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What will Mercer say no to next?


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

As the sun rises and sets, you can count on former councilwoman Inez Fridley to cover for Calvin Mercer. It’s as if she received her talking points directly from Mercer rather than watched the meetings and listened to P.J. Connelly. Unlike Mercer, a man content to let bureaucrats run this city on autopilot, Connelly asks tough questions to our civil servants and ensures that he, other council members and citizens better understand the issues.

Previous letter writers such as Warner Hayes have addressed Mr. Connelly’s votes, so I won’t bother refuting Fridley’s snow job on the informed voter, but I should remind everyone of something she left out.

On May 10, 2012, Mr. Mercer was the only councilmember to vote against the Dream Park in west Greenville, a tough area where a park well-maintained and lit can positively impact the area. He was reluctant to spend the additional $250,000 to create a family-friendly environment in which underprivileged children would have a place to play in their own backyard.

Fast-forward to June 16, 2016: Mr. Mercer approved an additional $300,000 for the well-concealed Eastside Park in the district where Fridley and most of Calvin Mercer’s supporters live. Coincidentally, it’s just a mile from his home. (Talk about some hometown cooking.)

Connelly didn’t vote “no” to first responders, parks and roads; he voted “no” to concealed pork like Eastside Park in other areas of the budget. Mercer voted “no” to benefit his core supporters at the expense of west Greenville. Fortunately, Connelly righted some of that nonsense during this year’s budget cycle by investing some of the Eastside Porkulus funds in real priorities, like street lights and our crumbling infrastructure.

No to rigor. No to west Greenville. No to fiscal responsibility. What will Calvin Mercer say no to next?

Greg Hoyer