Steve Siegel running for Odessa mayor
Last updated 8/26/2017 at 4:32pm
Steve Siegel is running for mayor of Odessa. Why, you might ask? He says he waited until the second-to-last day to file for the position, and at the time no one else had filed. He did not feel it was right for the council to have to appoint someone, which is what happens when no one files for the office of mayor. The council then appoints a mayor.
Siegel thinks there ought to be, at the very least, two people interested enough in their community to compete for the office of mayor, so he was actually pleased when council member Bill Crossley put his name forward for the same office on the final day of filing. Siegel says he looks forward to a spirited campaign for the office between himself and Crossley.
What prompted Siegel to talk to The Record this week was some Facebook traffic that made mention of his “lack of education.” He wanted to give the citizens of Odessa a bit more information about his background.
From about third grade on through high school, Siegel was put into special education classes. It turned out that he had serious learning disabilities, mostly related to vision problems that were not even diagnosed until he was about to enter high school. Nevertheless, he learned to read and reading became an escape from a home life that included an alcoholic step-father who delivered harsh punishment to his sons. Only much later in life did Siegel learn that his step-father, a World War II veteran, had fought in the Battle of the Bulge and very likely came home with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
At any rate, Steve Siegel escaped into books, devouring them to keep himself out of his step-father’s line of sight whenever possible. During the academic year, he rarely missed a day of school, for that was also an escape. He always had stellar attendance in school.
He also developed a life-long love of poetry, and as an adult began to write his own poems. He freely admits that he needs help with the refinement process, making sure that all the words he sees in his mind also end up on the page and that all the proper grammatical rules are followed.
At the age of 17, he felt that he had had enough of school, enough of being classified as a special education kid, enough of being called stupid to his face even by some of his teachers. He went down to the army recruiting station after having forged his mother’s signature and enlisted. When his mother found out what he had done, she marched him down to the recruiting office, where she, Steve and the recruiter worked out a plan for him to serve in the reserves while he completed high school and then report for active duty.
So he stuck with it, finished high school with a certificate of completion and entered the army, ending up in Viet Nam, in his own Battle of the Bulge. He served, he came home, he worked for the Forest Service, he retired.
He currently serves as commander of American Legion Post #105 and volunteers for duty in providing color guards for various events.
So back to the question, why run for mayor? Siegel said he feels that the town crew and clerks are doing a great job and are keeping the town running smoothly. He said he would depend on those around him, council members and staff, to help him lead the community.
Siegel’s two major goals for the town of Odessa if he is elected are to create award programs for Outstanding Citizen of the Year (to be named the Bill Nixon Memorial Award) and for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year (to be named the Tim Hauge Memorial Award). Each award would include a $100 gift certificate to any business in Odessa.
Since he is retired, Siegel believes he can devote his time to town business exclusively. He is ready to go out knocking on doors as election day approaches. Don’t be surprised if he drops by your home or business in the near future.