HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights City Council Member Ed Lyons accused his fellow Council Members of being sexist and racist on Monday evening. The accusation was made during the council’s discussion about appointing a member to the vacant Ward 5 seat.
The seat became open when Tracy Dudley resigned last month.
Three applicants were under discussion when the comment was made – Eva Newby, Michael Urig, and Jerry Wamsley.
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. The accusation came after Member Glenn Otto moved to appoint Wamsley.
“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, she, from this council she is going to get a fair shake based on her impressive resume.”
Council Member Janell Smith said that she was angry about the accusation.
“I’m appalled and quite angry that my colleague would bring that to this city,” said Smith. “We don’t need that in this city, it was a reckless statement, and I think you should apologize to the applicant but also to the residents of Huber Heights and your colleagues. Shame on you.”
Otto also called on Lyons to apologize and called the statement “appalling.”
I don’t make those comments lightly nor do I make them on a whim,” said Lyons.
“Ed is about the stupidest person I’ve ever met and a sleaze ball,” said Mayor Thomas McMasters. “If he has any love for the city, he should resign. Everything he says reflects poorly on this council.”
On Tuesday, McMasters posted on Facebook that “Ed Lyons is an embarrassment to the City and should resign,” and accused him of “polluting” the discussion. He reiterated his call on Lyons to resign.
“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.
No appointment was made to fill the vacancy since a majority vote was not reached. With five votes required to fill the vacancy, the motion to appoint Wamsley failed 4-3. A motion to appoint Newby failed 3-3 with Smith abstaining.
If the vacancy is not filled within 30 days, under the City Charter, McMasters will have the power to fill the vacant seat.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.