In Response to Daryl Griffith’s letter to the editor

Recently Daryl posted a letter to the editor on the River Country Journal and after reading it I have a few questions and comments that I would like to put in writing. So here it goes.

I am Daryl Griffith, running for re-election for Three Rivers City Commission. You will, of course, have seen the letters of Mike Dunlap and his protégé, Blaine Edgell accusing me of everything under the sun.

I will admit that I may have missed a letter or two but I think I have captured and reposted them all here.

Where are the accusation that Daryl is speaking about? However since I could have missed one and may be wrong I will challenge anyone to point to me one thing that Mike or Blaine has said that isn’t true. Please post your example in the comments section.

I, as a voter, have always disliked such attack letters because they spend all their effort spinning the other opponent as the root of all evil forgetting to ever say why the candidate is the right person for the job. These indicate a candidate’s lack of issues & ideas on which to run.

Well to start with your protégé did put a letter out there that did include a personal attack in it. I am surprised that you didn’t condemn it in your letter to the editor since that would have shown the level of disdain you have for such tactics. A copy was posted and can be seen here.

I certainly have a litany of concerns with Mr. Edgell’s motives & history with the city but instead of slogging through that mud

It can be a very tricky route to navigate through the mud when you consider what has gone on at city hall over the last 5 or 6 years. There are multiple examples of where the city has mismanaged the business of the city and the mud is getting so deep that it is very hard to point it out without slopping it around.

I would rather take this opportunity to make known my goals and what I have accomplished so you can make your own informed decision.

Good but I have to wonder why you thought it necessary to bring up motives and history at all if you didn’t want that to be the focus of your letter. On the other hand I think the people who have managed the City of Three Rivers have their own motives and one heck of a history that pales in comparison to Blaine’s so I can understand why you didn’t want to dwell on it all that much.

I do have the luxury of not having to depend on the infamous “campaign promise”. Instead, I have a solid record I proudly stand behind to clearly show you what my priorities are.

I have a graphic that you can stand behind (proudly or not) from the BestPlaces.net website. You can see the full size version of that image and more by following the link. 

Three Rivers MI Economy Graphic

Three Rivers MI Economy Graphic

From the first day on the job, my primary goal has been to make Three Rivers a better place for the future of my children. To that end, Three Rivers needed economic growth, in short, businesses and jobs. I took every available opportunity to make Three Rivers “business friendly” and to foster growth. As you read this, there are 100 businesses open that did not exist when I started.

According to the graphic above we have a negative job growth of -7.17% compared to -4.06 for the rest of the country and it is predicted that we will 8% behind the rest of the country for the next 10 years. How do we get negative growth with 100 new businesses?

Our industries have partnered with the city investing over $83,000,000 into equipment and jobs via 25 win/win IFTs that I have approved. I have supported all OPRA applicants assisting commercial property owners to develop otherwise obsolete property with state grants.

Wow that’s a big number but I have to wonder how, specifically, that money was used to improve the business climate in the city. In other words what did the city get for that $83,000,000 worth of investment?

I supported the DDA with its revitalization of downtown and succeeded, after many years’ struggle, to enact a policy to favor local business for city contracts to keep jobs and tax dollars in our community. My opponent vehemently opposed this policy for local jobs & suggested we dissolve the DDA.

Are you seriously going to point to the Down Town area and claim success? I would also ask you this. Do you think the city should pay more tax payer dollars for a service in town then they would for a competitive service out of town?

I have been honored to play a part in supporting the men and women of our police department keeping our streets safe. They truly deserve to be commended for reducing crime every year since 2006. Across all categories, crime has dropped a whopping 49% in those four years, a tremendous achievement.

Crime has dropped all across the Country so while I would agree our local police deserve credit for the work that they do they do not have any control over the national trends. However since your brought this up though it is time for another graphic.

Crime in Three Rivers Compared to the US

Crime in Three Rivers Compared to the US

 So it seems in spite of the work that our Police are doing we still have some problems.

Last year I was proud to have the opportunity to support outfitting our fire department with the latest in protective gear, keeping them both safe and effective in their jobs protecting us.

I can appreciate that. I too, through my taxes, have also had the opportunity to support the fire department.

I have worked with city staff balancing every budget without cutting services. Indeed, we have been very successful at garnering state and federal grants to increase services and the quality of life. These have funded additional officers, equipment upgrades, park upgrades, the river walk, and several major infrastructure projects, just to name a few.

This could explain why are tax rate is so high.

Chlorination, will also be discussed in this campaign I am sure. The state has been pressuring city to chemically treat its already safe water supply since 1989 and last year chose to make this a mandate. We have initiated the project to implement the most economical option available and in fact have received yet another grant to fund a sizable portion of this project. My opponent has voiced agreement with this course of action taken by the commission.

Can we just spend a minute or two reviewing this a few posts from the Liberty 1st forum?

Safe water supply? Did we forget an incident or two?

My opponent and I agree we need change; we just disagree on the direction. To his defense, he has only been a resident eight short years and does not remember the nearly abandoned downtown of the 90’s nor the days one had to drive 30 miles or more to shop for all but the basics.

Nice shot at your opponent there but I noticed you got a little mud on your shoes. I do have to give you some points for the craftiness though. Besides 8 years is enough time to get a clue about what is wrong with this city and some of the problems like abandoned down town areas are not unique to Three Rivers. So one can bring experiences from their own cities when they come to this one. You may even make the argument that “new eyes” on the problem may benefit it more than the same “ole eyes” that have been trying to fix it for the last 7 or 8 years without tremendous success.

He does not know how far we have come.

What do you think he was born the day before he came to Three Rivers and has no ability to read up on anything that happened before the day he arrived here?

I believe we have made great strides but there is certainly more to do and additional challenges to overcome. I want to continue our economic growth and find further means to partner with businesses that choose to bring jobs to our community.

I agree great strides have been made but can you say without and doubt that those strides have gone in the right direction?

Comments

  1. Daryl, must be afraid of loosing to the Blaine. The same guy that he was in support of firing. He better be glad Wendy is not running against him. I wonder how much mud would be come from Daryl then.

  2. I guess I’m really cofused. At first I thought it was Blaine Edgell running against Mr. Griffith, then I thought maybe I was misinformed because some letters attributed to and about Mike Dunlap surfaced and now a web master named Buck responding to Daryl’s letter. Can someone tell me who exactly is running against Commissioner Griffith? How come Buck is responding to to this and not Blaine? And if Blaine can’t manage his own campaign, how the heck is he going to help run a city?

  3. Is it your opinion that you have to be running for a seat or political office before you can comment on it?

    I don’t speak for anyone but myself so I won’t venture to guess what their motivations are. For me it is simple. I think that, We the People, have a duty to hold politicians accountable for their words and actions (hold their feet to the fire, so to speak). I also think we should continuously remind them that there are people in their constituencies that are paying attention to what is going on.

    I know Daryl does not need to be reminded of this because he is quite aware of Liberty1st but that doesn’t mean I lose my opportunity to express my opinion about the letter that he wrote for the River Country Journal.

    Oh and to answer your question. It is Blaine Edgell that is running against Commissioner Griffith and I am not involved in his campaign in any official way. I am only a person who had some questions and comments about something I read on the Internet… so I took action. You may not be familiar with it but I have a forum where I have been doing exactly that for over 10 years now. You can see for yourself here http://www.liberty1st.org/forum/default.asp .
    Does this clear up your confusion?

  4. Hi Della
    My name is Blaine Edgell and I am running for Commissioner AT Large against Daryl Griffith.
    I saw your comment and thought I would take this opportunity to respond.
    I certainly appreciate all the support I’ve received from many Three Rivers Citizens and I encourage it as much as possible, but I certainly have responded of Daryl’s comments, letters and rebuttles.
    The last thing people accuse me of is being silent. I have attended City Commission meetings regularly for about 4 or 5 years now. I often write letters to the editor to the TR Commercial, Sturgis Journal and the Kalamazoo Gazzette. You will also see my comments on River County Journal so as for fighting my own battles, I’m always there!
    I also have been a regular on Liberty 1st blog site for the past 5 years, so all one has to do is read and you will find out more than you want to know about Blaine Edgell. Now as for those responding to Daryls letters, that’s their right to have an opinion and express it. Daryl has also had others like Jim Bippus, Rowdy Keith and Ken Baker doing the same!
    Now if you have any questions I can help you with, feel free to call me at 269 217 4135. I would be more than happy to talk to you.

  5. Blaine I think the no was meant for me and not you because I wasn’t able to enable either of your comments until I got back on the computer at around midnight and they were both enabled at the exact same time.

    Although you will probably get a no also I am sure this last no was in answer to my “Did this clear up the confusion” question.

  6. Mr. Edgell,
    Thank you for your response. I am on a limited income. Would I be billed long distance for calling this number?

  7. Yes you would, it’s a kalamazoo number but you can send me an e-mail at vblainev@frontier.com. I would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.
    I’m running to represent all Three Rivers Citizens and I believe the commission is there to do the will of the People. All the people

  8. A LONG DISTANCE phone number and an e-mail address don’t give “all the people” full access to an elected official. The burden of full access falls upon the elected, not the voters.

  9. This exchange has been very entertaining. I can’t wait to hear what this Blaine fella has to say. So how bout it, Blaine. Don’t you agree that you need to provide more access to your time should you become elected?

  10. Typical politician. Always wanting to get his name out there by answering the easy questions with typical politician fluff, but not willing to address the hard questions. Tell me why I should vote for you??

  11. Hi Judy Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your comments but I’ve been working a ton of hours all over the State. I am the Maintenance Supervisor for Soccer Zone and we just merged with Let’s Play Soccer. Soccer Zone has seven locations which I oversee and let’s play has 18 so the transition has brought on a great deal more than usual. I’ve been in Grand Blanc since Friday so I’m finally home and can answer some questions. I’m not a politician, I actually work for a living. Now if I win the election I will have to do something about my phone so Three Rivers Citizens can call me without a long distance charge but this number is my work phone as I am on call 24/7 with Soccer Zone so they provide the phone.

    Why should you vote for me? Because I am passionate in fighting to keep Government out of your pocket. I believe your more equiped to know how to spend your money than City Hall . I believe in these very difficult times Government is more concerned about its finances than ours and that a huge problem with me. I also believe THE PEOPLE are to direct the City Commission, therefore it is imparitive that THE PEOPLE are FULLY INFORMED as to the current issues in our city.

    We have had serious problems going on with our waste water plant for some time now, matter of fact, one of the waste water employees put it this way. It’s like dominos, all we need is for one more thing to go wrong and this plant could fall apart.
    Of course you never saw that in the paper or watching a city commission meeting. I was the one bringing this information forward and if you would like to do some reading, I posted it here on Liberty 1st. I was bringing this issue to the people 6 months to a year before it was public so another reason to vote for Blaine Edgell is because I will inform THE PEOPLE and then they can direct the commission who in turn direct the city manager. He then is to manage the city at the will, direction, pleasure of the commission as stated in our city charter. Now as an update, the city has hired a gentlemen named Jim Baker who is doing a great job and our waste water plant is making good progress.

    As I stated in the canidate forum. The old phrase, The straw that broke the camels back exists because it’s true, there comes a point where it’s all just to much. The line never seems to end of those who want more and more of YOUR money. They always seem to have a better idea or a more important need for your money. I believe when people are struggling to keep their homes and pay their bills, to cloth their children and keep the family car running, issues like the DDA, The Governments budget and a host of other issues come far down the list. I will also keep the People first and formost my focus if I become a City Commissioner.

  12. So can you explain to us where you plan on getting all this money to solve the city’s problems? Seems like there was an interesting View Point in the paper the other day (that didn’t show up on this website) about all the wonderful things we have because we are willing to pay taxes. I’d like to hear a plan. So far all I hear is a lot of griping.

  13. I believe one can view it at the Three Rivers Commercial News website. It appeared the same day that Mr. Dunlap’s viewpoint ran. If you claim your site as being a place for true political debate, then you should be obligated to print it. Its title is “Three Rivers-a Good Place to Live”.

  14. I could not find one titled “Three Rivers – A Good Place to live” but I did find this “Three Rivers is a city on the way up“, which was written by Jim Bippus. Is that the one you are talking about? If so I posted that on the forum the day it showed up on the commercial’s site. It was posted to the “Letters to the editor in support of Daryl Griffith” thread. If that is not the one you are talking about just post the link to it so I can add it.

    And for the record this site (the entire site) is a place for political debate but I am not obligated to post anything. If you want to post something that I have not you can do it on the forum.

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