Why you shouldn't call a little old lady "untruthful"

By Ed Martin, Editor
Why you shouldn't call a little old lady "untruthful"

The city’s proposal to create a property assessment to help pay for the golf course may have breathed its last breath. It certainly wasn’t difficult to “assess” the mood of the public, at least those who responded to the city’s idea of assessing property owners to help pay for the golf course and “maybe” build a municipal swimming pool.

Comments, both written and delivered at the council’s study session Tuesday night, were pretty much dead set against a tax to help fund the golf course. There didn’t seem to be much enthusiasm for a swimming pool either.

Councilmembers are at somewhat of a fork in the road. Does the city “fork” out $22,000 for its hired planners (Quad Knopf) to conduct a study, hold public hearings, and mail out assessments, or do they forget about the whole thing.

Sounds like they’re going to shove it under the 18th green and forget about it.

So the saga of the golf course goes on with former mayor Billy Siegel lamenting the use of general funds to help fund the golf course and bemoaning the $3.5 million the city still owes on the debt service.

I guess my favorite comment was from a speaker during public comment time who said he thought the golf course benefits only golfers. “Golf is the stupidest thing in the world,” he said.

I humbly correct him. Google glasses are the dumbest things in the world.

Kudos to Councilmember Eddie Neal who forced the issue at Tuesday night’s meeting to find a new mayor to replace the old one he says was becoming a “distraction.” Every councilmember - but one - agreed with Neal, who normally isn’t very outspoken. But he was in this case and he got three votes, plus his, to dump the mayor.

The mayor for his part just can’t seem to stop talking. He got into an argument with Kings County Supervisor Richard Valle who spoke to the Lemoore Council on behalf of the people who voted for him in his district.  Valle ended up calling Siegel a jerk after the former mayor brought up Valle’s difficulties with the press a few years ago.

Tiny Jane Dart stood her ground as she related several instances of what she called the mayor’s harassment when she helped lead a failed recall movement. The mayor basically called Dart a liar but she proudly withstood the falsehoods. She said she also had a run in earlier with the mayor’s father. “I’m a little rattled since the mayor’s father just was screaming at me half an hour ago,” she said.

Dart is telling the truth. I witnessed the former mayor’s actions personally. I was picking up my mail one day and happened upon Dart and friends collecting signatures, and there he was, the mayor, leaning against the wall, next to Jane, citing his constitutional right to stand there and read his mail. The police were called and even I got a call asking me what I had witnessed.

He’s right, he does have the constitutional right to display boorish behavior and call little old ladies “untruthful.”

Probably the most meaningful comments came from Neal’s wife Myeisha, who reluctantly spoke out on her husband’s behalf: “I can say that morning, noon and night, my husband has this community in his mind and in his heart. And he truly cares for each and every community member. It doesn’t matter where you live. He’s out there to shake your hand and see if he can accommodate your needs.”

I can think of at least one councilmember who could take some lessons from Myeisha.

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