To the Editor:
As you stated in the opening of your letter to the citizens, your job as Mayor is “to make Rutherford County the best county in Tennessee.” You claim to “have always worked to be transparent and act ethically and honorably” during your service.
The present situation facing Universal International Insurance, your daughter and your campaign finances seem to be irreconcilable through the lens of the values you claim to espouse. The letter you wrote to the citizens of this county is laughable. The people of this county demand substantive answers.
Your ability to act ethically in the office of Mayor is in no small way related to your ability to act ethically in your personal life and business dealings. We are not swayed by your dependence upon the slow trudge of bureaucracy to hide your actions, nor those of your family members. Certainly, no human being is inerrant. By choosing to enter into the realm of politics, however, you have chosen to submit to a higher level of scrutiny from the community.
The “rumors” you failed to address in your letter are, unfortunately, far more than rumors. Lawsuits against Universal International Insurance are a fact. A settlement with a customer of Universal International Insurance is a fact. Unpaid fines related to your campaign are a fact.
Any of these, viewed singularly, could be deemed understandable. They could have been nothing more than lapses in judgment that lead to an opportunity to right a wrong. Consequently, when viewed collectively, it seems more indicative of a pattern of behavior. The wrongs have yet to be righted.
Your daughter, Kelsey, may have been faced with “many complexities” in the positions of vice-president and acting CFO in the company. Yet, as it is a multi-generational family business, you played a significant role in placing her in those positions. She also seems to have faced similar complexities while serving as the treasurer for your campaign and PAC. Again, your role in placing her in this position is non-negligible.
Mayor Ketron, you chose to write a letter to the citizens of Rutherford County during this time. You asked for our attention, and had ample opportunity to choose your words. You chose to appeal to a sense of hometown values when speaking of your family business. You chose to speak nothing but words of praise for your daughter.
You chose to ignore those who were harmed by your company’s, and by proxy, your own actions. You chose to avoid addressing the issues surrounding your campaign finances. How do you justify these choices in light of your “transparent, ethical, honorable” claims?
The citizens of Rutherford County deserve better than to be subjected to any more embarrassment with regard to our county government.