Mayor Stopfer Fed Up With Threats

After the discussion was ended on the final issue before the City Council during their regular meeting on June 28 but before a vote was taken, Mayor Rick Stopfer took a few minutes to address a member of the ARK Group.

“I am very disappointed in how we’ve been treated in this process,” Stopfer said. “The fact that several of our councilmembers have been called and threatened with litigation. That’s not the way we do business in Irving, Texas. So until there’s a gentleman’s way of doing business, I’m not going to support anything that is done on this site.

“Whatever your legal problems are, I really don’t care. I just want them fixed,” he said. “I’m tired of hearing about your problems. I’m tired of going to mayors meetings and other mayors making fun of what you are doing here. You seem to think it is no big deal, but it is a big deal to me, because I am the mayor of this city, and I don’t like the way we are being portrayed.

“I don’t like the idea of someone threatening litigation that is why unfortunately we have to use attorneys, $800 an hour attorneys, because no one can speak civil, and no one can tell what’s what. Now I had nothing to do with this contract, because I wasn’t here, but it’s got a lot of problems. I won’t be threatened. This city will not be threatened. That’s not the way business is done in Irving, Texas.

“We do business with a handshake. We do business with a person’s word,” he said. “We don’t have to always go get a bunch of high-powered attorneys, but unfortunately that’s what we’ve had to do through this process, because there’s different perspectives coming from different people. I just think it’s terrible that it’s just easy for you to threaten elected officials who have to make decisions. As I said, I’m not going to put up with it anymore.

“This is my last comment on the whole process, but there will be no support from this individual on anything that comes forward on this case on this project until there is some respect showed to the people who sit at this dais, and somebody show some respect to this staff,” Stopfer said. “When you look at what our staff has gone through, it is ridiculous the way they have been treated. I have been there when phone calls were made and screaming and hollering was done. I will not be supporting this, this evening.”

About the Author

Jess Paniszczyn
Jess discovered an aptitude for writing in high school. After earning a B.A. degree in English he joined the ranks of the working class where he quickly found he did not work well in a corporate environment. He took a series of technical writing contract jobs working for such companies as AT&T, Sykes Enterprises – where he worked on IBM projects – and Lomas Mortgage. To support himself during lulls between contracts, he began working with the Dallas Morning News in operations where he worked part-time for several years, eventually migrating to the Irving Daily News in its final year of publication. Jess was the first writer hired by The Rambler Newspapers and has been with the company since the publication of the initial Irving Rambler Newspaper. He has found a home at the newspaper that as a young writer he never thought would ever find working ‘in the real world.’

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