Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let's Make Wilmer a Great big SECRET

Former "resigned in disgrace" mayor Jeff Steele continues his journalistic endeavors and forays into social networking with the facebook group "Let's Make Wilmer Great!". Unfortunately, after hearing from a few people with opposing views, Steele kicked them all out, closed the group and made it secret - not very conducive to promoting the community's interests at large.

It seems the group started with the description that included "taking Wilmer back" but that was updated fairly early on in the lifecycle of the group. At one point during the holidays, Steele asked all the members of the group to invite as many folks as possible to participate in online group activities. Evidently, the suggestion to direct the group's attention to focus on one particular member was considered "abuse" and that's when the situation began to take on the character of a junior high school clique.

One member and all her posts were removed by Steele, two other member were booted off the group for being nay-sayers, but at least initially, their posts were allowed to stand. There were seventeen remaining members at this point following these expungements.

At this point Steele announced that the group had been purged of naysayers and was now closed so that only members could comment. He also made the group SECRET which restricts anyone not a member from seeing the page as well as eliminating the page from search results. Very odd behavior for someone trying to rally public support to re-take Wilmer politically.

What happens next is interesting: Now that the group was CLOSED and SECRET, former mayor Steele invited a number of folks to join the group and a number of them accepted: Alice(& J?) Holloway, Vicky Vandygriff, Anita Camehl, Eric Pon Victor Kemp, and Ellis County Press reporter Megan Gray. Of course, whomever rejected his invitation to join the group wasn't listed, but there was obviously someone that did not accept as Steele commented that he'd inadvertently invited a naysayer to the group. Fortunately, this reporter was not expunged at that time.

Vicky Vandygriff took the opportunity to comment about the upcoming City Council Meeting and budget workshop on 5 January. She commented, somewhat sarcastically, on having a productive 15 minute workshop and then stated that there wouldn't be a workshop. Whether she planned not to attend, to disrupt the workshop, or immplied that the content of the session wouldn't be workshop material is unknown. However she did publicly state that the Budget Workshop would not happen. Upon disclosing this information to City Hall, this reporter's access to the group was also eliminated.

So it seems that Mayor Steele is content to have his core supporters networking together on facebook to make their plans for the takeover and domination of the political subdivision called Wilmer. It's a good thing we've got members of our local police force watching this group - but it does look bad for those civil servants still answerable to the public and dependent upon taxpayer support to be recruited by former-resigned-in-disgrace-mayor Jeff Steele for his political ambition of re-taking the town. It's a good thing all those blackberrys, smart phones, computers and stuff owned by the city are subject to open records so we can see what our taxpayer dollars are subsidizing and what kind of online activities are considered necessary expenses and appropriate uses of time. Then we can clean house.


mayorsteele said...


Anonymous said...

"WOW" that comment from Jeff Steele. HE IS NOT A MAYOR! Isn't another indication of Jeff Steele's disregard to follow the law. Impersonating a public official? Doesn't matter, it is just an insult that this tyrant sneaky PH would dare to carry the impression "he is the mayor of Wilmer"

mayorsteele said...

With the unthoughtful provoking comment you made I understand why you and most everyone that visits here,which is very few, and spews vulgar and inflammatory comments wish not to sign your name. I happen to stand by all of my comments. Once a person receives a title such as Mayor, Governor, President, it is proper and customary to be addresses in that capacity. I was the Mayor of Wilmer and quite possibly will be again if the people want true leadership.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that the former mayor purchase and read Honor and Respect by Richard Hickey. Then follow instructions from his book and online information: Sometimes you will see or hear former mayors addressed as Mayor (name) but it is not correct, Address a former mayor as Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (whatever honorific they had before becoming mayor) (Name). The reason? In a city there is only one mayor at a time. It's not respectful to the current officer holder, and is potentially confusing to be addressing more than one person as Mayor (Name).
This contrasts with officials of which there is more than one office holder at a time -- e.g, there are many judges, ambassadors, generals, admirals, professors, senators etc. at a time -- and these former office holders DO use their (Professional Honorific)+(Name) in every situation for the rest of their lives.
And one more question: did the mayor leave office on good terms? Those who leave a high office in disgrace do not continue to be addressed as The Honorable.

mayorsteele said...

First, let us just briefly review standard address for a person in office. In a written address, as on an envelope, there are two recognized options. One is to address the person as Honorable or The Honorable. The other is to address the person by his or her title. So we could address a letter to The Honorable John Smith or Senator John Smith. It is also fine to address a letter to The Honorable Sen. [or Senator] John Smith.

In the United States, it is still fine to address the Senator as Mr. John Smith, although the office title on the envelope may help direct the letter more quickly.

For a salutation in a letter, we would generally write "Dear Senator Smith" or "Dear Mr. Senator." We would use the same manner of address in person, that is, "Senator Smith" or "Mr. Senator." While there is nothing "wrong" with calling him "Mr. Smith," it is usually seen as being a mite disrespectful, unless you know personally that the official prefers that means of address.

This pattern applies to most ranking officials such as mayors, elected legislators, governors, ministers, presidents, secretaries, and titles formed from these names like lieutenant governor, vice-president, or undersecretary.

When They are Voted Out...

What happens when they no longer hold the office?

Usually out of respect, we would still refer to them the same way. While we might refer to a retired Senator Smith as former Senator Smith or ex-Senator Smith, that would not be appropriate as an address - whether a direct personal address or address on a letter. It is perfectly acceptable and appropriate to continue to address him as "Senator Smith" or write him in care of "Senator John Smith." The term Honorable is usually reserved for those still in office.

For the salutation in a letter, it would still be fine to write "Dear Senator Smith." "Dear Mr. Senator" tends to suggest that he is still in office. There is usually nothing wrong with addressing him as "Dear Mr. Smith," but it is probably better to avoid it unless you know for sure that he does not mind. This is especially true after an election loss. Calling him "Mr. Smith" rather than "Senator Smith" might be calling more attention to his loss - and gloating is never good manners.

The Conclusion of the Matter

Clearly, if you have a personal relationship with the person and know the person's preferences, you may use whatever would be appropriate in your situation. If the senator is a personal friend, you may always start your letters with "Dear John." Sometimes officials will insist on it. But in most such situations, you may use the same appellations that you used when the person was in office, though it is probably best to avoid Honorable or Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. plus the title once the person is out of office.

For more on salutations and addresses to individuals of rank, including appropriate abbreviations, take a look at Grammar Slammer from English Plus+. Download a demo copy from It will help vanquish your language anguish.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Steele, you always seem to manage to write everything to your liking, which is how you performed as mayor. And to think you take approach to life from the Grammar Slammer. According to what you wrote, your just Mr. Steele. You are at best a "resigned in disgrace" former mayor. Honorable, well that means high ranking and respect. As I see it, your the Mr. of the Steele house, there is your high ranking. What part of "resigned in disgrace" is unclear to you? Respect, honestly, how many times have you ever seen a news crew attend a city council meeting with the community chanting, "the mayor must go?" Most importantly, the City of Wilmer needs a leader with focus, understanding of the communities best interest and a mayor who follows proper protocol. In other words, one who can get the job done.

Once again:

The Protocol School of Washington's
Honor & Respect
The Official Guide to Names,
Titles, and Forms of Address

Robert Hickey , Deputy Director

mayorsteele said...

There is nothing disgraceful about my resignation except that people such as yourself, who hide behind anonymity,have lied, cheated and stole any sense of the word integrity to promote your self serving interest. My resignation was due to the fact that council delegated powers to a city secretary who was investigated by the FBI and ,in my opinion, inept for her current position. With the federal investigations that are currently in process, I ,as Mayor, was not interested in being responsible without the authority of keeping the check and balance system intact.There is nothing disgraceful concerning my actions. I believe it is disgraceful to post anonymously.

mayorsteele said...

Dear Mayor Wilson:
The rule is "Once an Honorable, always an Honorable" So if you are currently the mayor of a municipality you are most formally: The Honorable Cate Wilson, Mayor of (town) ... and I would call you in conversation "Madame Mayor" -or- "Mayor Wilson" -or perhaps "Your Honor"
When you leave office you will be" The Honorable Cate Wilson, former Mayor of (town)-. ... and I would call you "Ms. Wilson" -- since jobs of which there is only one at a time, don't continue to use the "title" when they are out of office.
-- Robert Hickey
Per your reference, you may address me as the former Mayor- the Honorable Mr. Steele

Anonymous said...

I see you just admitted your a former mayor. But I don't see you posting yourself as such. You still use mayorsteele even although you posted there is only one mayor at a time. This article starts out by saying, "Former "resigned in disgrace" mayor Jeff Steele." I have to say I agree with him. You always, as stated before, leave off the important parts. As this article points out, you have a few followers that you can dictate how to address you, since it is not a given with them. As for the rest of us, we know better. No one really cares why you resigned because each time you explain, it is different. It obviously irritates you that people participate on this public forum under anonymous. You say I lie, steal and cheat yet you take the time to respond to my posts. The very core of this article is that you like secrets and seem to have very odd behavior. As for the current employees of the city, your also always out to discredit others. This seems to be your pattern and your not really a credible source. As for your secret face book followers, I don't see any of them coming to your rescue. Maybe because this is open to everyone.


Wake up,grow up,and straighten up. If you are able to accomplish any of these, please advise what elected positions you have held, and hall monitor does not count. By the way, what is your agenda?

Anonymous said...

Don Richards, Esq., you the lawyer out in west Texas who is reportedly working on the City of Wilmer's ordinance codification?

Anonymous said...


Wikipedia has an article on:
esquire (plural esquires)

(archaic) a squire; a youth who in the hopes of becoming a knight attended upon a knight
a lawyer
(obsolete) a shield-bearer, but also applied to other attendants.  [quotations ▼]
a male member of the gentry ranking below a knight
an honorific sometimes placed after a man's name  [quotations ▼]
A gentleman who attends or escorts a lady in public.

Well take your pick.... although I find the last one to be humors. Will just presume your the last one. Otherwise, an real attorney in this great state of Texas would have put attorney at law.

The original article was brought to my attention by several individuals who were personally attacked. As I carefully read, it appeared that there was a bully in the mix. This bully went public that he was the boss of an Internet site and was out to discredit anyone who had an opposing opinion to his. Thus prompting this article. It is my understanding this site was set up to discuss the best interest of the small town of Wilmer, Texas. Interested parties jumped right in with their thoughts and opinions of city matters. Then one bully decided it was his opportunity to get even and veered away from Wilmer and onto personal participates lives. Feeling he once held a position of power, he was out to defend his honor although he was defeated by an entire community. Steele already had to face a judge with one attorney, guess he had to go to the far reaches of west Texas to find another or an escort. I'm still assuming it is the latter above. This stream of comments is totally and completely about the use of an inappropriate use of honor. Then what do you know, a person shows up wanting to know what is the agenda. And then someone asks if they are an attorney for this city of Wilmer. Ok my thoughts are, if an attorney has the time to show up and take the time to ask, he must really be bored. If the City of Wilmer has to go as far as west Texas to get help, then that attorney must really have no business and be bored. Or he has no local business that will patronize him. BUT showing up out of the blue to get into the mix of a play ground says volumes about his character. To add more humor to this, the face book web page is now open to the community. On Jan 17th, ALL the site was deleted and now shows only 2 members. Looks like to me the new esquire has nothing to play with. Accomplishments, well I might say I have never been the subject of an escort. Hall monitor, what a laugh you sound like a child. When and if you get attacked by this egotist as I was, then you have room to talk. Other wise, pack it up, shut up or at least get paid.


For your information, I am a lawyer in California and have been for the past 25 years. If you have any questions about my ethics, veracity or competence, I invite you to contact any Judge handling civil litigation in the South, Southwest,or South Central Districts of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. You can consult O'Brian's Jury Verdicts or any similar publication to confirm the results achieved for clients. I have never represented Mayor Steele or the City of Wilmer. Don J Richards (not Donald and no "." after the "J")

Anonymous said...

I realize that I really don't fit in here. And I'll probably be called an idiot or not honorable or apparently worst of all, an esquire.
My question is this: What does any of this have to do with making the City of Wilmer a better community for all of the citizens? Everyone has personality flaws. So what?
Someone no longer participating in the city administration calling themselves mayor doesn't affect the effectiveness of the current leadership.
The city needs a real leader, and as vicious rumors would like us to believe, that does not include some high school drop out with a mullet and a personal agenda to focus on.
Look at the amount of time and effort expended here in an attempt to force someone to stop calling themselves "Mayor". If that much effort was utilized in the search for a real leader for this community this blog would be considered more than late night entertainment, it could actually be considered as contributing to the greater good. Wouldn't that be a change for the better....

"You don't lead by hitting people over the head-that's assault, not leadership." Dwight D. Eisenhower