To the editor:
You can always tell when political season rolls around, because that’s when politicians start “telling stories.” Seasoned political types making claims to be something they are not is nothing new, it’s almost expected.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn from the Dan Perkins campaign ad that Dan has supported “continued growth” for L-3 and Greenville businesses. Dan spent a lot of space and money to talk about L-3 — his pride in their work and his awareness that they are an economic force in Greenville.
But despite the fact that L-3 is located in his district and that hundreds of L-3 employees are his District 1 neighbors, Dan has not been supportive of L-3.
Dan was a member of the city council when it violated L-3’s lease, the Texas Public Information Act and the Federal Surplus Properties Act. All the while, Dan and the council were mounting a public relations campaign to mislead the public, saying that they did not take a position on the taxation of L-3. Dan and the council tried to portray that they were the victims.
What resulted was a long legal fight that never should have happened. Thousands of jobs were risked — anyone who says that wasn’t a real possibility doesn’t know what they’re talking about. And later, Dan showed his “support” by voting against releasing documents that ultimately started us on the path to settle the issue.
Those documents prove that Dan and the council wanted L-3 taxed, despite them saying they had “no position.” In one of many e-mails made public when the documents were released, Mayor Oliver, after learning that Brent South was going to rule L-3 not taxable, said “We gave it a great fight” and went on to say that “Brent South’s likely decision is a travesty of justice for all our citizens.”
I guess L-3 paying over $3,500,000 a year in property taxes and employing over 5,000 people is a travesty, but paying a city manager and an assistant city manager nearly $500,000 a year isn’t.
As for other businesses, Dan apparently forgot he voted against the Collin Street Bakery project when they were trying to come to town. His ad that says he supports growth and touts his “support” for L-3, but it’s misleading. Dan’s opponent in this race, Tyson Cox, is a better choice for Place 1. Tyson is a small businessman and wants to see a healthy business climate. He wants to bring jobs to Greenville.
Fortunately for everyone involved, the relationship between the City and L-3 is on the mend. Unfortunately, this is not because of Dan, but in spite of him.
NOTE: A response by Dan Perkins was printed on page A5 of the May 10 Herald-Banner as part of a paid political advertisement.