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.


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aft50s

Under no circumstances should the District allow Lucey to speak to any outside organization-especially the Regional Water Quality Control Board.


I for one do not want to pay for her running her mouth and letting something stupid escape, such as what her sexual preference is or telling the Water Board to go F themselves during the next round of hearings.


Put a choke collar on that woman and tie her up outside.


r0y

Wow, that’s a lot of words for a non-issue.


Off the reservation. LoL?


OnTheOtherHand

On the general subject of “political correctness”, I take the term to mean not using language offensive to another. I think that there are different types of offensiveness and that some are less objectionable than others. Maybe we need to separate them out for purposes of what should be considered publicly acceptable.


Comments indicating distaste for someone based on race, ethnic origin, sex (including sexual preferences), or most other groupings of people by characteristics not of their own choosing should not be used by people who want to be considered decent and civilized human beings. Banning their use in publicly sponsored forums (i.e. citizen comment periods at meetings) is not unreasonable. This could be moderated by an explanation of why such comments are offensive if it is not patently obvious that they are. Not everyone knows the cultural context that makes some comments offensive.


Similarly, profanity should probably be treated likewise, since it is offensive to many people — although I really can’t see a reason why “f**k” is offensive and “copulate” or even “screw” are mostly acceptable. This is changing culturally and may not be much of an issue in another 10 years. I am more annoyed by the fact that profanity is often used as a substitute for thinking enough to express oneself intelligently. Someone who uses “f**k” and its variants frequently for emotional emphasis or just out of habit shows themselves to be verbally deficient in my judgment.


Finally, where “PC” becomes a problem to me is when it is used to deflect honest criticism of someone’s views or behaviors. If someone disagrees with an idea or action, take the time to explain why and stop saying “Oooh, that’s offensive. You are a (insert label here.)”


While there are some (OK, a lot of) people who refuse to consider other ideas and keep repeating the same views over and over, it is best to just ignore them at that point rather than wasting your energy on indignation. The same applies to people who rely on simplistic labels (“liberal lunatics”, “right-wing fanatics”) to make their arguments rather than using coherent points. They may be offensive in one sense but not at a level that justifies silencing them. After a while, anyone who is not on the same wavelength as they are can see them for what they are and will disregard them too.


justbeware

Lucey, Lucey, Lucey, you gotta make up your mind!

First you allow Matt Guerrero to sit on the San District board because you say you “want the best and brightest representative from Oceano”, then YOU replace him.

Which is it going to be, “the best and brightest”, or you?


falconbh

Contact California State Auditor


http://www.auditor.ca.gov/bsa/high_risk


givemeabreak

Lucey is a joke always has been and will always be. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.


achillesheal

I hope you don’t mean smoke a peace pipe. You might have to go on an apology tour of your own.


SloTownMan

Peace pipe ? too funny


BeenThereDoneThat

Welcome to the thin skinned states of America. Oh wait can I say thin skinned? Are there thin skinned people I should know about and make sure I’m not offending them? What to do what to do. It is so hard being politically correct.


kayaknut

It’s California, of course you are offending “thin skinned” people, just saying “Hello” to someone can offend.


OnTheOtherHand

Those who don’t take the time to consider the impact of their words (or care about them) seem to be the ones who complain most about “political correctness.” Granted, “PC” can be taken to ridiculous extremes but it seems to me that someone who is routinely careless about use of words and labels is either being intellectually lazy, slightly sociopathic or lacks the ability to make a coherent point on a subject. Deflecting criticism of that by accusing the offended person of being “thin-skinned” does not reflect well on one’s character.


citygirl

Kudos for someone saying this action was not appropriate.


Once the meeting is over, speak whatever way you want. You were merely moving from one room to the other, the meeting was continuing.


If people think this language is okay, then speak it on the dais, other wise wait until the meeting is over.


It is not about sticks and stones, it is like John Shoals stated “DECORUM” Something Oceano officials seem to lack


justbeware

How ironic, Ms. Lucey is all about rules of decorum, yet shouting at Mr. Edwards to F-himself is ok.

Disagreement is to be expected, but there’s no need for an elected official (or anyone else) to be dropping the F-bomb at a public meeting.