The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Opinion

May 19, 2013

‘Alexander placed many jobs at risk’

Open letter from the Mayor

Dear Greenville Community,

Decisions related to termination of personnel are probably the most difficult faced by people charged with managing organizations, whether it is a business or a public entity.  Those decisions impact not only the life of the person terminated, but family, co-workers and friends.

 Ultimately, those decisions must be made based on facts and the impact on the organization involved.  Action Tuesday night to terminate Steve Alexander’s contract as City Manager was not a decision made hastily nor without careful weighing of the far-reaching implications for our community.

Over the past several months, it became obvious the City Manager was on a different page than the majority of the City Council.  Last week, we learned the loss of Rubbermaid removed Forty Million Dollars ($40,000,000) of taxable business personal property from the City’s tax rolls.  

Also, it was discovered that L3 had moved Thirty Five Million Dollars ($35,000,000) of business personal property to other locations within the United States.  The combined net effect resulted in almost Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000) loss in tax revenue to the City’s general fund, not to mention the effect to Greenville ISD, Hunt County and the Hunt Regional Hospital District.  

In my view, Mr. Alexander did not demonstrate a sound and prudent working relationship with our largest taxpayers which placed many jobs at risk.  His continued employment became a hindrance to future growth and ongoing positive relations within the business community.

Regardless of the name of the company, the actual economic impact of 5,000 jobs on a community is more than Two Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($250,000,000) per year.  That’s right, more than Two Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($250,000,000) per year.  

With Greenville’s infrastructure deteriorating, tax base shrinking, and action needed to move in a direction that facilitates better community relations with citizens and businesses, both small and large, the majority of the Council determined that it was in the best, long-term interest of Greenville to release Mr. Alexander.

So where are we?  The Council will meet soon to name an interim City Manager who will be charged with motivating our city employees and repairing their morale that has deteriorated over the past couple of years.  

Current and proposed projects will be closely monitored to insure progress.  The Council will work diligently to recruit a new leader who will forge a positive attitude towards quality of life, prudent fiscal management, business retention and growth.

Where are we going?  We must change the perception that Greenville is not business friendly, a monumental task, but one which can be accomplished.  To start creating a business friendly environment, we will continue to pursue a water park for our community bringing jobs and an asset to improve our quality of life.  

We are confident the opening of a water park will cause the Greenville Town Center, with its many retail stores, to become a reality.   Walton Development’s plan to develop thousands of acres just to our north and west of our City could bring hundreds of jobs to our area.  

Additionally, we are interested in constructing aircraft hangars at Majors Field and recruiting businesses to locate their corporate jets here.  The Greenville Board of Development is doing a tremendous job identifying opportunities to grow Greenville’s commercial and industrial landscape and tax base.  

With the passage of the street bond issue, improved infrastructure will be realized in 2014 and for the next several years.  The opportunity to have a new YMCA/Events Center constructed in our Sports Park has taken a step closer to reality and will be an attraction for new families looking at Greenville and visitors coming for meetings and trade shows.

Over the next 5 years, the possibility of a toll road linking Greenville to Wylie, Plano, Garland and The President George Bush Turnpike could become a reality, with North and Downtown Greenville a major benefactor.

The plan of bringing sewer to the area south of I-30 and west of Monty Stratton would open up hundreds of acres to possible development. The lengthening of 1570 to join Hwy. 66 could also spur growth in Greenville’s southwestern sector.

Finally, whether you agreed or disagreed with the decision to make a change in leadership for Greenville, I want to thank those of you who spoke out and were involved in the process. We live in the greatest country mankind has ever known.  

Our Forefathers fought, and many died, so that we may live free, to work and grow our businesses, raise our families, speak freely, and live the lives we choose each and every day.  I am committed to see Greenville grow and prosper over the final two years of my term.  I ask each citizen to become involved in making Greenville a great community, and I ask each of you to continue to pray for Greenville, Texas and its citizens.

Steve Reid

Mayor

City of Greenville

 

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