Former Fire PAC President Jayson Steele violated state law Utilities Code Section 182.052 when he posted the water bills of a Haltom City Council candidate on Facebook
HALTOM CITY, TX, September 12, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — Haltom Firefighters for Responsible Government violated state law when its then-president Jayson Steele posted a Haltom City resident’s water bill highlighting delinquent payments and even water usage in an attempt to smear that person’s candidacy for a Haltom City Council seat.
Jayson Steele took the Facebook post showing the water bill down a few days after it was posted. He is no longer shown as an officer with the fire PAC on the firefighter’s local union website.
Ron Sturgeon, a local business person in Haltom City and a founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance states that Steele routinely posts inflammatory, misleading and harassing posts in HCPTP, a private Facebook group controlled by Haltom City Councilwoman Tiffany Chandler and her husband Nathan Chandler, as well as on the Fire PAC page. You may not be able to find the page; many report that it is blocked. The page says it seeks the truth, but it is limited to supportive members and comments. Also, some report that it is used to secretly discuss city matters or other sensitive material, for members’ eyes only.
Facebook commenters, even those who support the PAC, were shocked at the posting of a private water bill, and many who commented referred to Steele as a bully for using such tactics.
The business alliance filed a complaint against the PAC with the Texas Ethics Commission in August 2022, stating that the post violated Texas state law Utilities Code Section 182.052 barring the disclosure of utility bills of private citizens. Steele requested the utility bills from Haltom City under the open records act, and its not clear who at the city apparently released the bills.
Haltom United Business Alliance Director of Communications Joe Palmer said, “I hope that, since Steele is no longer listed as an officer of the Fire PAC, the rhetoric and hyperbole can be reduced on Facebook and that politics in Haltom City will become more civil, practical and pragmatic.”
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a medium-sized city between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. The city is diverse and majority working class, with a growing population that is approximately 10% Asian-American and 45% Hispanic. Haltom City benefits from being only minutes from both DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth, with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Small businesses that have historically provided products, services, and jobs to residents included a once thriving automotive industry. The city has seen a decline in small businesses, especially automotive businesses. The city is healthy financially, with median household income growing around 8% in the past year. Haltom City has an opportunity for continued growth through undeveloped land and many vacant buildings, especially in major corridors close to the city’s center. The city has good staff and a city manager who is interested in seeing more businesses come to Haltom City, but they can only do as directed by City Council.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses, and bring more restaurants including breweries and a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, its more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
For the original version of this press release, please visit 24-7PressRelease.com here