Four members of the Odessa City Council marched in lockstep time and time again over those with differing viewpoints on the council. They had the majority, and that is all that mattered.
We are talking of course about councilmembers Steve Thompson, Detra White, Tom Sprawls, and Mari Willis and the many times the quartet marched over Mayor Javier Joven, and Councilmembers Denise Swanner and Mark Matta.
Then, when it came time for three of them to stand in front of the voters and offer their records and their platforms against new Republican Party-backed challengers, they folded and retired.
With the lockstep majority gone, several sore losers among the group are spreading lies, rumors, and criticisms of their successors and opponents in what can only be described as a tantrum.
Multiple rumors quickly spread after the November election including one rumor with several versions that begins with City Manager Michael Marrero being fired – one version claiming his successor would be ODC member Kris Crow, and the latest rumor that Mayor Joven will take the job and be replaced as mayor by Councilman Matta.
These of course are ridiculous lies cast in a desperate attempt to land some form of a blow against a political foe – anything besides congratulating the new council on their victory and allowing them the courtesy of carrying forth their electoral mandate.
The most distasteful attack was a political group, headed by failed mayoral candidate Dewey Bryant who overwhelmingly lost to Joven’s 63 percent victory, shaming his former opponent for missing a council workshop session when Joven was at the hospital tending to his 92-year-old grievously ill father, and even recently posted a bizarre image mocking him.
But by all means, let’s discuss the council appointees.
There is a saying in government that personnel is policy. When President Trump lost to President Joe Biden, Biden was not expected to retain Trump’s White House Chief of Staff.
In a management-led city structure such as what we have in Odessa, there is no difference.
The city manager is the key figure in city government who has a major influence in setting the policy direction of the council.
If the voters of Odessa saw it fit to alter the course of the public policy direction of the city by overturning an ideological majority on the council and installing a new council, that council has a right, a duty, to ensure the best people to carry out the electoral mandate of the council are installed.
Performance reviews conducted by the prior council just before the election can only say that an appointee satisfied their interest, they cannot speak to whether that appointee satisfies the interest of the new council and what their voters asked of them.
As for what is going to happen Tuesday at the city council meeting, all that can be legitimately reported is what is on the agenda.
Odessans interested in the issue should certainly reach out to their council-members and attend the meeting.
And those who lost should not pretend to be surprised that elections have consequences.