I am out of the city today on business, and I am responding to the announcement by Acting Mayor Thomas Richards that he is resigning, in order to launch a campaign for Mayor without the threat of legal problems inhibiting his candidacy.via WHEC TV.
The implications of this announcement are very troubling.
It presumes that City Council will proceed with plans to call for a special election this winter, rather than prevailing upon Mr. Richards to “act as Mayor” for the balance of this year, in order to allow for a more orderly fall election under the City Charter.
Today’s announcement presumes the continuing denial to the citizens of this community of their most fundamental right to freely elect the candidate of their choice for the most important elective office in the city. It presumes that the personal agenda of a handful of political bosses are more important than those of the people they represent.
That such an announcement could come one day after the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday is most ironic. Yesterday the country remembered the monumental contributions of a man who gave his life for the rights of all citizens to fully and freely participate in a democratic society. Today’s announcement has the potential to gravely undermine those rights.
I join with concerned members of the community who strongly implore the majority of City Council to resist this blatant effort to force a special election on our community. I add my voice with those citizens who say that if Council persists in this folly, that decision will not go unchallenged or be soon forgotten. If and when a vote for a special election by the end of March 2011 is offered, I urge one of the five Members who expressed their intention to vote for that election to join the four of their colleagues who bravely and wisely refused to do so.
I will make no statement about my own plans for this campaign at this time.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Posted by Philbrick at 8:59 PM