The endorsement of Jim Yarbrough by The Galveston County Daily News was a foregone conclusion when Yarbrough first announced for mayor, before any other candidate had yet entered the field.

Patrick Graham, then-publisher of The Daily News, anointed Yarbrough in an editorial. The actual endorsement, which came later, surprisingly contradicted Heber Taylor’s previous editorial two years ago which premise was that Jim Yarbrough’s conflicts of interest should prevent him from being considered for the then-vacant city manager’s position. Today, Mr. Yarbrough has the same conflicts of interest but apparently these blatant conflicts were not considered by the newspaper in endorsing Yarbrough.

Also overlooked was Taylor’s editorial that the City Council should keep its promise to reduce the city’s tax rate to pre-Hurricane Ike levels. Mr. Yarbrough’s tax-and-spend policies do not bode well for lowering the city’s tax rate. It should come as no surprise that the current mayor, Lewis Rosen, who has failed to honor that promise, is supporting Yarbrough financially, socially and even by physically campaigning. All the while Mr. Yarbrough professes, “If you like the way it is at City Hall, don’t vote for me,” yet his allegiances tell a different story.

When endorsing a candidate for mayor, The Daily News surely took into consideration the track record of business success; if you have failed or declared bankruptcy, have you attained a higher standard to run our city? Surely, a candidate such as Mr. Yarbrough, who has not served on any city committees or boards, would not be more favorably looked upon by The Galveston County Daily News than candidates who have served for years as volunteers on city boards and committees?

Surely, The Daily News would not endorse a candidate who sits on the board of a large corporation and bank that does business with the city and has conflicts of interest, as opposed to candidates who are independent that will represent the citizens of Galveston rather than special interest groups?

I am running for mayor to change the status quo. My independent vision for Galveston mirrors yours, a better Galveston.

Guest column

Don Mafrige is a candidate for mayor in Galveston.

(8) comments

Ron Shelby

Mr Mafridge is incorrect in his "Tax and Spend" label. Mr. Yarbrough is anything but. Working in the Budget Office for over a decade at the County, I can tell you that as County Judge, his first direction to us in preparing a budget draft was that he wanted to cut a certain amount from the tax rate each year. We did that, year, over year, over year. It forced departments to find new ways to manage their funds and become leaner and more efficient, all while the County grew 16% (even with Ike's impact) from 250,158 (2000) to 291,309 (2010). All of this growth required new infrastructure, a new court dictated by the state a $500,000+, new jail as population grew, etc... Yet he still cut. Only Ike required us to increase when the state held us over the barrel for getting UTMB rebuilt. He could have told them to take a hike, but that would have severely hurt galveston.

Mafridge is "blowing smoke" again.

Steve Fouga

Ron, if you haven't done so already, listen to Mr Yarbrough's own responses when asked about the tax in question. I have, because I think that provides the clearest indication of what to expect from the candidates in the future, versus the past. Listen to the interviews; watch the body language.

Mrs Beeton and Mr Mafrige definitively state they favor a rollback to pre-Ike levels; Mr Yarbrough equivocates. I've now seen/heard this 3 times.

I think all 3 are being honest, which is great. We know where they stand.

My prediction is that if Mr Yarbrough is elected, he will be a tax-and-spend mayor, despite what he did at the County. He's not being hired to help the citizenry; he's being hired to make the rich, and himself, richer.

Ron Shelby

Jake. I was there. I was working in the county budget office when the debt had to be issued. I know what happened, and I know what the background discussion was and how the court felt about it all. No one wanted to be put into that position after the storm. It sucked.

As for your prediction...we'll I guess its worth what I paid for it. I can't wait until all of this is over and behind us.

GW Cornelius

Bitter party of one your table is ready.

Steve Fouga

Thanks for your insightful comments on this serious topic.

Jarvis Buckley

Jake time for us to throw in our cards and cash in. The game is over.Ms. Beeton has made a big difference for the folks on our Island. I support her to the end. But as usual on this islands big money has all bases covered. In a few years 61st street will be called Big Jim's drive. I'm heading for Jacks.

Steve Fouga

I predict Mrs Beeton will continue to make a difference.

Galveston politics is funny (I mean literally, not figuratively). Tinhorn politicos and little bullies impacting peoples' lives, petty dictators imposing their will, backwater businessmen cutting deals... A far cry from George Sealy, George Ball, William Moody, etc. Not that those dudes didn't cut deals and impose their will -- it's just that they were giants.

If, as you say, Jim Yarbrough is elected, I think he'll be a fine mayor. Maybe a great one. I wish him Godspeed.

Who knows, maybe I'll find a way to help him and the rest out.

Miss Priss

Jake -

I hope you get in there and help them! They will certainly appreciate it and you will see that your input will be very welcomed.

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