Today I received an email from John Oakes of Burlington. He wanted to know why his letter of endorsement for candidates in Burlington’s city election hadn’t been published in the Open Forum. He sent the letter by email on Oct. 28, a couple of days in front of the week before election deadline of Nov. 1.
The answer was pretty simple. I never saw it.
The spam filter for our email system seems to randomly select what mail makes it to my inbox and what does not. I’ve had people send press releases, letters to the Open Forum and syndicated columns to my address and have it labeled as spam for no apparent reason at all.
I apologize for this problem.
Here is Mr. Oakes letter.
I would like to encourage my friends, neighbors and fellow citizens of Burlington to join me in re-electing Ronnie Wall (Our Mayor) and Jim Butler and David Huffman to the Burlington City Council. It’s important that everyone know that I am neither a close friend or very acquainted with any of these men. Except on the few occasions I have addressed them publicly at the City Council meetings and on a few occasions outside of council proceedings. I have formed my decisions about each of these men based on their comments concerning issues and their voting records. I do not always agree with them, but here in lies the reason I voted for them. Even on issues when I disagree with them, they present an argument that is rational and logical without dogmatic, irrational behavior. They present their arguments and reasoning in a manner that both the professional and layman can understand and appreciate and they do it in a respectful manner. I think it is important to have rational and balanced people in leadership roles in our community and I think these men are rational and balanced in their decision making, even when I might not agree with them on every issue.
I had another Burlington letter writer who missed the deadline by an hour or two. He asked if I could put the endorsement online. I agreed. Here it is.
I have had the privilege to know Bob Ward for over 30 years and to work with him in his capacity as City Attorney. Bob is one of the foremost experts on local government law in North Carolina, having taught it at the Institute of Government (now the School of Government) at the University of North Carolina.
As City Attorney, Bob’s door was always open to anyone who sought his help. In that role, he was always gracious and was always willing to go out of his way to understand the issue and to seek a solution that was fair and reasonable to all concerned. Very few persons have the institutional knowledge of the City of Burlington and its ordinances, history, council and employees which Bob possesses.
Bob left a job that he loved and for which he was paid in order to take his service to the citizens of Burlington to the next level. He has offered himself up as a volunteer public servant if only he can be elected to serve. He did not have to leave the job he loved, but chose to do so, not to run against any incumbent nor any other candidate, but rather to run FOR the opportunity to serve and share his valuable knowledge and experience with the citizens in a way which can only be beneficial. It is with great pleasure that I enthusiastically endorse Bob Ward for City Council! Vote Bob Ward on Election Day!
Tom Steele Jr.
Again, I apologize for any inconvenience or hardship this caused. This is just another reason such letter will be barred in the future. I’ll post about that later.