An open letter to the City Council, Main Street Greenville and Mayor

At the Coffee Shop


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Well, you really stepped in it this time with the Veterans Banners.  At a time when police, fire, and Veterans are under fire from groups that spew hate at them, you inadvertently and with no malice, I am sure, joined them for a brief moment.  What were you thinking?  People who bought the banners were thrilled when they first went up, and it let outsiders who came to downtown Greenville know it is a place of pride and patriotism.  So, without really thinking it through, or letting anyone know, you made a bad choice, Political entities do it all the time, you are human and will make mistakes.  However, your somewhat flowery explanation, in my opinion, was not what was needed.  You should have just came out and said, “Yeah, we screwed up, sorry about that!”

The problem was nobody knew of your intentions! Even some downtown merchants had no idea until the announcement was made.  I am sure you saw the negative feedback you got, especially from downtown merchants who begged people not to boycott Downtown Greenville because they just found out too! 

Once again, the age-old problem of communication rears its ugly head when it comes to Governments. One thing I learned early on in my political career was to let people know what you thought and what you wanted to do.  That is why, as a trustee, I wrote “Township Talk,” and as a candidate, I had a “Coffee with the Candidate” and then a “Coffee with the Commissioner, and wrote “Commissioner’s Corner” every month. 

I was proud of what we were doing and wanted everyone kept in the loop.  The County belongs to the people, just like the City belongs to the people, and they should be kept informed.  I know you broadcast your meetings on YouTube, but not everyone looks at that.  I would like to see a column once a month from the Mayor or whoever and let people know what is happening, distributed across all media.  I had hoped someone in the Commissioner’s office would pick up where I left off too. It doesn’t hurt to let people know, and it allows people to judge your actions. 

Finally, thanks for changing your minds for a while. The people spoke, you listened, and that is good. Next time, let the people know what you are thinking, it will save you a lot of stress and time and make the people trust you more.

Now, if the school board was a little more forthcoming…………

Respectfully submitted, Mike Stegall