No need for smear attacks
A letter that was recently mailed to the citizens of Charles Town attacked Rich Bringewatt in his bid for re-election to the city council. This letter suggested there were serious questions about his ethics and integrity. We are outraged by such tactics and the fact that Rich’s opponent is seeking to win the election by the personal attacks instead of focusing on how to strengthen our community. We urge the citizens of Charles Town not to be mislead by Rich’s opponents.
We have known Rich for almost a decade during which time we have had ample opportunity to observe Rich’s character and integrity. We find him to be of excellent character, with ethics that are beyond reproach. He is well known for ensuring all points of view are heard and makes every effort to find common ground. Rich is exactly the type of individual we want to represent us on the city council.
His opponents accuse Rich of misappropriating over $500,000 of city funds. The letter accuses him of spending “your tax dollars on many of his favorite non-City social programs without them being financially audited or accounted for to ensure that they are not missing or misappropriated.” The comparison sheet lists specific items, suggesting that Rich spent city revenues on pet programs. The documents also implicate the mayor and the entire city council. Audits of city finances are routinely conducted as is legally required. We are not aware that such audits have ever indicated such misuse of public funds.
In the past four years, Rich has made significant contributions to our city. As a member of the city council, the Vacant Property Board and the Personnel and Finance Committees, he has worked hard on issues such as property development, removal of blighted properties, historic preservation and good government. He has been actively engaged in helping to transition Jefferson Memorial Hospital to a new location, in supporting Jefferson County Community Ministries, the Jefferson County Free Clinic and other efforts that benefit persons without a voice.
It is extremely discouraging that Rich’s opponents are using personal attacks to win a seat on the city council. They should focus instead on a record of public service and/or their vision for Charles Town. Character assassination only serves to dissuade dedicated, upstanding citizens from running for public office, and these are the exactly the type of people we wish to see represent us.
Dr. David Baltierra
Amanda Baltierra, RN, MSN