LETTER: Pella council, mayor can do better

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Letter to the City of Pella and it’s Councilmembers:

The City of Pella announced, 3 hours before their “special” city council meeting, that they will “take no further action” regarding allowing topless teenage girls to walk around their taxpayer funded pool. For some residents, this was the first they had heard of the issue. For others, this issue has been the forefront topic of their homes lately. But regardless, many rallied last minute to make it to the city council meeting.

Not one person that addressed the council supported the bare breast policy that the city council upheld in the earlier Facebook post. The council meeting was standing room only by 10 minutes till and the outpouring of support for the policy change spilled over into the parking lot.

The comments from the citizens were spot on. One resident said “The Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on this, the District court hasn’t ruled on this. So, why are we ruling on this?” Another resident said “This family friendly facility is now a place where children are at risk for indecent exposure. Whether the perpetrator is a creepy old man on a playground, or a teenage girl at the pool, it is equally criminal behavior, and the City of Pella should be treating it as such. As far as I’m concerned, the City of Pella is complicit in this abuse of children if it attempts to look the other way .” One resident even brought up that “This is worth our tax dollars and if you fight, we’ll fight with you.”

Mayor DeWaard was visibly uncomfortable when one resident brought up the fact that the issue was an “middle teen biological female” He cut her off saying “Now, let’s not make this about a person. Let’s keep our comments about the issue at hand.” My response to this is, this one person is the issue right now, Mayor. When these policies were created, it was all a woke and trendy idea. This is the reality. If it makes you uncomfortable to hear the words “middle teen biological female” in regards to who is walking around topless, imagine how much more uncomfortable it made the patrons of the city funded pool who had to witness this child parading around, with their own children and families around.

Councilwoman Branderhorst…. Explained she’s lost sleep over this issue. She said this hasn’t been easy for them and doesn’t know what the right answer is. To Councilwoman Branderhorst, I would say this, we didn’t elect you to do the easy job. You ran for office and were elected for this day, the day to stand up for Pella and what it’s residence stand for, and to do the right thing. You said we can’t just rule on popular opinion. Well, sometimes popular opinion and the right thing are synonymous, and today is that day.

To the Mayor and City Councilmembers, you were elected to represent the City of Pella and do the right thing by your constituents. You can’t be timid and cater to the wrong side of the issue because you are afraid of the possibility of a lawsuit. Set the precedence. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to make you uncomfortable sometimes. And sometimes, you’re going to have to dig deep, do the hard work, and get messy in the process. If you can’t do that, if you are unwilling to do that, then it’s time to step down from your post and let someone else who can.

Sincerely,

A Constituent who thinks you can do better