50 signatures reached
To: Residents of Hopatcong
Ryan Smiths Resignation From Hopatcong Council
In recent times we have witnessed the discriminatory actions of one of our elected officials, Ryan Smith. As taxpayers in this town, we have expected that the officials elected into office maintain a level of professionalism towards the general public.
What we have come to see over the last two years is the following:
1. Ryan referred to a female councilwoman as a witch and her coven.
Despite that the councilwoman has a reputation that has remained unblemished, he has stooped down to degrading names.
2. Ryan has stated, about the same woman, that her knowledge of government and sewer maps is that of a kindergartener. This is all despite her ability to read all available sewer-related items and attend classes to help ensure she is fully versed in government operation procedures (unlike the rest of the council).
3. He recently expressed his anger with a school funding cut. He is painfully uneducated about this school funding cut and chooses not to learn about it. Instead, he blames Governor Murphy for giving money to " Urban Crackhead" children who have more chance of not graduating, so they don't deserve the funds. These words make both himself and our town look like we are discriminating against people living in these urban areas. Many areas that have once been home to a lot of Hopatcong residents.
4. During his most recent rant, he described his anger as the state "raping" our school system. For someone so capable of using such a horrific word so fluidly, it waters down the significant impact it plays on rape survivors. "Rape" is not a word to describe situations you disagree with.
The worst part of all of this was his half attempted apology after spending the entire day doubling down on his statement across social media. Later that evening, in a town council meeting, he said he was sorry but that his daily positive posts about Hopatcong get "crickets." Hence, he chose his words intentionally, knowing it would serve as "clickbait" for his Facebook page.
We want to make it known that this is not what Hopatcong stands for. We are not a town that likes to disparage women and children, nor do we feel that we are better than any other person. We all feel the struggle of decisions made at a state and local level, but we can express frustration without bashing an innocent person.
Watch his apology (32:30): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a49Z99imYU0
Why is this important?
If we do not start to stand up against this type of behavior, it will continue the culture that we live in an area that breeds hate. If you look at comments on the many local articles, you will see a common trend that people outside our area think of our town as racist and bigoted. We are fully aware that we are far from it, and the words of one do not reflect the ideology of the majority of us.