Marx blames “blog” in settling SLO flag dispute
March 6, 2013
The council voted 3-1 to add Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, as well as September 11 and a fallen firefighters day, to a list of days in which it instructs staffers to fly flags at half-staff. Marx voted in favor of the flag policy additions, which many people requested after a December 2012 incident in which city management instructed staffers to raise a flag they had lowered in honor of the Pearl Harbor victims.
CalCoastNews first reported the flag dispute in a Dec. 10 article.
“This blog was never true or correct in its inaccurate and poorly done article,” Marx said Tuesday night. “They didn’t do the research they needed to do before they made their accusations.”
Marx said the city complied with its flag display policy during the Pearl Harbor Day incident.
“The blog insisted on with the ‘California city snubs president, victims of Pearl Harbor,’ despite numerous attempts to convey the actual city policy, which we did follow,” Marx said.
CalCoastNews reported in the article referenced by Marx that city management indeed complied with the flag policy in disallowing staffers to fly flags at half-staff on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day without mayoral approval. Marx, however, told CalCoastNews after the posting of the article that she did not learn about the request to lower the flag on Pearl Harbor Day until staff had already rejected it.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Marx said she endured “unnecessary and difficult” reaction to the raising of the flags on Pearl Harbor Day.
“Certain people who either work for the blog or read the blog then contacted various veterans groups around the country who are very concerned about these kinds of issues,” Marx said. “And then I got a lot of various nasty email from people all over the place who had a really distorted and inaccurate picture of what the role of the mayor is and what the policy of the city is.”
Prior to voting to add Pearl Harbor Day to the list of half-staff days, Marx said, “I support this change in the policy, so it will be even more clear, not that this is going to create better reporting on this blog.”
The council also considered amending the flag policy so that the mayor can only instruct staff to lower the city flag, and not the American flag, following the death of a prominent citizen of city employee. But, the council dropped that amendment to the policy after Councilman Dan Carpenter said it would show “some level of insignificance” to lower one flag and not the other.”
“We’re Americans first,” Carpenter said.
Councilwoman Kathy Smith cast the lone vote against the flag policy update. Smith said the council did not receive enough public input on the matter.