In today's paper, a local columnist made an erroneous statement about my position on the electricity contract negotiations. It opened the door for me to not only correct this statement but shed light on other misrepresentations that have skewed public opinion.
I look forward to the insight I gain from reading columns and letters from concerned citizens such as you. However, your “Separating Destin Fact from Fiction” column on the electrical service negotiations not only failed to distinguish between fact and fiction, it perpetuated some of the falsehoods that have turned typical negotiations into an unnecessary nightmare. To name me as one of “the two most vocal proponents of the proposed buyout” is not only an outrageous absurdity, it is an outright mistruth. I have NEVER stated that I favored or wanted a buyout n
or have I EVER argued for a buyout. In fact, I have been a very vocal proponent of considering all facts and performing due diligence before making any decisions. I have noted several times in meetings and in emails that I have been happy with Gulf Power’s service but it is part of my responsibility as an elected official to consider any and all options to make an informed decision regarding the best path forward. A simple review of our council meeting videos or minutes proves my position.
You also reference the mayor’s and my responses to email on the subject and whether the emails approved or disapproved with our “position.” To clarify, almost without exception, the emails received by council have been form letters auto-generated from the national lobbying firm’s website. They are templates- each saying the exact same thing. These automated emails do not say whether they agree with my stance or anyone else’s specifically; they disagree with “council.” I know because I tested their website personally. I also tried to reach the mysterious “Sarah” who autoresponds to the website’s email and forms as I sought clarification of their data and statistics. Alas, I never received a response to my queries for more information or to meet for coffee.
Further, for just a minute, let us take a look at the supposed data this lobbyist company is purporting as representative of all nearly 13,000 Destin citizens. They note on their propaganda that their poll was conducted by “Tell Opinion Research, LLC” and that “300 residents were polled resulting in a 6% margin of error at a 95% confidence level.” First: who is “Tell Opinion Research, LLC?” A Google search returns NO results. That’s right- NONE! If that isn’t alarming enough, then next consider the number of people they say represents the opinions of all of us in Destin: 300. Their sample size of 300 people is 2.3% of 13,000, so what they are really saying is that 2% of the population is representative of everyone here! Never mind how they chose those 300 people to begin with!
Sir, you and I have emailed, telephoned, and even met in person over the years. I am wondering why you wouldn’t have called and spoken with me personally about the situation. After all, one of the great things about city leaders is that we are your neighbors and cherish the fact that we are easily reached and want to talk with people. I serve you and all citizens of Destin but you have to reach out to me if you have questions and concerns. Your council and mayor have a vested interest in Destin- just like you. As such, we want the best for all of us. Ask yourself- do you think a DC lobbying firm is really concerned with the best interests of the people of Destin? You can be sure that your council and mayor do.