2018-09-12 / Editorials

What’s going on in Arlington?

In our first letter we, the “Citizens for Better Government,” began to “Shine a Light” on Arlington City Hall.

We listed ways we think our mayor is being mistreated.

These issues beg the question: WHY?

Why do they treat their mayor with such transparent scorn and disrespect? There may be issues we are unaware of, but the obvious one occurred several years ago when an ethical issue arose. It was highly publicized and caused a rift in our community. Those who participated and their supporters maintain their innocence.

Mayor Williams, who was on the city council at the time, contended improper actions had occurred and reparations should be made. The city employees and their supporters, some of whom are now council members, cannot or will not forgive him for what they think was a betrayal.

Resentment and ill will is hard to disguise, and their disdain for the mayor is often displayed in public city council meetings. The mayor has expressed a desire to put past issues aside and concentrate on what is best for our city.

Their resistance is obvious and palpable, apparently to everyone but themselves and their supporters.

Our biggest concern at present is our financial state, the city charter mandates the mayor prepare a budget.

Mayor Williams enlisted the help of our city auditor and two citizens who have been in business all of their working lives. They spent many hours preparing a fair and reasonable budget with conscientious efforts to save taxpayer’s money.

City council members who are against the mayor boycotted budget hearings, wrote their own budget, voted his budget down and voted theirs in. The mayor had not included a cost of living wage increase for employees because our monetary resources are modest.

Their budget included a raise for all employees — whether their work was up to par or not.

The mayor’s budget included monies only for training which was mandated. Their budget includes funds for training for all department heads and all council members.

The mayor stipulated monies to be spent hiring a professional company to replace our nonfunctioning fire hydrants. They contend that our maintenance supervisor is capable of repairing them, notwithstanding some of these hydrants have been unusable for over five years.

The fact their budget is almost $25,000 more than the mayor’s budget is not as concerning as the way the taxpayers’ money is being spent.

To be continued!

Janeece Poe,

Citizens for Better


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