On November 11, 2011, an editorial was written by the publisher of The Rockdale News, Mr. Pat Cavanaugh, titled “Say what?” When I read the aforementioned article, I was flabbergasted upon realizing that the author had me in mind as his subject. As a former elected official/alderman in New Haven, Conn., I would often stand and vote against my party when I felt they were veering in the wrong direction, especially on tax increases and the swelling of local government. During that time, I would read various articles in the New Haven newspapers attempting to besmirch my character solely because of my opposition to some of the then popular mayor’s policies.
As I discussed at the South Rockdale Civic Associations Political Forum and I reiterate now, I strongly support paying our local police officers comparable to that which is paid to officers in Metro Atlanta. I do realize that I am alone in this quest to pay our officers what I believe they deserve. However, I am willing to go down in defeat as I run for Chairman of the county, while taking a stance in fighting for the security, morale and health of Rockdale County.
When Mr. Cavanaugh questioned my desire to support the officers, and then referenced my being somewhat disingenuous with the voters, I took that extremely personally. First of all, I measure my words carefully. Secondly, I have never met Mr. Cavanaugh prior to his article. Thirdly, I construed his remarks as being somewhat of an endorsement to the failed Oden administration.
I saw the importance of responding to Cavanaugh’s article to further elucidate my point. In responding to his comments, I made mention of the desire to meet with him with hopes of conveying a level of clarity to areas in which he found my positions to be disingenuous and or ambiguous.
I must say I was extremely taken aback when he took me up on my offer to sit down and meet. He showed up with Ms. Michelle Kim, the editor of The Rockdale News. We had lunch at a fabulous “soul food” restaurant, Sweet & Savory, located at 1410 Klondike Road, owned by the lovely Eleanor and one the of the best cooks in Rockdale County named Robert.
Mr. Cavanaugh, to his credit, expressed his undying love for Rockdale County and how he thought that “because of the current economic climate that the county is in, it would be difficult to achieve my goals.” I conveyed to Mr. Cavanaugh that we have to change our paradigm in how we look at the county’s budget as it relates to taxes and wasteful spending. Under the current Oden administration and the previous administration, government and wasteful spending continues to grow. Shrink government and control spending and we will find revenue to give our employees a decent wage and return money back to the taxpayers of the county. Unfortunately, one is not given much time to elaborate on issues at a political forum when you are only allotted two minutes to speak on a topic.
Finally, if more of us who disagree on an issue could come together and stop hiding behind the veil of covert racism, homophobia and political parties, then perhaps we can work together to find solutions to problems, and not problems to solutions. My mother raised me to believe that there is good in everyone. If one works hard to find bad in people, they will find it. I thank the distinguished gentleman Mr. Cavanaugh for graciously accepting my offer to meet, and for reminding me that one’s intentions though good they may be, can at times be easily misconstrued.
Democratic candidate for County Commission Chairman