So, our mayor is gay. So what!
This is 2018 and in spite of daily hateful rhetoric from Washington, even the most conservative Turlocker should be able to muster a “live and let live” attitude on matters of sexual preference. After all, whether we know it or not we all work, worship and recreate daily with gay and bisexual people.
What counts in a civic leader is competence and motive. We now have a 3½-year track record with which to rate this mayor. He lauds himself and takes a lot of credit, as witnessed in the Journal’s June 27 article and free editorial page space provided to him.
But what’s behind all the big talk?
During his tenure, scores of city employees including two city managers, a police chief, a fire chief, a public works director, a planning director, a city attorney and several engineering staffers have quit. Several long-time and trusted public servants even took pay cuts to get out.
And ask current city employees about their morale, assuming they aren’t looking over their shoulders in fear of retribution. I’ve asked several and they’ll tell you morale is at an all-time low and many will tell you why. The mayor figures prominently.
The mayor uses the “I” pronoun a lot in taking sole credit for things, but we don’t hear much from him about running the not-for-profit, community-based Turlock Certified Farmers Market out of downtown in favor of a for-profit venture by an unproven friend of his campaign.
But here is the interesting thing. By “coming out” during this election season, the mayor provides himself with insulation against legitimate criticism. Anything said that challenges him can be brushed aside by his minions as so much homophobia.
That’s an argument I hope the electorate won’t allow itself to embrace. This mayor’s actions should have opened him to a vast amount of legitimate political and management-style critique from the public and from the local newspaper, all subjects that are fair game.
Being gay is immaterial.
— Bob Crawford, Turlock