Editor’s note: The Reporter recieved this email from county commission chairman Greg Tapley two hours before Monday’s debate. It is reprinted without alteration.


In case anyone asks my reason for not attending, you will have my response below to give them.


It’s interesting that the editor of the Monroe County Reporter has bemoaned the fact I declined to attend a one hour debate sponsored by the paper and field a few questions from (arguably) the “only local media we have.”   It’s interesting because he has had three-and-a-half years to ask me any question he wanted about any topic and has rarely taken the opportunity.  Instead, he and Mr. Daniel prefer to write columns based on conjecture and hearsay (often what Will hears Don say and vice versa).  Why would I support a paper that fosters a culture of conflict and negativity that grounds itself in an unfounded paranoia of local government?  I was glad to participate in the Chamber of Commerce debate last Thursday night. To be clear, I am glad to debate my opponent at any time, at any place, and hosted by any organization —other than the one that has no interest in building up our community and stands to profit by sowing division and pitting neighbors and groups against one another.   I feel strongly about this, and I am firm in my convictions. It may hurt my chances of re-election; it may not. Any citizen of Monroe County—even Will!—is welcome and encouraged to contact me any time with any question or concern (see cell number and email address).  My only request is that the editor report my answers and statements accurately and in context.