UPDATE: After a mayoral forum at the San Luis Hotel today, I asked Mafrige about the video.

Mafrige said that he remembered Yarbrough’s comment, but explained that it had come during a question about what qualities the mayoral candidates believed the next city manager should have.

Mafrige, who answered first, gave a list of qualities, and then added that he believed they described Yarbrough and joked that the former county judge should apply for the job.

 When it was Yarbough’s turn to answer the question, the moderator of the event asked if Yarbrough had thoughts about Mafrige’s joke. That’s when Yarbrough answered “I don’t want to work that hard.”

When asked whether he thought that the scenario that he described was one accurately portrayed by his campaign’s video, Mafrige said he didn’t know.

 “I haven’t seen it,” Mafrige said.

Last night, I saw what I think is the first attack ad of this year’s Galveston mayoral race.

The video was shared by Don Mafrige’s campaign Facebook page and is posted on a YouTube page also set up by the campaign. Mafrige’s official campaign website has links to both pages.

There’s not very much to the video. It opens with a static shot of Jim Yarbrough accompanied by soaring music. It then transitions into a very short sound bite of Yarbrough saying “I don’t want to work that hard.”

That same sound bite is then repeated 11 times.

It’s not clear when and where the video was shot. The video shows Yarbrough sitting at a plastic table next to fellow candidate Raymond Guzman. Over the past few months, various political and neighborhood groups have held forums with the candidates.

The video doesn’t provide much context on its own. A description on the YouTube page says that Yarbrough was responding to a question about whether he would be interested in being city manager.

The same description then asks, “If he can't do the job of being city manager then how could Jim Yarbrough possibly be up to the job of mayor?”

That line of thought is one I haven’t heard before.

Under the city’s charter, the mayor has no administrative powers or duties. Like other council members, the mayor’s position is unpaid.

Like the city manager, the mayor does have an office at city hall, but there is no explicit requirement for the mayor to be at city hall at any time except when council meetings are being held. Indeed, some council members have received criticism about being at city hall too often.

Under Galveston’s system of government, the city manager is the chief administrative and executive officer. The city manager is paid — former city manager Michael Kovacs had an annual salary of $140,000 — and is expected to spend a certain amount of time working on city business.

Under Kovacs’ contract, the city manager was “expected to engage in the hours of work that are necessary to fulfill the obligation of the position” and “must be available at all times.”

Here’s the video:

When the new council is elected, one of its first orders of business will almost certainly be to begin a search for a new, permanent city manager. In the meantime, that job is being filled by interim City Manager Brian Maxwell.

What do you think? Does Mafrige’s video change your opinion about Yarbrough? Should the mayor be expected to work “as hard” as the city manager?

(11) comments

Steve Fouga

I'm not a Jim Yarbrough supporter, but I HATE candidates using material out of context to make a point, especially a meaningless one. Did Mafrige really do that?

If Yarbrough was indeed referring to the position of City Manager when he said "I don't want to work that hard," I don't blame him. I don't either. City Manager must be one of the toughest jobs in any city -- the equivalent of the manager of a major program at a big corporation, in terms of time commitment and pressure.

How hard the mayor works depends on the person. If he wants to be a successful mayor, he'll work hard. Or in the case of Galveston's next mayor, she'll work hard.

George Croix

But, it's all 'the rage' these days to take statements out of context, or misquote, and/or even flat out lie about what your opponents have said, stand for, or perhaps even did.
We see that Top, to Bottom, in politics.
That don't make it a good thing...it just means we've gotten too lazy, and put up with it...
It's also popular among politicos and their backers, including what are supposed to be impartial parties, and institutions, to use a variation of the old 'have you stopped beating your wife' shtick to put a little bit of doubt or a seed of anger where there was room to put it. It's how we hear that some folks want dirty air, and sick kids, and dirty water, without any such being the case, and it works because of the low level of information that too many voters have...so they believe without question, because that's easier than learning.
He said-she said should never be a determining factor in an election. Arguably, if it is, then both candidates could stand considerable improvement .
Here's a thought about whether anyone up for public office is going to 'work hard', wants to 'work hard', or is simply getting help to make the other guy look like all he has to hang a hat on is the appearance of hard work. Whatever....
How about working SMART, and SUCCESSFULLY for the benefit of the citizens.
If you can do that, and do so easily, more's the better for all involved...

Steve Fouga

gecroix, I couldn't agree more. I've come to loathe election season because I can't even watch TV without seeing stupid political ads aimed more at tearing down an opponent than educating voters on where a candidate stands on issues.

That said, I do wonder how hard Jim Yarbrough would work for Galveston. He seems like a front man for some shadowy consortium. The Island Illuminati -- LOL!! Oh wait, there ARE Island Illuminati of sorts. Their names are on street signs all over town...

Richard Worth

Anyone know how to save that video? I ask because I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to vanish pretty quickly.

Ron Shelby

"pot shot" video. Once again, Mafridge avoids real issue campaigning and about his qualifications.

Mafridge makes/inherits his money through real estate....look at who the Galveston realtors association endorsed,....Former County judge Jim Yarbrough....that says a lot about Mafridge.

Susan Fennewald

I can tell you where and when it occurred: it was at the Kempner Park Neighborhood Association forum on Tuesday evening.

George Croix

"He said-she said should never be a determining factor in an election. Arguably, if it is, then both candidates could stand considerable improvement ."
I repeat myself.
Unfortunately, this is Galveston County, home to people who see self-defense in body dismemberment, home to the same mind-sets as the Dukes of Hazard, and home to 45,000 liars and opportunist law suit participants, so, anything goes, and one must play the hand they are dealt, not the one they want.
Here's a clue, based on the realities of the situation:
When the pots start calling the kettle 'Blackie', look closely at the pots...

Jean Glass

Jim Yarbrough has a great sense of humor. Obviously, he was trying to inject some humor. How desperate does a candidate have to be to try to exploit that light hearted comment??? Very, very sad.

GW Cornelius

Did Mafrige say he had not seen the video? What kind of leadership is that? What a flake!!

Leonce Thierry

If Mr. Mafrige claims he has not seen the video, then why is a link to this video being shared from his Facebook page? Does anyone in the campaign at least know who recorded the video? Who uploaded the video to YouTube? Who is the admin on his Facebook page? Who is the admin in his campaign website? How can folks reasonable associated with the Mafrige campaign do these things and the candidate not know or approve? Surely, he should know if someone in his campaign actually recorded the video. Does Mr. Mafrige approve of someone using his Facebook account to promote this video? Does Mr. Mafrige approve of someone using his campaign website as a portal to this video? What is Mr. Mafrige's opinion of the video now that he has been made aware of it? Will he remove the link to the video from both his Facebook and campaign websites?

Steve Fouga

Even though I don't like this sort of campaigning, I have to admit to watching the video more than once. It's pretty funny.

I'm getting to know Mr Yarbrough better and better as the mayoral campaign progresses (not personally, but through his appearances at forums, radio shows, etc.), and I would bet anything that he would get a kick out of it himself.

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