I confess to being fairly new to the Huber Heights political scene, which I hear can be a circus. I don’t know all the players, their agendas, or motivations.
I’m not naive enough to think that all politicians will act with a certain level of decency, but I still expect it. Politicians serve at the pleasure of the public and are paid with public dollars, and they should act as such.
Unfortunately they don’t, and that’s what happened at last night’s Huber Heights City Council meeting.
During that meeting, the Council debated appointing candidates to fill the vacancy in Ward 5.
While debating the candidates, Council Member Ed Lyons accused members of the City Council of not being willing to give applicant Eva Newby fair consideration due to her sex and her race.
“I wonder if she is capable of being voted on by this body based on her recommendations,” said Lyons. “I do question whether Ms. Newby is going to get the votes tonight because I know her gender is female and her race is African-American…I wonder if from this council she is going to get a fair shake”
Those are some pretty serious charges being leveled at the other council members, charges not to be taken lightly.
On Tuesday, Mayor Thomas McMasters posted on Facebook that “Ed Lyons is an embarrassment to the City and should resign,” and accused him of “polluting” the discussion.
“He (Lyons) is a racist by not understanding that Ms. Newby’s resume’, involvement on Huber Heights Citizen Boards, interview and community activities stand strong on their own and didn’t need him to try and shame council into voting for someone he subconsciously must believe is inferior,” wrote McMasters.
The whole thing is ridiculous, and unless Lyons has evidence or proof, he should retract his charges and apologize.
If one is to level a charge of sexism and racism in a public meeting, he better damn well have the goods. Otherwise he should keep quiet and discuss the matter in other circles. When Lyons tried to accuse Council Member Glen Otto of actions that demonstrated bias, he was confronted with facts and said “Oh.”
I’m not a big fan of airing the city’s dirty laundry on Facebook and other social media, but I’m even less a fan of unspecific accusations of racism and sexism. That has no place in today’s society because the lasting, and possibly even permanent, damage it can do to one’s reputation.
Beyond that, it’s an embarrassment to the City of Huber Heights, its business community, and its residents.
This accusation, which is almost certain to blow up in social media, will do nothing but embarrass the city at the hands of its elected officials – yet again. That’s a shame.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.
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