To the editor:
I had planned to never write another letter concerning the recent elections, but the letter by Jimmie Rogers prompts me to write one more. There are two reasons for this. One is that over the past several years, Jimmie has been a very good friend to me, and I am not ready to write off that friendship. He has done some big favors for me that I cannot forget! Mayor terms are for three years, but friendships are for a lifetime. The second is to address the inaccuracies in his letter.
He says that I tried to get the “L-3 people” to back me in last year’s run for mayor. The real history goes back to the 2011 council race. I was living in Place 3 at the time, and some people in positions of authority in the city were advocating taxing L-3 on the property it was leasing from the city. L-3 was upset about this, and so was I. I was supporting L-3 in its protest. I was told by a person that did not work for L-3, but was helping them find candidates, that if I would run for Place 3 on the council, he was sure that they would pay all my campaign expenses. I explained that I had no interest in running, but if I did I would not want to be obligated to them. They paid for most of Jeff Dailey’s campaign and got him elected.
Early in the “fight” Brent South with the Hunt County Appraisal District ruled that the city could not tax L-3 on the property. This should have been the end of it, but L-3 would not let it go. By the 2012 election they had decided to take over the council and had their slate of candidates for mayor and two more council seats. It was at this time that I decided they were doing something that I felt (and still feel) was not right for the city as a whole. I decided to run for mayor. Contrary to Mr. Roger’s letter, I did not seek their support. They already had their man that I was running against. Upon learning of my intentions, Tom Brown with L-3 called me to tell me I should not run and that I could not win. He said they would spend all the money it would take to get their candidates elected. Throughout the campaigning for mayor, I came to realize that Greenville had a good city manager who was only following orders. Then, in the 2013 council race, I chose to support Dan Perkins, not the L-3 candidate.
The fact is L-3 bought the election for Dailey in 2011, bought the 2012 election, and tried to buy the Place 1 seat in 2013. They contributed approximately $9700 to the Cox campaign. The incumbent and winner Dan Perkins took in a total of only $6800 with none from L-3. The question is not, “Did L-3 buy, and try to buy seats?” The real question is, “Is that good for the city as a whole?” People have strong opinions each way. Can’t we have differences of opinions without being enemies?