The Mayor’s Process ‘Made a Good Choice Poorly’

Letter to the Editor

It’s the battle of the strawmen. Writing in support of Mayor Marina Khubesrian’s commission appointments, Joe and Jennifer McNulty inform us that it’s good to “intentionally add more female voices” to city commissions. No one has argued otherwise. No one, full stop. 

The argument against Mayor Khubesrian’s approach to this question is that she made a good choice poorly. She discarded male commissioners who provided honest and reasonable service to the city and did so without telling them personally and in advance that she would not reappoint them. She didn’t communicate, and treated people disrespectfully after they volunteered their time in service to the city. The remaining question has to do with what kinds of knowledge and experience were lost by the wholesale rejection of most male commission candidates. 

The mayor and her supporters have turned the discussion into a cartoon in which the anti-progress hayseeds stand around sucking on a blade of grass and wondering why they got womenfolk wearin’ bloomers in public, these days. They’re disputing a fiction they’ve invented in their heads. They’re arguing with Ron Burgundy: “It’s anchorman, not anchorlady!” No one thinks any of that. 

It’s a good goal to work toward gender balance and viewpoint diversity on city commissions. There are reasonable questions about how Mayor Khubesrian is getting us there. 

Chris Bray