Mayoral candidates: “When he goes low, you go high”

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo is the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history, but somehow he feels it necessary to belittle opponents each time he faces re-election; that’s an approach that does him little service.

Four people qualified to run against Mayo in the April 4th election. He immediately attacked them all as either being unqualified or having ulterior motives in their pursuit.

When Mayo became mayor, he was 42 years old and represented a new generation of young leaders that sought a fresh new approach to government. Many said he was inexperienced because he only operated a failed Allstate Agency with one employee with his business degree. Yet, his time had arrived.

In the course of his 19 years in office, the mayor has many accomplishments that he can brag about. He has 19 years of balanced budgets that reflect fiscal responsibility. He has made improvements to the city’s drainage program that are ongoing. Scores of homes have been rehabilitated, and he has appointed two black police chiefs and an African-American engineer. He has supported the Tower-Armand and South Side economic districts and generally kept the city afloat in tough times. He successfully expanded the airport with the help of federal funds from President Obama and a list of other improvements and expansions.

It’s not an impressive list because others have done more in shorter periods of time; but they are accomplishments never-the-less Bob Powell, paved every street in the city and left a fund to maintain them in sixteen years.
W.L. Howard built a civic center, city hall complex and expanded the zoo in his first 12 years.

Abe Pierce established the I-20 Economic District that has brought in over a trillion dollars in revenue and expanded the civic center in four years.

With 19 years of accomplishments, Mayor Mayo should be able to run on his record alone and welcome all challengers.

Instead, he feels the need to trample, destroy, and denigrate anyone who dares oppose him.

In spite of all that former mayor Bob Powell did for the city, he always had at least one opponent…David Kelly. Mr. Kelly had no chance of winning but irritated Powell because he forced him to spend time campaigning.

Despite his irritation with David Kelly, Mr. Powell was courteous to him, respected his right to run, and strangely enough, he even took some Mr. Kelly’s ideas and implemented them.

Mayo feels he has to destroy anyone who exercises their right to seek election. He often imputes terrible motives to his opponents. At least two of them he characterized as Klansmen. In black community circles, he often describes white opponents as some form of racist.

In this election, he continues his tradition. He continually attacks Friday Ellis as a liar and an undercover Republican. He belittles his other opponents as not worthy of the mayor’s office because they are inexperienced. Ironically, Ellis is 42 years old and Fred Louis is 44.  They both claim their generation’s time has arrived.

Monday night on public radio, the first words that came out of the mayor’s mouth were words belittling his opponents.

To their credit, they never negatively referred to him, in fact, several of them gave him his props but thought the time for change had arrived.

Increasingly he sounds like President Donald Trump, trampling opponents, calling them names, and seeking to assassinate their characters.

Everyone has a right to seek their dream; they don’t deserve to be trampled because they seek public service.

The four candidates for mayor who have been ridiculed by the mayor should stay their course. They should take a page from Michelle Obama and say, “When he goes low, we go high.”

The Public will easily see the difference.