I was disappointed by the Daily News’s endorsement of Jim Yarbrough for mayor.

The endorsement said he has a lengthy history in elected office and offers the best chance of creating a coalition of the city’s factions, but the endorsement was effectively of the status quo.

The reality is that Galveston already has a coalition of powerful factions, including big tourism, banks, TIRZ developers, public employee unions and beach front property owners.

As the paper’s former publisher Dolph Tillotson observed about the city’s factions in 2008, “The more customary approach here so long as folks get their little drop of community gravy is to let well enough alone.”

Is Yarbrough really an effective consensus builder, anyway?

Commissioner Wayne Johnson sued Yarbrough’s county government for giving away the golf course in Jack Brooks Park.

Commissioner Eddie Janek accused him of playing games with the budget overruns at the Justice Center, writing in the paper that it was “very wrong to tell the taxpaying citizens of Galveston County something that is not true.”

Commissioner Ken Clark condemned Yarbrough’s award of the county’s disaster housing title work to fellow commissioner and Yarbrough political ally, Pat Doyle.

Two of those dissatisfied commissioners were Yarbrough’s fellow Democrats.

As for Yarbrough’s history in elected office, city and county government are very different. It is service relevant to the city that really counts.

I have worked hard to master both the big picture and the details about city government during six years of service on council and eight city committees.

Having truly worked my way up, I know the issues and bring a wealth of institutional knowledge to the job.

The elephants in the room unacknowledged by the newspaper are the candidates’ commitments to fiscal responsibility and our independence from special interests.

Regarding fiscal responsibility, there has been only one property tax rate increase since I joined the council, and I fought against it. I am committed to reducing both property tax and water rates.

In contrast, Yarbrough dramatically increased the county tax rate, its debt and the Justice Center budget. It’s clear from his answers to the newspaper’s candidate questionnaire (question 16) that he is not committed to reducing the property tax rate.

Regarding independence from special interests, I have never received anything of value from my service to the city and don’t accept campaign contributions from city consultants or would-be consultants.

This campaign cycle, Yarbrough has accepted $20,000 from Dannenbaum Engineering alone, which frequently competes for city business.

As county judge, Yarbrough joined the board of Moody-owned American National Insurance Co., which has paid him $130,000 — $200,000 annually. Meanwhile, the county had millions of dollars on deposit with Moody Bank and gave tax benefits to ANICO.

After arranging for county title work and legal fees for Doyle, Yarbrough is now employed at Texas First Bank, a Doyle family business.

Yarbrough’s philosophy of government is clearly, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”

Excessive taxation and cronyism serve special interests at the expense of hardworking Galvestonians. But I am prepared and committed to serve Galveston’s most important interest group — its people.

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Beeton is a candidate for mayor in Galveston.

(28) comments

Miss Priss

I get the whole why him and not me spiel but why the blatant inaccuracies and lies told in this column. I mean I thought Beeton was much more competent than to not check her facts before having words published.

Yarbrough does not earn 130,000 - 200, 000 annually from American National. This is public information and that is not what it says. Either she's not smart enough to read a stock financial reporting doc or she chooses to put a lie out into the universe.

Moody Natinal bank does not charge the county any fees for keeping those millions with that institution. Those people do a darn good job over there and have been very instrumental helping many people with managing / building wealth - and yes the regular everyday folks not only the rich. Why not make a good decision and place the funds over there. The county treasurer is on record of saying this as well and oh yes ... I think he is a Republican too.

As far as Clark questioning the county contract going to Southland title, who is Clark to judge? He is the one who took allocated county funds for a bond election and paid Clark Services 80 K. Why is Beeton quoting that guy?

Overun on county building construction? Clearly she has never experienced building anything..... New construction invariably has change orders. People that have experience building things know this is a given.

I thought that Beeton was the honest one here but clearly this is not the case or she is quoting highly inaccurate information. Very disappointing!

She might have been part of not raising taxes but she didn't do a real good job of cutting the expenses to prevent the city from being over extended on budget or successfully guiding in a city manager (rather ) without a lot of angst.

Jarvis Buckley

Mr. truth how do you know so much? Tell us what he really makes if it's public. Although in reality
Your dodging her real concern about our local paper being controlled by the political powers.
That's the real story.

Ellen Morrison

You can go to the Anico website and look at his total compensation package, which is where these figures are from. His actual pay isn't that high, but his whole compensation package, which includes stock and travel, is.

GW Cornelius

More of EB its all about me . EB it is about what is best for Galveston and you are not it.

Miss Priss


This guest column is really what proof I need to know that Beeton is the same as everyone else. You tell us you're honest and then you write a column about your opponent that is full of inaccuracies and lies.

She talked about factions / connections? She used a connection to try and block Yarbrough from running. Mafrige was running around Galveston telling everyone that Beeton was really the one behind the residency issue and all the while hanging him out there alone as the driving force. I guess she really is a little conniving if that is true.

What's even more interesting is that Yarbrough has not told people bad things about Beeton and Mafrige but they've sure have said them about him. And that's the real issue here ..... They find more to criticize because he's done more for this county - WAY more - than either of them which is peanuts in comparison. That is the biggest reason to vote Yarbrough in - a more promising situation.

George Croix

What are the "inaccuracies and lies"? You must be able to list them, to claim them here.
If you are right, then that's important information.
If not, then that's important information.

Or, is this more anonymous 'just sayin'...

Rainy Brown

Galveston needs someone who doesn't support special interests above what is best for the island and it's citizens from one end of the island to the other.

Miss Priss


I listed some of the inaccuracies below ..... Beeton brought up earnings and I attempted to explain it. This information can be found on NASDAQ and looking at the annual report. She's tying onto hateful rhetoric generated by Ken Clark who knows that all of this is untrue.

George Croix

Thank you.
I managed to overlook a huge paragraph.
New glasses time....
Fair enough.
I'll look and see what is, because there is always an opposite of isn't...

Ellen Morrison

ANICO earnings published in the Annual Report dated 4/1/2013 show that James Yarbrough had a compensation package of $185,287.

SEC filing link: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/904163/000119312513138501/d511609ddef14a.htm#tx511609_13

George Croix

It's all in how you spin it.....it's not really 'earnings' if it's 'compensation'.

You gotta give credit to JY's advocates, though...they can spin like a washing machine.
Makes one wonder why that's necessary...???

Ellen Morrison

I also found that Buddy Herz is on there, too. He gets a similar chunk of change (and stock). Head of GHA Commisioners... and the legal eagle for ANICO (gets paid separately as the lawyer, so actually 2 paychecks).

Lisa Blair

I'll tell you what concerns business people like myself about Elizabeth. At the last council meeting a young lady was trying to get a permit to open a business in a strip center on the Seawall. The planning department had sent out 52 surveys to residents and gotten 7 responses. 1 in favor and 6 opposed. When it came time to vote Elizabeth voted against the permit "out of respect for the 6 neighbors who opposed it".
Not respect for the property owner who needed a tenant, the woman who had invested in trying to open a business, the employees who might work there and provide for their families, the local purveyors who would sell goods there, the taxpayers who would benefit from another contribution to the tax base, the visitors who would enjoy patronizing this new business. Nope, no respect for that. But plenty of respect for the 6 people who said no.

George Croix

I don't know the whole story, and you didn't name what the business was to be, but isn't it common practice to give preference to the largest over the smallest?
How did the other members vote?

Lisa Blair

It was a sports bar with a beer & wine license. Out of 52 surveys 45 weren't concerned enough to respond. Beeton & Pappous voted against and all the other's for, so she got her permit. My point is there was no reason to oppose it, not one.

George Croix

Thank you for the info.
With all due respect, and I mean that seriously, the members of counsel are not necessarily supposed to vote in lockstep.
Otherwise, there would be no need for more than one of them.
Perhaps they'd have given their reasons for voting against, or for, if asked..

william boney

Status quo is 6 years of Beeton on city council. We've seen Ms Beeton take citizens to task in public, when they don't agree with her. Many of us witnessed one individual’s mother, brought to tears in public, at a City Council meeting, when Beeton - rather than out of respect for the individual's family (much less the individual) decided she wanted to “vilify” that individual to kill their chance of a promotion. Fortunately, council voted the opposite way. As typical, when Beeton's not getting her way, she goes negative - resorting to half-truths and lies and character assaults. Truly a shame that Beeton's campaign feels it necessary as this stage, they must resort to this rather than run on merits of her vision. Sadly, often times when campaigns resort to these type actions it because it's a last - ditch effort to "win" the election. I owe Ms Beeton a thanks for running for office, - it's not an easy thing and something i would not be willing to do, however, when she resorts to these type antics - she cheapens the process and works to split a community. Let's be responsible and run on the issues and facts, as opposed to have-truths, conjecture and innuendo.

Susan Fennewald

I never thought too much about JY until the questions of repairing Washington Park and repaving Seawall Blvd came up. It was clear to me that the rest of the county felt that Galveston had been "favored" by JY and the county administration for many years and they resented it – to the point of refusing to fix Washington Park and Seawall Blvd. It was true that Galveston had been the county seat - but up until 1960 it had about 90% of the county’s population. Since then the rest of the county has grown and now Galveston is still a major player - but not the only player. It's true they had built the new justice center here - but it wasn't in downtown anymore and it meant more tax-exempt land taken up by the government. So that has its pluses and minuses - but hardly seems like enough to make others resent us. We don't have big county parks, and the Seawall was the only road they normally took care of. And the sheriff's department doesn't patrol here. So - we have few parks, few county roads, and few sheriff duties. Yet the rest of the county feels that we get special treatment. Why?

Is it the city of Galveston that gets special treatment, or is it certain Galvestonians?

Raymond Lewis

This article represents what I have seen as the 'real' Beeton; treacherous and conniving. Not surprised at all that her approach in this guest editorial was to attack rather than to simply point out how she is not the status quo and clearly spell out her vision. During her council tenure, my impression has been that she is about HER rather than anyone else. She's good at covering it up. She did her best to use Mafrige to help her get rid of JY. Then, with both feet, she was going after who she saw as the 'weakest link'.

No Beeton this time around.

Miss Priss

Confused demmy .....

Look deeper into the earnings on the link you are reading 45k is the annual earnings and the remainder is unspecified stock earnings, those are reported interest and earnings carried over year after year - not what he earned this year. Companies give officers / board members stock options to incentivize them to feel ownership in the company.

So look at it this way... Take the number of year on the board - 10 and divide by the difference in total compensation minus 45k to get 140k - that number would be 14k if you want to be honest about it.

So actually that means 59 k if you break down the value of the stock per years served. I suspect that stock is not anything he has earned much off of.

That is why Beeton is irresponsible in making her claims. She's not getting her facts straight ..... If she can't do that then what value can she bring to the table.

Robert Young

The Moody's have done a good job of handling all of the citizens deposits and investments. They employ the citizens of this city and county. Where in the heck else would you Keep the county's money?,, New York? Moody bank is very charitable and again employs many. So do the Doyle's and they do a great job over at Texas First!

As far as big Jim sitting on the board of anywhere we have our government money, Fact is, he could immediately see the strength of the investments Moody made with the money and he had input to how to protect the county's deposits. They pay him a salary so what? He spends extra time doing it. His extra responsibility and time is worth something extra. I want my gov't money monitored for investment security reasons and who better to do that, the guy who made the deposit,, You would sit on your bank board if you had a chance especially if you had millions you were responsible for in the vault .

In fact he would be derelict in his duties to us if he said oh, I don't want to participate in any board,, Its only millions of my constituents money.. Go ahead I trust you?

Beeton has not brought up the fact that the boards that Jim sets on do a great job.
She is a dooms day candidate. all negative, no real plan.

Robert Young

sorry, typo..You were responsible for the MONEY that was in the vault.

George Croix

That guy Carney is a rank amateur at spin by comparison...[beam]

Miss Priss


Jay Carney is a spin doctor but I only state facts. Beeton is not and ps she is a confused demmy as well so you better what in agreeing with her on Yarbrough or you'll end up on those crazy Democrats side.

I'm explaing that what these people are reporting is inaccurate on earnings they see listed by SEC top of bottom line. It would be the equivalent of you running and them listing your gross retirement sum as annual salary earnings. Ken Clark is the one who started that putting that lie because he's not bright enough to understand it. He has non business sense which is scarier.

Ellen Morrison

Sorry there, truthiness dude... I'm not Elizabeth Beeton. I do support her (obviously), but we are not one and the same. Many people know me, including Norman Pappous.

And crazy Democrats... wasn't Jim Yarbrough always on the Democratic ticket?

George Croix

Why did you decide that I was referencing you, truthserum, especially since I already agreed once that I had overlooked some info that you had posted, and thanked you for bringing it to my attention.

There are other posters in this thread.
I am an equal opportunity disagree-er, disagreeer, dis-agree-er...whatever...

It would sure be nice to have the old format where the latest comment was the one on top, rather than this Mexican Jumping Bean some here-some there...stuff....

Evelyn Clark

It is by choice that I placed A JY sign in my yard and someone tore it up. It is again

by choice that I chose to donate a small amount toward JY election and I was not

asked for it.. It is by choice that I chose to vote for JY. It is my rights and all that

uglyiness coming from the other two is SAD SAD . You have a right to vote

for whom ever you want to,.and if they fail to do what they promise, vote them out,.

Gary Miller

“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
In Chicago they call it "pay to play"
"Quid pro quo" Is "I'll repay your donnation from OPM I'll control."

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