Mayor Candidate David Miller has been criticized for his voting record and Tom Martin for his involvement in big severance agreements for city employees.
The facts and the candidates response.
Mayor Pro-tem, who is also a mayoral candidate, Tom Martin, says in a TV ad, David Miller did not vote in two of the last four elections.
Fact: That statement is true. NewsChannel 11 obtained Miller's voting record from the county voting office. We found that Miller did not vote in the November 2003 or May 2004 city elections.
In 2003, the election was to roll back the property tax rate. In 2004, Miller missed an election for Lubbock mayor, three city council seats and a bond package for city improvements.
So we asked him, why he did not vote in those elections. "If you go beyond 2000 in the last 10 elections, I voted in eight of them. I've considered it a privilege and a responsibility. It's a shame this was brought out publicly, that I've missed a couple of votes out of many in my adult life. I did miss them. I'm just human like the rest of us," said Miller.
Now to one of Miller's claims. In one ad, ran early in the campaign, Miller criticizes quote "one of his opponents" for negotiating big severance deals for city employees. A NewsChannel 11 investigation back in February showed the city has recently paid three city managers a total of $563,000 to leave their jobs. Lou Fox in 2005, Tommy Gonzalez in 2004, and Bob Cass in 2003.
Fact: Tom Martin is on the record voting for these payouts. We asked him if he thinks those amounts are excessive. He said his involvement with the Bob Cass deal actually saved the city money. "I negotiated with Bob and got that down to one year. That saved us over half a million dollars," said Martin.
Martin also explained why he voted for the two most recent payouts. "When Tommy Gonzalez left, I did not negotiate that. I did not want to pay him anything to leave but there were four votes on the council to approve it and the motion was to accept the result and he would depart. I voted for that because at that point, I was on the loosing end," said Martin.
"When it was time for Lou Fox to leave, it was similar situation. I did not want to pay him severance," said Martin.
Since then, the city council changed it's severance deals from a five year payout to six months.
There are two other candidates on the ballot for mayor neither of whom are running ads making claims. They are Gilbert Montes, Ysabel Luna.
|Decision 2006 Election Coverage|