To the Editor,
While I don’t normally respond to articles in the News-Graphic, I feel the need to provide some balance in the discussion and concerning the Fairness Ordinance and my vote.
I was somewhat surprised that the paper failed to contact me before they ran the article disparaging my vote on the ordinance. It is clear from the article that the paper provided only one side of the debate.
Yes, it is true I voted against the ordinance. Yes, I have apologized for the way in which I expressed my opinion on the matter. However, the reaction to my vote against the ordinance has gone beyond just disagreeing with my stance and vote on the matter and appears to have taken on a personal vendetta.
Not only did those favoring the ordinance file a complaint with the city council about the matter in which I expressed my opinion, they proceeded to file an ethics complaint. A complaint which even the ethics board found meritless and determined that it did not meet any of the criteria of the ethics violation.
If I had to do it all over again, I would still vote against the ordinance. While I do not believe that anyone should be subject to discrimination in their life, that does not mean that I feel the ordinance as passed by the council will stop such discrimination. I will point out that while I voted against the ordnance which passed 5–3, I will support the wishes of the majority council.
However, what I do not believe the paper fairly pointed out was that most phone calls and emails which I received concerning the ordinance prior to my vote, were against its passage. While those who favored the ordinance took offense at what they called “several disturbing behaviors,” their anger is really because I voted against the ordinance.
Their contention appears to be that if I disagree with them, then I am prejudiced against them, wrong in my personal opinion and must in some way be punished. They have contended that my vote was against what was right for my constituents. Yet they fail to realize that I represent those who favor the ordinance as well those who oppose the ordinance.
It wouldn’t matter how I voted; they simply choose to believe that I cannot possibly be representing my constituents unless I voted the way they wanted.
They found it “reprehensible” that after 20 people spoke in favor of the ordinance, I still voted against it. Yet, there were more than 20 people who spoke against the same ordinance. They further allege that I failed to pay attention to the speakers during the public comment portion of the meeting.
However, I listened and noted each of the more than 60 people who spoke for more than two hours at two different meetings. However, refusal to agree or disagree is unbecoming to those who choose to file a meritless ethics complaint and seek satisfaction in the newspaper.
Continuing harassment won’t change my mind or change my vote. I would hope that the next time this paper decides to choose sides in a matter that they at least report both sides of the story.