Two candidates for Galveston mayor — Don Mafrige and Elizabeth Beeton — filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the 1st Court of Appeals, asking the court to force the city secretary to rule that Jim Yarbrough is ineligible to run for mayor. Mafrige and Beeton contend Yarbrough does not meet the requirements for residency as set out in the city charter. 

There was a letter to the editor that discussed the qualities of Galveston’s ideal mayor (“The qualities needed for mayor,” Daily News, Feb. 24). Let’s look at the candidates:

Businessman and former Councilman Don Mafrige has consistently promoted economic development as a real estate developer and employer during the last four decades. In 1971, he founded the Galveston County Apartment Association. 

Mafrige has served as the chairman of numerous Galveston committees and is the finance committee chairman. Mafrige retired as colonel after 30 years in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Former County Judge Jim Yarbrough coordinated county, state and federal agency efforts following Hurricane Ike. During his tenure, taxes and expenses were high but were cut by his successor leading to significant taxpayer savings. 

Two additional issues warrant attention: his residency is in question and he lacks council experience. The former affects his candidacy, and the latter presents a problem when bringing cooperation to council.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Beeton served three terms on the City Council and is liked within her district. Beeton worked to preserve Galveston’s historic value and helped save Austin Middle School. She is a frequent contrarian and struggles to contribute toward building consensus within council. Would this approach work as mayor?

John Graham lives in Galveston.

(8) comments

David Collins

"struggles to contribute toward building consensus"
That's an interesting turn of phrase. What it means is that Beeton just won't get on board with whatever wacky ill-considered notion the Mayor happens to be promoting this week. I'm tired of hearing the Yarbrough crowd talk about consensus as though a 7-0 vote was all that mattered. Beeton does the research and sticks to her guns when she knows the council is about to hand your tax money over to a developer for no good reason. What we don't need in the mayor's seat is a good old boy throwback to the 90s.

Steve Fouga

Consistent consensus is an awful thing, just like a consistent 4-3 voting bloc. It smacks of a lack of thoughtfulness on the part of the individuals on Council. In my opinion consensus simply means that a choice was obvious, not really a decision at all.

I'd like to see 4-3 and 5-2 majorities, with the composition of the winning bloc changing depending on the topic at hand. This would show me that council members are thinking. We elect them to represent our interests and the City's interests, not to march in lockstep.

As for Mrs. Beeton's contrariness being a drawback in the mayor's office, I feel that's giving too much credit to her personality, and not enough to her intellect. She is easily smart enough to take her game to the next level, so to speak.

I would love to see the good that Beeton, Pappous, Tarlton and Sunseri could bring about, together on the same council.

George Croix

About but_s when it comes to politics:
You usually get better results by electing folks who kick them, rather than kiss them...

Steve Fouga

Well, my impression is that both Yarbrough and Beeton tend to kick them.

GW Cornelius

Yarbrough is only clear choice he will get it done.

George Croix

I would have made myself clearer had I included that the kicking needs to be done to all in desperate need of it, without exceptions.
Any kissing should be highly selective...[wink]

Jarvis Buckley

I disagree that JY is only clear choice. I believe he would probably be a good mayor.
I believe EB is head and shoulders more qualified. I believe her work ethic is second to
None. I believe the fact that she is the "people's candidate" is why she gets criticized,
Those in power , with streets named after them, and the back room cigar smoking
Crowd don't want any part of this lady being mayor. No more good ole boys club.
When an issue is brought to council with EB as mayor. It will pass or fail on its merit,
Not who you know. That's why in my opinion this will be a record turn out election
With more money spent, in this election than any election in the recent past.
Big money not going to give up their hold on Galveston politics without a fight.
If you don't believe that, I'm afraid you don't know much about Galveston Island.

Ron Shelby

FYI, In nearly all of his years of service, JDY made sure that the proposed budget cut the tax rate every year after taking over for Holbrook. The only major exception was the single year after the storm when the Texas legislature essentially blackmailed the county, forcing it to issue $10million in debt to set aside for UTMB before they would commit $400million in funds to rebuild on the island. The county's hands were tied. They tried to find many other ways, including a hospital district, to not have to go that route. No luck. Hurricanes suck.

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