Rebuttal to commissioner Warren Watson

Published 6:47 pm Wednesday, March 3, 2010

To the Editor:

I know that when a person decides to divorce themselves from a relationship whether it is a spouse, business partner, or as in the case of Mr. Watson, a local political party, there is a tendency to make statements that are harmful and damaging.

I admit that when I read the article in the Tryon Daily Bulletin that quoted Mr. Watson clearly implying that our local elected officials are being put under pressure to carry out a strategy given to us by the executive committee of our political party, I felt angry and dismayed. &bsp;

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Frankly, there is nothing to support this allegation. At no time before my election or after being sworn in as a Commissioner have I been mandated to carry out the wishes of anyone else. Rather, I ask and listen to the opinions of many citizens often without knowing or even wishing to know their political affiliations. Listening to the citizens, and doing my own due diligence research into the issues is the way I determine how to cast my vote. &bsp;

Perhaps the most damaging and harmful statement that Mr. Watson made is that, The whole system is corrupt and its corrupt at all levels.

Again, this is a statement made without any supporting evidence and implies to me and many others who have read the article that corruption is part of the way of doing business by all local elected officials who are connected to a political party.&bsp; Not only is the corrupt statement totally false, it could hinder the board of commissioners to work effectively.

Clearly, it is imperative that Mr. Watson write a retraction of his false statements and that it be published in this newspaper and all other media outlets that have carried this story.

Finally, I wish to assure everyone reading this letter that I will not let Mr. Watsons harsh statements and incorrect opinions alter my way of conducting myself as a county commissioner. I will continue to work for what is best for all citizens of Polk County, to never be swayed by partisan politics and to uphold the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

I will continue to seek common ground on controversial issues so that we can have a Polk County government that moves forward by being fiscally responsible, and providing the protection and services that are needed by its citizens.

Ray Gasperson