LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mayor busy bearing false witness and not leading

Recently, Mayor Javier Joven of Odessa commented during an online discussion with several pastors that my husband, Councilman Tom Sprawls, would vote against the sanctuary city proposal because, “his wife would not allow him.” The Odessa American printed an article on May 27, 2021 stemming from those comments.

Man oh man, don’t we all wish our spouse or significant other would comply with our wishes so easily!

Like any spouse, my husband asked my opinion and I shared it with him. He also asked friends, family, and other residents of his district and the city. Seeking broad input is what someone that represents the people of this city is supposed to do. Let’s face it, this ordinance is the talk of the town and just about anyone you meet has an opinion about it. I am a resident of this city and as much entitled to my opinion on this as anyone else.

Mayor Joven’s comments regarding the fact that I put pressure on my husband to vote my way was based on hearsay and by repeating it he was bearing false witness. Interesting enough, I have never met Mayor Javier Joven! Even worse, he directed his comments to clergy in our area. The Mayor has the right to make his case for why this city should pass that ordinance. He has the right to address any interest group he wishes. However, he does not have the right to declare a statement that is not true or impugn my husband’s character. For that, he should be ashamed!

I do not wish to enter into a conflict with Mayor Joven, but I must take issue with him making an unfounded statement as fact. The sanctuary city proposal is controversial, emotional and in my opinion very private. That being said Odessa voters need to hear both sides of this proposal to give it the serious consideration it deserves.

This editorial is not about the issues associated with a sanctuary city or abortion in Odessa, rather it is an editorial reflecting the lack of credibility demonstrated by Mayor Joven. I do not question his zest and passion and I applaud his conviction but in my opinion this has clouded his judgement. I believe it is compromising his ability to remain open-minded and fair to others. If anyone in a leadership role feels the need to make statements and innuendos about a constituent, those statements should come from comments made during a one on one conversation instead of hearing it from the “grapevine!” Hearsay, misleading and untrue statements reflect poorly on anyone especially from our mayor!

Thank you for your time.

Happy Memorial Day,

Patti Sprawls