I would like to address an issue regarding the Mayor of Buckhannon joining in on the platform of the “Hate Has No Home Here/People Power” protesters. I have a few personal opinions of why I feel that Mr. McCauley should not have been part of a very partisan rally. However, I am going to stick with the one reason, that I believe, all residents of Buckhannon, should agree on. When “our” Mayor makes a speech promising protection for a particular group of people, he has stepped out of his position as “our mayor” and has become a mayor who chooses politics over sound policy.
In his speech, Mayor McCauley stated that he pledged the city will soon adopt a more comprehensive ordinance “further expanding protections for our LGBTQ residents.”
You have now pandered to one party, and are no longer a mayor for the community as a whole. And that creates bitterness in the community. Instead of pandering, the Mayor should have made it clear that he would do his best to see that ALL residents, and ALL visitors, would be safe. And that our city leaders would strive to provide an environment that makes everyone feel welcome. Before anyone questions my “heart,” please just sit back and think about what our mayor supported: not only did he allow protesting and marches during an already planned event in our small town, (which ended up taking the fun out of the festival because of the protest/rally, and extended circumstances causing fear of the protest/rally) he also made it seem as though he was in agreement that we currently have a hate problem in our town.
If Mayor McCauley felt as though we have a problem in “our” community, he, as a “leader,” should have scheduled a town meeting and community invitation to discuss and try to resolve the issues, among ourselves. The biggest percentage of people who were in the protest/summit were not even residents of Upshur County, let alone the city of Buckhannon. Doesn’t Mr. McCauley have enough respect for his constituents to tell them about a problem, if he feels there is one. Speaking to outsiders about city issues shows poor leadership, a disrespect of sorts. It merely divides us.
Mr. McCauley, I live in Buckhannon, vote in Buckhannon, and pay city taxes and fees, so I implore you to show me and the other residents, the decency of keeping the city’s business within the city for everyone, not certain groups. I would never think to ask you to keep heterosexual women safer than any other, and I expect the same respect from you.