It’s been an unusual year at Bartonville Town Hall. In November, Mayor Ron Robertson abruptly resigned his position after a special election was held. Ron announced his resignation on the first meeting of the new council.
In December, Ron provided information in an article called “Former Bartonville mayor speaks out after resignation.” A part of the article read “On the night Traylor and Marco were sworn in, following the executive session of the November 19 regular town council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Farrell and Mayor Ron Robertson turned in their resignations.” To help a little, I should fill in a few blanks in the story.
In the May election, Pro Ron Robertson candidates lost by a 2 to 1 margin to Scherer and Langford. Ron was very unhappy about this. With those election results and the resignation of an existing council member, the council would be split on many of the big items in the city. A special election was called for November to fill the vacant seats and here we are.
Once Mr. Marco and I were elected, Ron no longer had the ability to push an agenda with the four new members on some key issues. A challenge for Ron was he does not want to hear from the public nor did he want to communicate to them. Ron spoke of “middle ground” in his article. We had questions and Ron felt we should just go along with his plan, unquestioned and unanswered. I am not sure that is what most people would consider “middle ground.”
Ron is a smart man. But, many times, he communicates in Half Truths. For example, Ron leads you to believe, from the article, that the new Kroger center will generate $400,000 in sales tax revenue for the city of Bartonville. But, Ron knows we will only receive ¼ of the revenue based on the agreement he brokered with Lantana and the Developer. But, again, it is estimated the total revenue will be $400,000… Half Truth or not a complete lie?
Ron was building a large Police Department and city staff. He said many times it’s what the people want. The problem is he nor the council, never asked what people wanted. In a survey that went out after the May election (55% percent of people surveyed in Bartonville said it’s TOO LARGE, only 37% say it’s Just Right and 8% want it bigger). Again, I do not see why Ron thinks we are STUPID.
Ron said we are trying to Destroy the Bartonville Way of Life. Not sure how he came up with that after one meeting. I have never had a one-on-one conversation with Ron that I can remember. He never asked me a question before, during or after the election. I guess Ron knew we were going to want City Hall to be more open and honest.
That brings us to the “I can’t be a part of stupid” comment from Ron. Unlike Ron, we understand people are going to have conflicting views. People want members of the council to express and explore different solutions and options. Ron did not like the idea of working with us, so he got up and walked out. We want city government to respect the opinions, wants and needs of the people of Bartonville. We want open and clear communication. Above all else we will do what is best for the long term sustainability of the Bartonville small town way of life. If that is destructive or stupid, then I guess Ron was right on that.
Ron was our mayor for I believe 13 years. For many of those years, he helped run our town well. He gave of his time and energy. This letter is not a trash Ron letter. I believe, to this day, that Ron was doing what he felt was right. But Ron lost sight that the majority in the town no longer shared his vision nor appreciated how he was running the city.
This is behind us now. We have to focus on the future. Staying small and simple. Not allowing government to grow beyond the wants of the people of Bartonville. We will get our house back in order. This letter reflects my views and may or may not reflect the views of other city council members.
Jeff Traylor, Councilmen Place 1