The following opinion was written by Debbie Foster:
Before you cast your vote for City Council, let’s put the City Council decisions in perspective:
Michael Daniel and David Shultz got us into a broadband mess that ultimately cost the taxpayers over $500,000.00 to get out of the Kramer contract along with paying Nathan Watkins another $25,000.00 a month for about 5 months.
After all the fall-out from the broadband last year, Daniel, Shultz, Lewis and Holmes want to bring it back again, partnering with AT &T at a cost of $5,000,000.00 for the city and AT & T! This is ludicrous! Anderson Land says he’s against the city being involved in broadband and that this is something that a private entity should be doing. There are so many companies already in Jasper, with more coming.
Proposition “A” which was passed by a 5 to 1 vote, has never been discussed at any council meeting since last year’s election. In fact, it has never been put on the agenda by Mayor Sayers to address either way.
Meetings were held outside the council chambers at Shultz Funeral Home making decisions that were illegal. For instance, the decision to move the Jasper Police Department’s City Jail inmates to the Sheriff’s Department was never discussed in a city council meeting. (Anderson Land wasn’t invited to this meeting and the only way he knew this change had occurred was he heard it on KJAS Radio.)
Let’s not forget my cussing that I got from Mayor Randy Sayers just for entering a room in the Jasper Lake Sam Rayburn/JEDCO conference room when he, Shultz, and Daniel were in one of their private meetings. They got caught is why I got the cussing by Sayers.
Daniel has not been a full-time councilman. As per Evelyn O’Neill, looking back on the City Council meetings minutes from January 1, to December 31st 2022, Daniel missed 10 out of 22 meetings last year alone.
Daniel and Shultz, along with Rashad Lewis and Demarcus Holmes, changed the city ordinance to allow alcohol and drugs in the park during the Food Truck event. City Attorney, Michael Stewart Ratcliff, has repeatedly said the wording on the ordinance was wrong and that he was not included in this decision. The council has ignored his pleas and Mayor Randy Sayers has ignored putting it back on the agenda.
Rashad Lewis wanted to hire a Public Relations Company to give the city a better representation, so he says. He failed to disclose that Adan Arriaga was a school classmate, and that he had hired him as his campaign consultant when he ran against Gary Gatlin for Mayor. He made the motion to hire his friend and it passed by four council members except for Anderson Land who voted against. Lewis was determined to hire Texas Strategies at the cost of $240,000.00 for their first bid. As the process went along, Texas Strategies was allowed to rebid their cost down to $140,000.00 but the other two applicants weren’t allowed to do the same. Two other applicants put forth bids for the city: Josh Hadnot had the lowest bid, $100,000 and Nick Gamache bid $120,000. Evelyn O’Neil addressed the council on suspicious dealings with this company, but Lewis, Shultz, Daniel and Holmes went ahead and hired Adan Arriaga’s company. In the long run it worked out for the Jasper citizens when Texas Strategies pulled out of the contract because they didn’t like the changes that were made by the council last Monday night, on April 10, 2023. My question is? Who makes $8,222.00 per month in Jasper, Texas??? They need to be held accountable for our tax dollars! The SRPMA “Sam Rayburn Power Municipal Agency” funds aren’t guaranteed forever.
I believe in giving back to the community, especially when it comes to our children, but a $1,046,500.00 basketball court? I can see that money spent on a pool and splash pad where all children can enjoy. Jasper has a basketball court at all four school campuses, both city parks, and every church in town has a fellowship hall with basketball goals, nets, and courts.
Stop the insanity!
VOTE SAYERS, AND DANIEL OUT!
Anderson Land for Mayor, District 2, Ronnie Sample, and District 1, Marcus Barber