Thursday, June 20, 2024

LETTER: Edmondson’s false accusations and divisive behavior undermine unity

I am writing in response to Denton County Commissioner Dianne Edmondson’s “Letter to the Editor” dated April 27, 2023, in which she made several unfounded and malicious personal attacks on me and Council Member Ron Schmidt. It is deeply disappointing to see an elected official engage in such uninformed and divisive behavior, especially given the role that Ms. Edmondson holds in our community.

Ms. Edmondson mentioned Council Member Schmidt’s lawsuit from 4 years ago but failed to mention the reason for the lawsuit: Mr. Schmidt’s constitutional rights were violated. The same rights that you and I enjoy today, and that Mr. Schmidt spent over 30 years in the U.S. Army fighting to protect. Moreover, Mr. Schmidt won the lawsuit, and the Town of Argyle acknowledged that suspending Mr. Schmidt was improper.

She also fails to mention Council Member Bryan Livingston moved to repeal Argyle’s Code of Ethics, the basis of the improper sanctions, at the Town Council meeting on Jan. 21, 2020, and it passed by a unanimous vote. Mr. Livingston stated, “This is a redundant ordinance, and repealing this ordinance puts us in conformance with other towns across Texas. The general law provisions of the Texas code provide for more than adequate protection against ethics issues on the part of officials and staff of the town.”

These facts completely undermine Ms. Edmondson’s baseless attack against Council Member Schmidt, and it is unfortunate that she chose to omit them from her letter.

Furthermore, Ms. Edmondson’s claims about the Oncor discussions are also untrue. No one is attempting to “wrest control” away from Mayor Livingston. As the incoming Mayor of Argyle, I have asked multiple times to be included in Oncor discussions for over a month to ensure continuity, a smooth transition, and to continue representing the best interests of Argyle citizens. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and the outcome won’t be decided until well into my term. Yet Mr. Livingston has flat out refused to cooperate in any manner and has been vocal in actively opposing my involvement. So much so, he took out his frustration on Argyle’s Town Administrator when she disagreed with him and demanded the Town attorney file a charge of insubordination!

My request to be involved in discussions is perfectly reasonable and a widely practiced professional courtesy. It is unfortunate that Ms. Edmondson chose to misrepresent the situation in her letter without any first-hand knowledge and without even the common courtesy of asking.

Lastly, Ms. Edmondson’s claim that the “Argyle Council has gone rogue,” is also without basis, as the vast majority of Council votes have been 5-0, clearly working together during Mr. Livingston’s term. To suggest that one or two members of Town Council control the meetings is ludicrous and insulting to the other members.

What is most troubling about Ms. Edmondson’s letter, however, is that she did not even bother to speak with me or Council Member Schmidt before publishing her politically-motivated attack. It is disappointing to see an elected official engage in such dishonest and divisive behavior, and it raises questions about her motives and interests in interfering in Argyle’s local elections.

As citizens and elected officials, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. It is our responsibility to engage in civil and respectful discourse, even when we disagree with one another. Ms. Edmondson’s letter was a clear violation of this responsibility, and it is my hope that she will reconsider her approach to public discourse in the future.

For the benefit of the Citizens of Argyle, I look forward to working with Denton County and our neighboring municipalities. Argyle first, politics last.

Rick Bradford, Mayor Pro Tem, Town of Argyle
Unopposed Candidate for Mayor of Argyle

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

Related Articles

Popular This Week