Democratic Party: ‘Call for only black representative on Evansville City Council to resign is offensive'

Weaver calls for council president to step down after social media post

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - An Evansville city councilman is calling for Council President Alex Burton to step down after a comment Burton posted on social media.

“The city’s number one problem is the person sitting in that President’s chair,” at-large council member Jonathan Weaver stated.

After a heated city council meeting Monday night where personal attacks played out in the public eye, a dispute between council members continues.

The council is composed of nine members, mostly Democrats, and everyone except at-large member Jonathan Weaver was at the most recent meeting. Weaver says he planned to stay away from the issues until a post was made on social media by the Council President.

City Council President Alex Burton wrote on Facebook that he has nothing nice to say about how Monday night's meeting played out.

Burton ended his comments by saying, “The two Dixiecrats are awful and are an embarrassment to our city. Period.”

Dixiecrats were a political party in the south that supported segregation.

“Here we are in 2020 where too many of our residents have a lack of access to health, food, a lack of housing, and just overall quality of life that prevent all of our residents believing this city is for them,” Council President Alex Burton shared.

“With a Facebook post like that, he needs to resign from council,” Weaver said. “The EVSC needs to look at keeping him employed. We don’t want our children around a person like that.”

“I apologize for calling him a Dixiecrat; maybe it was spoken out of the wrong place,” Burton added.

Missy Mosby, who represents the second ward, also wrote on Facebook that Evansville “deserves better” and addressed disrespectful remarks made during the meeting.

During a discussion over local COVID-19 testing, Mosby told Burton that she has ‘done a lot’ for her ward, to which he replied: “feeding the pets does not count.” Mosby responded by saying Burton was out of line.

“I am an elected official for the city of Evansville, and we should be held to a very high standard of how we treat others,” Mosby said by phone Tuesday evening. “And if he is going to continue to call us names and not be professional, then he should step down.”

President Burton says he has full confidence in his abilities for the position and that it’s time to move past what he calls ‘petty games’ and other obstacles that prevent the city from moving forward.

Wednesday, The Vanderburgh County Democratic Party released a statement.

“The Vanderburgh County Democratic Party would like to be clear that Black Lives Matter. This does not mean only black lives or black lives matter more. What it means is that to move beyond the systemic racism that still stubbornly persists in our communities, we must have black voices in leadership to bear witness first-hand to the personal experience of racism. Without those black voices, we will not be able to find solutions that will reduce the inequalities and mistreatment of those who are discriminated against. The suggestion that the only black representative on the Evansville City Council resign is offensive and counterproductive. The Vanderburgh County Democratic Party is proud of the leadership that Alex Burton has brought to the City Council. We fully support him and his hard work to make E for Everyone and we strongly encourage all members of the City Council, regardless of party affiliation, to hear his voice.”

Copyright 2020 WFIE. All rights reserved.