Early in the evening on September 2, 2015, one local Aubrey business owner, who asked to remain nameless for fear of retribution, had had enough. In the months after they opened their business downtown, they had repeatedly had to deal with a belligerent and aggressive neighboring business owner. Things had progressed to the point where they told the Aubrey police department, in a documented incident report, that they were in fear for their safety and wanted to see about a restraining order or criminal trespass order against this business owner.
Another local business owner, the Brinkman family, said they also filed a police report against this same business owner when they opened their restaurant downtown a number of years ago. We were not able to obtain a copy of this report, but the behavior matches a pattern that has been verified by at least two other downtown business owners. In each case, all the business owners use virtually the same language; harassment and intimidation.
The business owner they’re all referring to is candidate for Aubrey City Council Steve Murray.
As Mayor, I witnessed this behavior time and again and even had to tell him once that the employees at City Hall didn’t deserve to be treated so poorly and that he owed them an apology.
Murray has penned an open letter to the citizens of Aubrey where he admits to violating ordinances, something he has flip-flopped on multiple times since his outburst at the council meeting last Tuesday. He also makes accusations against a private citizen all while claiming to want to put an end to the “pettiness and hatefulness” but is petty and hateful in his own letter, not to mention the juvenile behavior and name calling he’s supported from his friends and family on social media.
Candidate Murray has questioned my motives and his family has suggested that should he win that I’d lose control of the council even though, as a private citizen for the last 11 months, I’ve publicly opposed at least three of the major actions taken by this council. Not to mention that his opponent, who would retain her council seat should Murray lose, was the council member I disagreed with most during my time on council. My motivation is simply not wanting someone with the depth and breadth of bad behavior in a leadership position in Aubrey.
Murray wonders in his letter how future business owners will view the “pettiness and hatefulness”. I think a better question is, what will they think if we elect someone to our council with his history, including repeated attempts at intimidating fellow business owners.