Editor: As you probably have read in the papers, Leesburg Town Councilmember Tom Dunn wrote hurtful and insulting remarks on several town proclamations instead of just affixing his signature and I denounce those remarks.
On a proclamation for Juneteenth, he wrote: “Juneteenth is a celebration, Lynching is not.” On two other proclamations for Gay Pride Month and Gun Violence Month he also wrote incredibly insensitive remarks.
At the next meeting of the council, I publicly denounced Mr. Dunn for his behavior, and strongly suggested he needed to apologize to all African Americans, members of the LGBTQ community and victims of gun violence who were insulted. I did this publicly, at the beginning of Council meeting and I stand by that statement.
At Monday night’s meeting of the Leesburg Town Council, four motions were made by Councilmember Campbell. There were:
1. Discussion of censuring Councilmember Dunn at Tuesday’s Meeting.
Since this item was not on the public agenda, the council had to vote to suspend the rules, then vote to discuss censuring Councilmember Dunn at the Tuesday meeting. I voted yes to both, which unfortunately did not pass.
2. Council member Campbell made another motion to add to the agenda of the next business meeting, a censure based on the Ethics Code 2D 1.1. Council rules of procedure do not allow next business meeting motions, if they are controversial, as there would be no notice to the public. As this would be a violation of the rules, I voted against that motion.
3. Lastly, Councilmember Campbell made a motion to censure at a future meeting. Since this vote was again, not for a discussion but to censure, I voted again with the rules and against the motion to censure.
I believe Councilmember Dunn’s actions were not only hurtful and insulting but also reflect badly on the Town of Leesburg. I am very proud to live in this town and represent its citizens. Recent actions like this and others have no place here and I will do everything I can to put a stop to them. There are, however, rules that the Town Council operates on to be fair and equitable to all. I will abide by those rules which we have to operate under and work to change others.
I work very hard to represent all of Leesburg residents and I will not allow any bullying behavior to distract me from my work with the community.
Mayor Kelly Burk, Leesburg