2018-08-15 / Editorials

What’s going on in Arlington?

To the editor:

Those active in Arlington city government have formed a committee called “Citizens for Better Government” which meets Tuesday nights at the depot.

We want all citizens to know what is happening in Arlington. Facts seem to get twisted and our goal is to let the light expose the truth. “Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant,” Louis Brandies, a former Supreme Court Justice once stated. “Knowledge creates accountability; ignorance and secrecy empower manipulation and abuse.”

For starters, we think Mayor Raymond Williams is being abused. Not only does the 1972 Calhoun County High alum love his hometown, he loves his country for which he served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. He chose to return to live in Arlington after retirement, because he loves his hometown.

In 2002, he ran for city council and served two terms. In 2012, he ran for mayor and lost to the incumbent. In 2017, he ran again and his opponents were both former mayors. There was a 3-way tie. In the run-off election, Williams won by 5 votes. The victory was a surprise to everyone; especially, to his opposition.

Raymond’s supporters were excited. What we did not realize was that we had consigned him to a war. In fact, the mayor told a reporter from the Albany Herald, that if he had known he was going to fight a war in his hometown, he might have chosen to stay in the military and fight in Iraq.

It wasn’t until the first council meeting that most citizens realized the extent of the problem. We were appalled by the agenda composed by the city clerk and largely consisting of the most ridiculously petty issues.

Those of us who decided to form “CITIZENS FOR BETTER GOVERNMENT” looked on in shock as motions were made, seconded, and passed in short order — 5 to 1 each time.

We’ve heard rumors that we have a racial problem. We can assure you that isn’t so. The mayor, the city clerk, and all city employees are black, with the exception of one white police officer.

Our group was formed with the intent to advocate on behalf of the citizens. We intend to protect public values and endeavor to make a difference in our community.

One reason we formed and exist is because we respect our mayor, and we see the man the office of mayor abused. Raymond Williams has earned our admiration and respect. He is a good and decent man. He is honest, conscientious, and dependable. He is committed and loyal to his partner of almost 25 years, and he is an exemplary father.

We support our mayor because he wants to do what he can to make Arlington better.

The mayor was told he had no authority over the department of maintenance, the police department, or the city clerk. Council members have been appointed to oversee each department. In other words, they wanted the mayor to keep his nose out of city business.

One council member, Lisa Aldridge, votes the will of the majority of the citizens. There seems to be three factions in Arlington. One cares about our mayor, sees his potential, and wants him to succeed. Another, seems to hate him and wants him to fail, and yet a third who couldn’t care less. We encourage those who do care to come to city council meetings; especially, the upcoming budget hearing where anyone can speak. Together, we will shine a light on city hall.

Saiteria Moore

Citizens for a Better

Tomorrow in Arlington

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