FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Residents of Fairmont poured out to the city council meeting Tuesday evening regarding derogatory remarks made by one of its council members.
Many of the residents called for the resignation of David Kennedy because of his online statements regarding people of other races and people in the LGBTQ+ community.
Kennedy said he made a pledge to uphold the constitution and offered no public apology for his written words. He stated in Tuesday night’s council meeting that a resignation would be giving up the fight for truth, justice and the American way. Many people in attendance repeatedly asked for his resignation from council.
“It’s really discouraging to see somebody with this position in our city speaking in a public forum making comments that have no place in any society polite or otherwise,” said David Knapp, resident of District 2 in Fairmont.
Knapp stated that he felt it was discouraging seeing someone like Kennedy in a position within the city and not see any action by council to terminate his position. He also said that anyone elected should be held to a higher standard.
“I’ve seen the posts that were made. It saddens me anytime anybody says things to intentionally hurt other people because I personally don’t live my life that way,” said Brad Merrifield, Mayor of the City of Fairmont.
Many of the residents stated that Kennedy has on multiple occasions made racist remarks and think that he is trying to hide behind his military service for the use of language.
“Public servants have to be held to a higher standard. They should hold themselves to a higher standard. Whenever you are associated with the City of Fairmont or anyone in Marion County, your behavior reflects on the county and on the City of Fairmont,” said Andrew Mills, a resident of Carolina.
Mayor Merrifield said that council will proceed to make things right while doing their job. He also stated that Fairmont is an inclusive city and will remain so.