Board member should apologize for cursing

August 10, 2015

Mary LuceyOPINION By PATTY WELSH

On July 15, I attended the meeting of the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District Board of Directors that turned into a circus act of sorts. Jeff Edwards went to the podium during public comment and started to speak when Oceano Community Services District Board President, Mary Lucey came unglued. She stood up and started yelling at Mr. Edwards and then stormed out of the chambers.

The comment that upset her was when Mr. Edwards claimed, the sanitation district administrator, Rick Sweet, had “gone off the reservation.” Lucey returned to the dais and was allowed to make a statement, “Racism comes in many different ways, and I’m Blackfoot Indian and I was born in Montana and I was born on a reservation and my grandmother was raised in an orphanage.” She went on to say, “So when someone says to me ‘you’ve wandered off the reservation’ it is the most bigoted comment you can make to a Native American and it’s insulting and what’s really insulting is when you do it in front of a room full of adults and they allow that type of bigotry to continue, so Mr. Edwards, you’re bigot.”

I was one of the adults in the room and I had no way of knowing Ms. Lucey is of Native American decent, so to include me was offensive. Quite frankly, I don’t know what she expected any of us to do.

What I found most offensive, and unprofessional, was later when the board went to closed session Ms. Lucey walked by Mr. Edwards and proceeded to cuss him out. She did so loud enough so that everyone could hear her. I was offended by her words and her actions and was actually embarrassed for her.

It appears Mr. Edwards and Ms. Lucey have some history between them, if she had something to say to him, she should have asked him to come outside or go into another room to discuss the issue. But, don’t subject me to your foul mouthed ways Ms. Lucey, show me some respect as a resident of the district and as someone who does not curse at you.

At the last sanitation district meeting, I went to the podium and asked Ms. Lucey for an apology for using such language. She chose to sit there with a smirk on her face. I waited a good long minute and nothing was forth coming from her.

To use offensive language should not be okay with anyone elected her. That might be how you run your meetings in Oceano, but this was not about Oceano and this was not your meeting.

I am still waiting for an apology Ms. Lucey.

Patty Welsh is a long time Arroyo Grande resident and a member of the Arroyo Grande Parks and Recreation Commission.


Loading...
achillesheal

Ms Lucey obviously has no reservations about using foul language.


info

“she should have asked him to come outside or go into another room to discuss the issue.”


Perhaps you needed to heed your own advice and request an apology in private rather in a public district meeting and CCN?


kettle

info says :”Perhaps you needed to heed your own advice and request an apology in private”


Bull, Public verbal abuse deserves a public apology. Privately apologising for public shitcommenting about someone has been the status quo for centuries.


The offender is in the wrong, table turning not needed.


smiley

Did any of you P C language officianados bother to look up what the expression means? If you knew you would know there is no reason for a rational person to take offense.


OnTheOtherHand

I will tell you what it means to someone who grew up near Indian reservations — ones with serious problems with racial discrimination.


The expression “going off the reservation” has a presupposition that the person to whom it is referring is some sort of lesser person that doesn’t deserve to be in general society. Since reservations are (for people in this country) reserved for Native Americans, there is a racist context to it. It would be the equivalent of saying to someone, “why don’t you go back to the ghetto where you belong.”


That said, through ignorance and thoughtlessness, the expression has also come to be used to indicate that the speaker thinks someone has exceeded their authority. I suspect that this is what Mr. Edwards meant when he used it in regard to SSLOCSD manager, Rick Sweet. That doesn’t make it right but it would make it a more forgivable comment.


I think that Ms. Lucey over-reacted — especially since the comment wasn’t aimed at her — but she should be allowed to point out and object to the racist connotations of the comment. Previous friction between Ms. Lucey and Mr. Edwards will likely prevent her from accepting the idea that he may not have been intentionally racist and will likely prevent him from offering even a limited apology to her (or Mr. Sweet who probably deserves it more.)


SLOBIRD

“…The expression “going off the reservation” has a presupposition that the person to whom it is referring is some sort of lesser person that doesn’t deserve to be in general society. Since reservations are (for people in this country) reserved for Native Americans, there is a racist context to it. It would be the equivalent of saying to someone, “why don’t you go back to the ghetto where you belong.”


Am I missing something here. I do not intent to be offensive but since when do Native Americans have to live on a reservation? Isn’t that a choice? I have never thought about anyone in this Country having to live in a designate area. I thought it was a choice in live in whatever state, county, city, town, village, etc. This is very confusing to me, guess I am not PC in culturals!!!


Bluebird

There is no hope for Oceano.


winedude

You were offended because someone was swearing? BFD…relax and realize that a significant chunk of them population uses what you consider to be objectionable language. Tough titty said the kitty (but the milk tastes good)…


Julie

Patty says, “I was one of the adults in the room and I had no way of knowing Ms. Lucey is of Native American decent, so to include me was offensive. Quite frankly, I don’t know what she expected any of us to do.


What I found most offensive, and unprofessional, was later when the board went to closed session Ms. Lucey walked by Mr. Edwards and proceeded to cuss him out. She did so loud enough so that everyone could hear her. I was offended by her words and her actions and was actually embarrassed for her.”


Looks to me that the cascade of Maryism’s will just continue. The woman doesn’t know how to apologize and never will. She still owes the citizen volunteers an apology for labeling them all racist’s early this spring. http://calcoastnews.com/2015/04/playing-the-racist-card/


whatsinaname

Once a person is comfortable in their skin and know who they are, they don’t need apologies to make them feel right.


achillesheal

amen brutha or sista! You should never give another control of how you feel because of the words they say. Those that do are mentally weak.


kettle

” Those that do are mentally weak.” sez the person behind an anonymous monicker.


achillesheal

Ok “kettle”. Is that your first or last name?


kettle

whatsinaname says:” once a person is comfortable in their skin and know who they are, they don’t need apologies to make them feel right.”


While that would make a great t-shirt for Adam Hill, it has nothing to do with the standard of decorum that should be self evident, for a meeting of the citizens and public officials doing the public’s work.


Both of you would likely respond in a different way if that was you (real name) in that public hall on the receiving end.


whatsinaname

Just to clarify:

I think the the speaker was wrong to use a racial slur.

I think the board member was wrong to cuss him out.

I think the author of this article was wrong to demand an apology.


A quick apology at the moment a mistake was make is the polite thing to do. But it doesn’t fix the problem.


The board member demanding an apology shows either grandstanding or an inability to mentally deal with something that happened generations ago.


The author of this article demanding an apology from the board member shows the same thing.


If you have to demand an apology after time has passed, then you have a problem with yourself, because the late apology has no teeth and fixes no problem.


pigsrule

I don’t nick-pick usually about spelling, but at least the title should be accurate. It’s spelled ‘apologize’ not apologies.


cb3636

Ignorance of ones heritage does not an excuse make.

You should be equally embarrassed of the racist remark as you were for her cussing.

Mr. Edwards should be the first to apologize in this situation.


R

You probably don’t think anything of ‘gyping’ someone, ‘jewing them down’ on price, Indian summer, etc., being offensive, but hey, you’re probably white and christian.


You’ll be holding your breath a long time if you think she’s the one who needs to apologize.


achillesheal

If the council woman is offended by colloquialisms then why is it not OK for the author to be offended by words that are offensive per se?


Perhaps all involved should be forced to recite the “sticks and stones” childrens rhyme 500 times.


1 2 3