In a recent letter to voters, paid for and mailed by Councilman Hatfield’s campaign, Judy Moss’ poison pen presents baseless ad homonym attacks against me under the pretext of highlighting a “few examples” of what are supposed to be false and misleading assertions made by me! Not surprisingly, nothing in her diatribe is supported by documented evidence (I hold myself to a higher standard), but FACTS ARE STILL STUBBORN THINGS! So here we go…
She writes, “Just like most bureaucrats who use misleading or deceptive language, Mr. Steinhagen is playing fast and loose with the facts.“
First, it might be helpful for Mrs. Moss to understand what a bureaucrat is, which is a government employee, in particular, one perceived as being concerned with procedural correctness at the expense of people’s needs.
I am not, nor have I ever been a government employee!
Does she mean to call me a politician, like 12 year incumbent, Steve Hatfield, who likes to point out the procedural correctness of the city council majority’s right and authority to raise taxes, put us into long-term debt, and take away the personal liberty of what citizens can do without the consent of the people? Unlike the politician that she’s endorsing, I have never before run for public office!
Second, FACTS PROVE that Moss’s letter contains JUST ONE true fact, which is that I live on one acre!
EVERYTHING else in here letter about me is absolutely FALSE, which I will address point by point!!!
Following are the FACTS!
Mrs. Moss writes,
“Mr. Steinhagen continues to be deceitful about this [new city hall] project by saying it was approved behind closed doors. That is simply not true.”
FACT: I have continually asserted that the mayor and city council-majority neither mailed to citizens nor posted to the city’s website ANY information about the new city hall until six months AFTER the $2.125 million bond was passed. This is an irrefutable fact!
FACT: The price tag for the new city hall never deviated from $1.5 million told to citizens, until the evening of the city council vote, when they added another $600+ thousand to it.
FACT: The city council waited six months before mailing out scant information to taxpayers alerting us to the fact that a long-term debt-bond was approved for $600,000 MORE THAN they had been saying, to build a new city hall/administration building
FACT: Councilman Hatfield negotiated a compromise with Councilman Gary Lovell to agree to purchase three additional acres of property for the new city hall, instead of the thirteen that was being proposed. Weeks later, when Councilman Lovell was on a long-planned vacation with his family to Mount Rushmore and when Councilman Pullen was also absent (who was also reportedly in agreement with Lovell), Councilman Hatfield voted (3 to 0) to purchase the additional ten acres, from the developer of Triple Creek. So despite the fact that the Triple Creek development agreement promises the city ten acres, we got just two and paid $260,000 for thirteen more!
OPINION: In a city of less than 2,000, I would expect the city council to inform citizens when matters of importance, like higher taxes and going into debt, are being considered, BEFORE they take action.
Unlike Mrs. Moss, who believes that if citizens want to be informed, they must attend city council meetings, I don’t think any citizen should have to attend city council meetings to stay informed about those things that will impact their taxes or take away their personal liberty on their own property. Our community is filled with families that have young children, I have an 8-year-old daughter, who SHOULD BE home with their children and not at a city hall meeting, which is often tantamount to watching paint dry.
If our elected officials acted with integrity to ensure that we were informed about the things most important to us, this would never have been an issue and I would not be running for city council!!!
On another note, Mrs. Moss says that she does not attend County Commissioner’s meetings, the state legislature or watch CSPAN for what’s happening on Capitol Hill. So would her voice of opposition be illegitimate should she ever disagree with a decision that they make, simply because she doesn’t pay attention to those activities? Of course not! She holds me to a different standard than she holds herself!
Mrs. Moss writes,
“In fact, public records prove that the final amount approved by the City Council for the City Hall building is exactly what was spent and not a penny more.”
FACT: Steve Hatfield is on record standing firm to “do what we say we’re going to do” by not approving anything that increases the cost of the bond above $1.5 million. Even the July 30 dated letter from the Mayor admits this FACT! Steve Hatfield made the motion to violate the convictions of his belief, so to try and draw attention away from this by implying that my criticism is misplaced is not fast and loose with the truth, because there’s not a scintilla of truth in her accusation!
“When a vote on the proposed Sonoma Verde development went before the City Council, Steve Hatfield voted against it, yet Mr. Steinhagen falsely said Steve supported it.”
FACT: Fast & loose with the facts is truly on display as Mrs. Moss highlights “a vote” on an earlier draft of the Sonoma Verde Development Agreement, which was the precursor to the final agreement that Hatfield put up no opposition. The new and final draft was signed by the Mayor shortly after the Council voted unanimously to approve it. Mr. Hatfield also voted in favor of creating the Public Improvement District [PID] that helped the developer to secure a municipal bond, which was the only way that the project could find the funding necessary to move forward. Had that not been approved, Sonoma Verde would have died on the vine.
Mrs. Moss also doesn’t address the Triple Creek Development Agreement that’s also highlighted in my letter, to which again Mr. Hatfield threw up no opposition, where just weeks before the Sonoma Verde Development agreement was approved, he voted with the majority to approve it too! That development would have allowed 1,876 homes on 409 buildable acres (Sonoma Verde is putting 1,100 homes on 546 acres), but because the developer of Triple Creek died shortly after the agreement was signed, our city was saved from the impact of that…unless another developer comes along to move the project forward, which remains a possibility.
Mrs. Moss writes,
“With regard to population density, Mr. Steinhagen seems to be confused. He claims to oppose it, but both Steinhagen and one of the city council candidates he is endorsing live on lots that are under the 1.5 acres minimum he so “adamantly” supports.”
FACT: The home we purchased three years ago was built more than ten years ago and is in fact on one acre, which is interesting because the entire development in which I live (69 homes) are all on one acre and developed by one of Mrs. Moss’ cronies, a key political insider in MC who, though he is not a voting citizen of MC, has been one of the longest serving members of the city’s planning & zoning commissions and he also served on the city hall building committee, where he is on record urging the city council not to put the city hall up for a vote of the people. He’s also a major landowner and as our city gets closer to becoming the Highland Park of Rockwall County, his future “payday” is looking better and better!
FACT: I’m endorsing Wayne Orchard for city council place 2 & Nathan Hodges for mayor. Wayne lives on seven acres and Nathan is on over ten. Fast & loose epitomizes Mrs. Moss’ rhetoric.
Even if what she was saying were true, it would demonstrate nothing contrary to my position that we must protect the 1.5 acre minimum per home site ordinance!
So what about that “liberal” senator to which she ties me?
FACT: The day I graduated Texas A&M University, I went to Nebraska to work the last three months of a US Senate Campaign for Republican Jan Stoney who was challenging incumbent Senator Bob Kerry. My first Sunday in Omaha, I met a girl at Christ Community Church, who became my wife. We lost the Senate race but I stayed there so that my wife could continue medical school at Creighton, where she was studying to earn a doctorate in physical therapy. I joined Republican Chuck Hagel’s US Senate campaign as his Press Secretary. I stayed with Chuck only a little while after he won because his definition of conservatism turned out to be MUCH different than mine!
Most conservatives recognize that my decision to stand by the conviction of my beliefs was informed by my compass of conservatism, but Mrs. Moss’ uses this to attack me by writing,
“Mr. Steinhagen is a Washington insider who worked for a liberal Senator.”
In light of all the FACTS, of which she is well aware, how do her comments reflect the nature of Mrs. Moss’ character?
Another problem is, I’ve never lived in Washington and, with the exception of that year and a half, I have always lived and worked right here in Texas. I was a political campaign consultant, based in Canton, Texas, for several years where all of my candidates had to know Christ as their Savior AND be guided by a compass of conservatism, both socially and fiscally.
She writes, “Steve Hatfield is a good man who lives, worships and raised his family in McLendon-Chisholm.”
Now here’s where I DON’T take issue with Judy! I actually like Mr. Hatfield and have not one ounce of animosity against him personally. I think he’s a genuinely nice guy!
In contrast, I don’t consider myself to be a good man. Mark 10:18 reads, “And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Paul amplifies this in Romans 3:10, “as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;” and Romans 7:14-25 and 1 Timothy 1:15 makes it impossible for me to even allow others to boast about me on my behalf. (I wrote the first sentence intentionally so that those who read this can see how those who oppose me will use the first part of my comment out of context…which will further illustrate how bankrupt of integrity the opposition really is!)
“Good” men make bad decisions all the time. This is why I believe so strongly in limited government, to prevent elected officials from being led into the temptation of exercising power and authority that leads to bad choices. Our new Taj Mahal city hall is a great example of this!
One more thing about Mrs. Moss’ putting Councilman Hatfield on a proverbial pedestal, which begs the question, are churches in McLendon-Chisholm somehow more closely connected to God than say Watermark, a church that my wife and I helped start?
Additionally, I too am raising my eight-year-old daughter here in MC. Does Mrs. Moss wish to take exception with that too?
Mrs. Moss writes, “On the subject of taxes, Mr. Steinhagen conveniently leaves out some important details, like the fact that we still have an exceptionally low tax rate.”
Um, okay, “we have an exceptionally low tax rate.” There I said it. Conversely, Mrs. Moss fails to mention that Steve Hatfield just DOUBLED it…and he proposed a tax-rate increase that would have TRIPLED IT!!!
She adds, “Then he fails to mention the positive results of the rate change, which are enhanced fire and medical protection, infrastructure improvements and the City Hall building.”
FACT: We don’t need a tax increase to fund these “enhancements,” because the rising tax valuations on properties will provide more than enough additional funding. She knows this, but Mrs. Moss parroted back to me one evening a comment spoken by someone else that she agreed with, “We are the Highland Park of Rockwall County.” She clearly believes this is true and the only way for it to become her reality is for the government to get bigger, hence more taxes!
“The list of half truths alleged by Mr. Steinhagen goes on and on, but you get the idea. We don’t need a bureaucrat from Washington serving on the City Council in McLendon-Chisholm. We should not trust Mr. Steinhagen with our tax dollars if he is not going to be truthful.”
I want to thank Judy Moss for helping my campaign by showing voters of MC the kind of people who surround Councilman Steve Hatfield!
By her written words Mrs. Moss has demonstrated that she is a lying hypocrite who is willing to sink to the lowest levels of common decency to retain power for herself and the political ruling class that she runs with.
If empty rhetoric is what earns your vote, then I encourage you to please vote to re-elect Steve Hatfield. For all of you curmudgeons who insist on facts and truth, you’re stuck with me!
Blessings, Robert Steinhagen