are the basis of the recall. Some had their own experience(s) that they shared.
Jobs are important – on a couple of occasions, the mayor voted against new jobs – some from an already established company to come into town. Restoration is important (he is against The Baker). And not only is he against these things, he sought to bring in an ordinance that had the potential of exposing the town (remember the town that is just starting to get up on its feet) to millions of dollars of litigation to appease special interest groups.
For these and other reasons I stand behind the recall petition. I thank you for the space to share.
Bridgette Goldstein, Mineral Wells