Lubbock mayoral candidates Tom Martin and current Mayor David Miller took on several topics Monday night during a debate at the Lubbock Independent School District studio. About fifty people made up the studio audience. Folks were asked to remain quiet during the debate, and while the atmosphere was calm, Miller and Martin did voice some complaints.
"As your mayor, I will use my experience to improve the unproductive atmosphere at city hall," Martin said.
Martin started off the debate criticizing Mayor Miller, calling his leadership ineffective, indecisive, and misguided. He then declared successes during his term on the council, including lower taxes and the Milwaukee Avenue project.
"For the first time in our city's history, we do have a long term water plan that this council adopted," Miller said.
Miller then announced current accomplishments, including a lower crime rate, and funding a more police and fire personnel. When asked about a recent poll showing dissension and dissatisfaction in the city, both candidates sounded off.
"The public knows the difference between discussion and dissension, and we've seen the dissension quite a bit in the last two years," Martin said.
"This council has refused to pass to future council's problems that are inherited," Miller said.
Financing future infrastructure needs also brought some criticism.
"Sometimes you can't do it all in year one, you can't do it all in year five," Martin said.
"I am so glad that the generation that came before us didn't have the non-progressive attitude that Mr. Martin just described," Miller said.
"Well, I certainly take umbrage at the term non-progressive attitudes. Lubbock, Texas voted continuously over the years for bond elections for all three major school districts, many of which increased taxes," Martin said.
"I was speaking to Mr. Martin's lack of progress, not our citizen's. That's what's made our city great is its citizens do come together and do move us forward, and they're not held back by a council that is interested only in the tax rate," Miller said.
The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce put on Monday's debate. We are told mayoral candidates Gilbert Montes and Roger Settler were not invited to participate in this debate because they are not chambers members.
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