Councilwoman Terrie Salter — Re: Clarification Regarding My Decision

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Dear Anna Thomas of Cleveland, Texas & others who struggle with the understanding of my article:

I hope this letter finds you well. I appreciate your engagement with my recent article in The Orange Leader, although I must address some points you raised.

Firstly, let me clarify that my intention was not to throw shade or challenge anyone’s character. Rather, I aimed to provide transparency and inform readers and residents of our city about the reasoning behind my decision. It appears, however, that further clarification is necessary.

  1. Purpose: The purpose of my article was straightforward — to shed light on the factors influencing my decision. As a public servant, I owe it to our community to be transparent. While friendships exist, our duty transcends personal feelings. Often people on boards and organizations have a hard time separating personal feelings from business, I can. I took an oath therefore, my decisions will always be based on business and not personal feelings.
  2. Lack of Understanding: You mentioned a lack of clarity in my article. I apologize if it didn’t resonate with you. Sometimes, complex matters require nuanced explanations. I assure you that I’ve been as clear as possible. If you find it challenging to grasp, consider seeking additional insights from colleagues or friends.
  3. Personal Knowledge: I respect your long-standing connection to our city, even though you no longer reside here. However, the intricacies of daily business within our City of Orange Council board cannot be fully understood from afar. I encourage you to engage with local sources for a more accurate picture.
  4. Friendship vs. Truth: You astutely observed that people often make decisions based on friendship rather than objective facts. As public servants, we must rise above personal biases and uphold our oath to serve the people. Our city deserves nothing less.
  5. Paul Burch: While I appreciate your defense of Paul Burch, my article focused on the board’s dynamics, not his character or the Mayor’s. Our relationship remains strictly business-oriented. I believe he, as well as our Mayor, has potential, but their current actions concern me. It hinders our board’s progress.
  6. Communication Attempts: For months, I’ve reached out to both Pro-tem Paul Burch and Mayor Larry Spears Jr. multiple times — via email, phone, and text — without response. I have reported their actions to the City Manager Mike Kunst. As fellow public servants, we owe it to our constituents to communicate effectively.
  7. Blocked on Phone & Social Media: My calls go directly to voicemail without callbacks. Being blocked on social media doesn’t bother me; this forum is for entertainment purposes only. Our duty lies beyond virtual interactions.

In closing, Anna Thomas and others who lack the understanding of the article, I encourage you to revisit my article to the editor explaining why I voted “no,” reappointing Paul Burch to the Mayor Pro-tem position, perhaps with fresh eyes or a fellow friend’s perspective you will grasp the meaning of the article.

Remember at the end of the day my vote, my voice, my choice. Thank you for caring about the welfare of Orange and let’s continue our commitment to serving our city diligently.

— Terrie Salter
City of Orange
Councilwoman District 3