Trustee Arti would not apologize, but I will.
On Monday night, I nominated Jack Powers to serve on the Citizen Police Oversight Commission along with other candidates for various commissions. Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla and two other trustees spoke against Jack’s appointment. But Arti elevated her attack against Jack to unprecedented levels. She attacked him personally and publicly, labeling him racist and misogynistic. I am deeply shocked by the demeaning and derogatory nature of her attack.
Arti’s comments against Jack are the kind of comments that people lose their jobs over. In some towns, board members who engage in such behavior have been publicly censured. And since Arti refused to apologize for her attacks and her accusations, I will.
Jack, I am sorry. I am embarrassed and ashamed that you were attacked by a village board member. Arti’s views and comments do not represent the views of a majority of this village board. We reject Arti’s attacks and her labeling of any village resident. Such labeling and name-calling mimics the same behavior from the White House that many of us vehemently reject. We must do better.
I believe we get elected to serve our residents, not to attack them. As public servants, we must always strive to bring people together, not divide them. And we must never make false accusations against our board colleagues, staff, or residents for any reason. It is wrong to bully resident volunteers from the board table or anywhere else in the village.
Our desire is to leave the village in a better place than we found it. We are expected to be civil and respectful as we serve our community.
We can’t effect change alone — we are in this together. How we treat one another matters. What we say matters.
And what we do matters even more.