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Kennedale
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Hope, Spring & Elections

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A citizen opinion …?
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To the Kennedale News,?

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I am a hopeless optimist – confirmed, dyed in the wool, true believer – and that is why I like spring. It gives me a sense of life and renews my hope, and, it is a fitting time for city elections. {{more: continue …}}
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With that said, I have never given a personal endorsement for a candidate for office until now.
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This past couple of years, the city has been struggling and the main reason has been the water rate issue. It has literally torn apart the city council and on social media it has spread like a creeping virus that poisons any positive discussion of the issue.
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I think for the vast majority of the city residents, it has become a sideshow, maybe closer to a freak show. It is something that is hard to look away from but disgusting when you look.
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It seems to me that there are those who approach the problem by framing the issue in the most negative light possible. This means that they have made the assumption that if there is one problem, it follows that everything else must be wrong. They have spent their time tearing up every floor board, searching the attic and inspecting every crumb that may have been left on the table, all in the hope of? proving corruption.
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I do believe that the past city council made a mistake on the water rate issue. The voices that they heard were all of like mind but they weren?t the voices of a large part of Kennedale. As a result, three sitting council members lost their seats and come this election there will be a change in the other two remaining seats. Those are the facts. The past council paid a heavy price for that one decision but the city has to continue to function and move forward.?
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With a brand new council a sure thing, Kennedale does not need one side or the other in “control.? It needs council members that are willing to address the water issues and who are pledged to work together on council business. Along with that, it needs strong positive leadership that can keep the council moving forward and is willing to represent all of Kennedale?s factions.? That is my area of concern.

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I believe that Brian Johnson has demonstrated he has the leadership qualities that are needed now. Over the past couple of years as mayor, Brian has shown the willingness to meet issues head-on; to admit when he has been wrong; and, to reach out to talk with both friend and foe alike. He gives out his phone number and is willing to meet personally with any citizen to discuss issues. There is no where that he has not be willing to show up that I am aware.?
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The last two years the Kennedale Chamber of Commerce has sponsored a candidate?s forum. Brian’s opponent has been a no show each time.?
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Why does this matter? Being one of five council members is one thing, but representing the city in all things on all occasions in both good and bad times, is the job of the mayor. While a sit down where candidates will be asked questions can be a intimidating, it takes courage and a certain resolute to show up at an event like this.? It may seem a small matter, but, in a leader I want someone who is willing show up in both the good and the bad times, willing to be uncomfortable and be put on the spot.? Kennedale needs Brian Johnson now as it makes this transition to a new council.
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On all the other “past problems” that have supposedly been uncovered but are unsupported by facts along with context, I simply say let the past bury the past. We can not continue to go down that rabbit hole looking for who know what with the hope of sliming opponents. It does seem that the persons who are conducting these investigation are individuals with personal agendas that have nothing to do with improving Kennedale. I think many in Kennedale share that same sentiments.?
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As someone who has seen a lot of the ups and downs at city hall over the last 35 years, I can say this is not the end of the world as some would have you believe. Kennedale is not corrupt as others have charged. Kennedale is a good place to live, raise a family and retire. Kennedale still has a bright future.?
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It is time to move on.
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Tim Smith
Kennedale, Texas
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Public disclosure: While I am along with my wife the owner and editor of the Kennedale News, this has not been offered as a? public endorsement by the Kennedale News. It does represent the personal opinion of one citizen who has worked in Kennedale since 1982 and lived here for most of that time and who has become increasingly concerned about the current situation in our city.
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