To The Editor:
I wish to respond to the former mayor Dick Stratman’s letter of July 23 concerning me and my family.
I want to refresh his memory. Myself and quite a few other people dealt with him on the outer road project. It became a heated battle that went on for quite a while. We had an organized group fighting it and we had hired a lawyer. Mr. Stratman was asked to attend one of our meetings and we were given the typical political double talk.
What really put the icing on the cake is when it was to be settled in court in Union. Quite a few people from our group were there, the judge was there, the court reporter was there and things were ready to begin. Then to our surprise and shock the judge and major players were ushered into a back room, out of sight and earshot. The court reporter was not. After a pretty long time span they returned to the courtroom and informed us that things had been settled in the back room and we lost the case.
The whole deal smelled to high heaven and we felt like it was an ultimate insult to all of us. We were very upset and disgusted with the people running the city of Washington who caused and allowed this injustice.
Mr. Stratman said I was wrong in referring to Mr. Jim Briggs as a politician because he does not hold an elected position. My dictionary says a politician is one who is skilled in politics. Mr. Briggs may not be elected but he is more of a politician than some who have been elected. Many people in town feel that he manipulates some of the elected ones.
My personal experience with him was when Mr. Reust was mayor. We owned some property along the riverfront where our family had a boat dock. The city wanted that piece of property there and we finally just gave it to the city. While this was going on word got back to us that Mr. Briggs was telling people we did not own the property. We had bought it from the previous owner and paid property taxes on it for years. What he was telling people was not true. We also were led to believe that we could keep a boat dock there. When we tried to pursue that we were told the city would require us to have a couple million dollars worth of liability insurance. That was the end of our boat dock. Mr. Briggs did not endear himself to me and my family.
As for my son Al and the big favor the city supposedly did for him. Al bought a piece of property that was part of an industrial area but the property was landlocked. There was no city street running to it. He managed to get access to it from an adjoining private property. It was a win-win for both the city and him and just plain common sense.
Yes, Al was very vocal on the annexation issue. He worked with the people who feel it is being forced on them and want to keep it voluntary.