Letter: Travel debate did not have to escalate

Published 9:30 pm Monday, May 21, 2018

The writer is commenting on a story in Wednesday’s paper, “Accusations of racism surface at City Council meeting.”

Although I am not a resident of the city, I have served on the Human Relations Council. I have also spent 20 years dealing with cases of allegations of discrimination. Folks, everything is not discriminatory, unless you make it.

I am amazed this situation was not settled in a diplomatic way. My understanding is the request for travel was raised as a normal request. Now, at the first sign that something negative was about to happen, why didn’t someone on that council ask what, if any, policy on travel had been established? Then discuss policy and not try and turn the discussion into a race issue.

If there has been no definitive policy, shame on previous councils. If there is a policy, maybe it is time to review it. But surely council could have made a decision without all the negative publicity. I mean $1,000 is not worth what is happening. At the time the funds were allocated, the council could have very well specified, for the record, it was not setting a precedent and the policy would be reviewed.

Shame on the City Council for allowing this to escalate.

— John Mitchell