During the Monday, April 2nd, City Council meeting, Council recessed for a 15-minute Executive Session to address a complaint against a city official. Upon returning the City Council meeting continued as normal, until the unfinished business portion of the agenda. At that time Mayor Nancy Backus turned the meeting over to Councilmember Largo Wales, who requested the audience indulge her.
“On March 5th at a Council Meeting, I used some very inappropriate language to make reference to one of my fellow councilmembers. I do not want to make light of this situation, it’s serious.” Wales began, as she addressed the Council chamber. “I will cease and desist and learn from this experience, and hopefully continue to represent the citizens of Auburn to the best of my ability. I further want to apologize to the Council, and to the public. And I am a lifelong learner, and my goal is to improve.
“But I want to go on to say that there were some things that precipitated it, but they are not an excuse. And so, my goal is to work with Council, to improve leadership and to improve communication within us, [within] this group. So that we can get the job done for the city that we all love. Thank you.”
The apology comes after a month of Deputy Mayor Bob Baggett making several attempts to resolve a complaint resulting from the hot mic gaffe. The executive session needed to see that resolution has been postponed several times, for a variety of reasons.
When asked how he thought the matter should be resolved, Councilmember John Holman, of whom the gaffe was made about, has maintained that “my hope is that Wales will apologize to her colleagues (collectively) and to the public, particularity the young Scouts in attendance that night. A personal apology (to me) is not necessary.”
Of the incident itself, Holman said “it was a momentary lapse that resulted in a trivial mopery…I do not want to see something so trivial used to distract us from our mission.” He further expressed that, “the council needs Largo’s intellect and knowledge. She has much to offer.”
When asked about Wales’ letter, Holman shared the concern that the letter took the wrong approach. It was his hope that it would be rescinded before becoming public. As it was not, Holman provided a rebuttal to the letter, available here.
With her apology, the matter of Wales’ gaffe, something that can happen to any elected official, should be considered closed. It has been made clear through various statements that all Councilmembers wish to put the matter behind them.
The questions of inequality raised in Wales’ letter require further exploration. Updates will be shared upon satisfactory investigation.
Last Updated: Monday April 2, 2018 10:35pm