Letter from Ron Melton

As many of you know, I have an expanding business that takes me out of town often. In the past, I was able to arrange it so I would not miss a DEC meeting and I haven’t missed one since first being elected chair in mid 2004. I was also able to find personal time to work on DEC business because of an understanding wife. Thanks Sue.

In the 2004 election cycle alone, I spent almost three months fundraising and working on behalf of Democratic candidates exclusively, to the detriment of my business. However, that won’t be possible during the next two years, so I have decided not to run for a third term as your chairman. This past year I delegated more responsibility to others so they would become aware of what is required to raise funds, turn out the vote and secure an honest election.

As you already know, we have DEC officer elections scheduled for this Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. at Woodham High School.

I’ve scheduled the nominations and elections meeting before our regular public meeting so we may elect new officers and the new chair can take over for the regular public DEC meeting. More about that later.

I’m proud to say that with your help and support, our DEC took on some tough (mainly local) issues in the past two years. This raised our visibilty in the community and should help provide a base from which to kick off the next two years leading into the 2008 presidential elections. Your courage to take on tough issues is a change from the past when we were active just prior to an election and raised very little money and even less visibility.

Some of the issues and positions the DEC took on the past two years:

  • Opposed Bush’s proposed raid on the social security system and establishment of private accounts Opposed the reelection of Bush and other Republicans
  • Supported Democratic candidates for office
  • Supported relocation of the Main Street Sewer Plant
  • Opposed the Local Option Sales Tax
  • Supported impact fees on new construction
  • Proposed naming a street in Pensacola and the county in memory of Rosa Parks
  • Supported Pensacola citizens’ right to petition their elected officials and vote on the proposed maritime park
  • Supported removal of toxic pilings at the mouth of Bayou Taxar,and others.

In closing, I will step aside Tuesday night (6 p.m.) after the new chair is elected and allow him or her to take nominations for Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and five Steering Committee seats. If you’re running for Chair, please bring an agenda with you for the regular DEC meeting.

Thanks to all of you. I hope to continue to work within the DEC to bring about meaningful change both in our community and nationally. It’s been an honor to represent you and the Democratic Party.