LETTER: Candidate’s promise to city wasn’t kept
Former Mitchell Mayor: Electorate deserves to know about building demolition
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Mitchell Republic received the following letter from former Mitchell Mayor Ken Tracy and given the date of the election is soon approaching, allowed current mayoral candidate Jason Bates an opportunity to respond in the same edition. Bates' response is available here.
To the Editor:
I have never written a letter to the editor. But as a former Mitchell City Council member and mayor, I felt compelled to inform the electorate of an incident that occurred during that time.
You all may recall when a portion of the south wall of the Longhorn Bar collapsed and fell to the sidewalk on East First Street. It was an eyesore, but also in danger of collapsing. Jason Bates was the owner of the building. He was contacted by the city and directed to remedy the situation. He claimed that he didn’t have the money to do so. Because of the significant danger to the public, the City Council decided to purchase the building for $1 and demolish it. This was done at the cost of thousands of dollars to the city.
Bates was asked if he was to receive an insurance payment. He said that was being litigated, but if he received payment he would share it with the city. I later learned that he received $27,000. When approached to receive insurance payment, he said he needed the money to renovate his new bar location across the street. The city of Mitchell never received any payment.
I did not think that was appropriate at the time, and I still don’t think it was right. Please consider these facts when heading to the polls to place your vote for the next mayor.