Below is a letter I sent to Jeff Perry, Mayor Pro-Tem Aubrey, TX. This is in response to a misleading Letter to the Editor he submitted.
I read your Pilot Point Post Signal Letter to the Editor on March 11, 2016. While this does not appear to be your work, it was a nicely written letter. This was of course in response to my letter to the editor on March 4, 2016, in which I recommended that certain council-members resign if they failed to see and address the issue that was right in front of them. While it disappointed me that you felt necessary to mention me by name in your letter, the deeper disappointment is that you don’t seem to understand the extent of the problem with the 5.5 million dollar debt. Unfortunately, for the citizens of Aubrey, you seem to miss the point quite frequently.
The 5.5 million dollar expenditure on the new water system is not something I would not support without additional information. Whenever staff starts misleading us, it should be a sign to require a deeper explanation. You disagreed with me on this and I respected your position. The thing that makes me angry about this situation, is the fact that we are spending this money for new infrastructure without repairing the current dilapidated sewer system. Which should be our first priority and responsibility.
As you know during the council meeting on February 16, 2016, long time Aubrey resident, Mr. Sissiney spoke at depth about how raw sewage backed up in his yard when it rains. After being told for decades that we could not afford the necessary sewer repairs, he was disappointed that we were spending 5.5 million dollars in new infrastructure, without addressing the well-known and long standing issues with our current sewer system. It deeply disappointed me that Mr. Sissiney has had raw sewage backing up in his yard for 32 years and this city has done nothing about it. What further disappointed me was that you actually have been to Mr. Sissiney’s home when the raw sewage was running through his yard, and yet you still voted in favor of spending 5.5 million dollars on new infrastructure without repairing the dilapidated sewer system. However, your letter to the editor completely avoided the sewer problems, which was the main reason I asked for resignations.
Now one might think that you avoided the sewer issue intentionally and tried to mislead the public into believing that I was upset solely on the 5.5 million dollars of additional debt, which makes your point plausible. This would have been a typical political move by an experienced politician. However, after sitting next to you or the last year, I would have to believe that you truly do not understand the real issue. I also, do not believe that you’re not intellectually capable of strategizing something like that. Call me a fool, but I really don’t think you get it. However, if you’d really stated the facts about the issue, it is likely that most people in Aubrey would agree that you should resign. However, with the intellectual capability previously mentioned, doubt you’ll get that either.
While several council members callously disregarded Mr. Sissney’s plea, you particularly disappointed me. Not only have you seen the raw sewage bubbling in his yard with your own eyes, but you were apparently friends with his son. You were someone he respects and trusts, and you’ve let him down thus far. Just about every person in Aubrey has had their children’s picture taken with this man, as he plays Santa Clause at all of the local functions, and the city of Aubrey has literally shit on this guy for 32 years. I have always had a saying that “Once you know, you can’t not know”. This saying has never been more applicable than it is right now, and you know.
This has not been the first time that we’ve not seen eye to eye to on a major issue. If you recall, you voted to support the artificial inflation of our property tax rate. We gerrymandered the debt, so that we could charge Aubrey citizens a few more bucks in property taxes this year (which still didn’t leave enough money to fix the sewer). Unfortunately, you did not see a problem with this, while I felt that this was not ethical or transparent. However, when I spoke out publicly about this, you got upset, stating that I was suggesting the council was either “shady or ignorant”, and you didn’t appreciate that. However, in this matter, you had to be one or the other. Either you didn’t get it, or you didn’t care, and either way it’s wrong for the government to act this way and bad for the people of Aubrey.
I made you aware that I was circulating a petition against using this manipulation practice in the future, and although you were firmly in support of this practice 9 months ago, you’ve asked me to hold off on the petition until after the election. Although, you’ve said that you can defend all of your votes, guess that one was the exception. Maybe you weren’t as proud of that as you thought.
We have both worked on each other’s campaigns. I have spent both time and treasure to get you elected in the past, but it’s clear that you are not the person I thought you were. You do not commit the time it takes to be a good city councilman, nor are you are as ethical or moral as you like to have people believe. You have good image in public, but I suspect that if people really got to know you, they would be disappointed as well.
You said in your letter that “everyone knows where you stand”. Unfortunately with apathy and the lack of involvement of the community that is not a factual statement. It should read that “everyone knows where you should stand”, because you know as well as I do you, your votes on council do not reflect the public image you portray. The lack of involvement and level of ignorance that you bring into most votes is embarrassing. If you really “stood for the people of Aubrey”, you would actually support the people, which currently you’re not. While that is a nice catchphrase, we both know you have no idea what you stand for. If you really stood for the people of Aubrey, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, and I would be helping you get re-elected.
You also pointed out that you do not “vote on principle”. I think that says a lot, does that mean that you do not have principles? Or do you even know what principles are? Mirriam-Webster defines principle as - a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. So I guess in your own words you do not have a foundation for your beliefs or behavior. If you had good principles (which your public image portrays), then voting with your principles would reflect that, and again we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
It has often bothered me that you’ve put so much effort into complaining about people who live in the Aubrey Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), who show up to our meetings to make comments during citizen’s input. However, it does appear that you don’t mind if the comments are positive, but if there is a complaint attached, you bellyache about having to listen to them. Perhaps you don’t understand open and transparent government. These are public meetings and everyone has the right to attend and have their voice heard. The Constitution of the United States, which you’ve taken the oath to support and defend, guarantees people’s rights to redress government. The meetings are a mechanism to do this in a general law city. Many of the things that we’re doing have a direct impact on those that live in the ETJ. Them exercising their voice is something that good public official would welcome, not complain about. Your statement that you are “always open to contact, and I am always willing to hear your points of view on the subjects the city council may be handling”, is not accurate. For the most part, people that I know to have called you, said you were a nice, but had no clue on the stated subject, even if you voted to support it, and you were absolutely no help. All of the people who support you, support you because they’ve never needed your help with anything related to your position on council. If they ever had an issue, they’d find a whole different Jeff Perry than the one on Facebook.
When you encouraged me to run for this seat, you said you needed a good vote setting next to you, which I believe you’ve gotten from me. But what does that matter when you consistently vote with the herd? You basically vote however the mayor and city staff want you to vote. You’ve shown no courage to be your own man, but rather a puppet for the regime, a regime that does not reflect the image you portray. Frankly a bobble-head sitting your seat could’ve done the same job you’ve done over the last year. I have voted with my principles, and I know why I voted for or against each and every time. We’ve all made mistakes and I am big enough to admit those mistakes, and try and do better in the future. You appear to hope nobody really knows how you’ve voted, because if they knew the subjects as well as you should have when you voted, your house of cards would come down.