Letter to the Editor

Your view: Tell the whole truth

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Dear Editor:

I am addressing this letter to former Mayor and Councilman Josh Bill in response to his recent letter to the public published in the Standard Democrat.

In beginning this letter, I want to explain my interest. For five of Mr. Bill's nine years on the Council I served with him as a member of the Council and I also served as mayor for two years so I am familiar with much of the history Mr. Bill draws upon for his statements. Let me begin with the hiring of Doug Friend as our city manager. Mr. Bill was involved n the hiring of Mr. Friend and as such was very much a party in setting the pay for the position. Each subsequent Council has evaluated the manager's performance and has set the pay accordingly.

With regard to his comments of wage adjustments being made separate and apart from the normal process, here again Josh seems to have become forgetful. He was a member of the council when the director of government services was being recruited to another position. When that was found out, the council, including Josh, voted to increase that person's wage above the approved Ordinance level. That provided the increase, which raised that salary substantially from its previous level but when you have outstanding people you do what you have to maintain them.

Another area of concern, which Josh has failed to be totally forthcoming with, is his lead in portraying "Sikeston as a City in Crisis." His public pronouncements while the City was working to recruit new and needed business were a major contributor to the client moving on to another location.

Finally, this City has much in the way of possibilities and potential, but to materialize it will take the dedication of the leadership of the City and having the resources to accomplish all that is expected from the community. I would hope Mr. Bill would join in promoting Sikeston and its leaders instead of trying to find fault in actions, which are taken and made with the intention to improve and not to deceive as he has in his past letters implied. If all you do is look for fault when none is there you are wasting your time and others' time and misstatements and half statements will only end up hurting you and your creditability not the community's.


William C. Mitchell