Mr. Coe - Beware of false knowledge - it is more dangerous than ignorance
I am writing in response to the letter submitted by Mr. Rick Coe on October 21st - There seems to be some wild misformation circulating in the Valley. The main piece of divisive, inaccurate information that seems to be coming up repeatedly is that mayoral candidate Heather Branstetter is somehow politically aligned with Ryder Gautreaux. What causes you to believe that she is a supporter of his? At a City Council meeting I attended, Ryder approached the council requesting to build a road to access his property on the South hill. Heather specifically explained to him why the city couldn’t allow him to build a road without abiding by the legal standards required. In response to her direct explanation, the engineer who was working with Ryder on that project got very conformational with Heather during the city council meeting. This is just one example of Heather standing up to Ryder, and if you are to examine city council meeting minutes, I’m certain you will not find Heather giving Ryder (or anyone, for that matter), special treatment.
In your letter, you stated that the consequences of having Ms. Branstter being elected could be detrimental to the future of Wallace. Why would Heather, a born and raised Wallace girl, who chose to make this town her home and is an extremely active participant in our community and local government, wish to see a town she loves be destroyed and turned into a place that the common person cannot, and would not want to live?
You speak of her “different agendas” - what do you mean by this? Are you talking about her clearly defined idea of how to improve access to affordable housing in the area? Or perhaps you are talking about her agenda to keep the sidewalks clear in the winter to help protect our elderly, and to improve walkability? Or, maybe you mean her agenda to create a dog park for our community?
In any case, it is very clear that you (and obviously the people you have been talking to), think that if elected, Heather would somehow harm our town. I am not sure where you got this idea, but it is both completely untrue, as well as laughable. It is deeply concerning that instead of seeing a mayoral race as an opportunity for growth and an exercise in understanding what the citizens of Wallace want and need, some people are seeing Heather's challenge as a critique of Lynn, and are using this election as an opportunity to divide our community and sow seeds of discontent.
For those of us who have taken the initiative to attend events and hear directly from the candidates, instead of through the misinformation grapevine, it is clear that there is no way Wallace can lose in this race. Competition is healthy, and I encourage anyone who is sceptical to contact Heather directly and ask her your hard questions. She does not shy away from confrontation, and will answer any question you have with honesty.
Ultimately, I would encourage anyone who has heard that Heather is “pro-Ryder” or “in support of turning Wallace into a Sun-Valley-esque community” to consider the source of information they are receiving. Being an independent and critical thinker is crucial to being a good community member and an informed voter.