Letter to the editor: Mayor’s criticism not warranted
November 13, 2013 12:00 AM | 1307 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print

In the article, “Nelson gets new mayor, two council seats decided” on Nov. 7, mayor-elect Larry Ray was quoted as saying “I’m hopefully going to crack down on all the problems….The council will be able to quiet down and work for the people”.

It was news to me that the presiding council was having all the problems that Mr. Ray eluded to.

Yes, prior councils have had problems. Mostly from the conflict between a mayor with no authority and the council itself. The charter change was legitimate, done before this council was even sworn in.

When this council took office, we decided we should make it official what the prior council had already decided half-heartedly… removing the mayor from being the sole person in charge of the city of Nelson. A strong mayor has plagued the city of Nelson for years, allegedly taking money, firing staff, and forcing employees to do things not acceptable to the city. This has historically been a concern with many citizens.

When ex-Mayor Haviland took office he knew he had no authority. While Mr. Haviland refused to exert any control at all within the city, he spent countless hours in Cherokee and Pickens and attempted to make those governments believe he was the sole authority in the city of Nelson.

Isn’t it curious that he resigned the afternoon before the city of Nelson was sued by the Brady Center for the “Family Protection Ordinance?” A lawsuit that one of our own citizens gave his name to so that the Washington-based organization could proceed.

After reading Mr. Ray’s comments in the Tribune, I can only assume more of the “same” is coming. This new mayor states he is going to “crack down” and “quiet down” the city council. Same ole story—different verse.

Mr. Ray has not been involved in city politics. He has only decided to come after his announcement to run for mayor. I cannot imagine where he is getting his information, but can make the assumption that he is being misled by the same people that attempted to mislead the current council.

Where does he get off scolding the council, when we as a council have done more for this city than any prior council before us? We for the first time have stood together without any type of conflicts.

When did good debate become so bad?

Edith Portillo

Nelson City councilwoman

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