Gender and identity politics have become the norm in national and state politics. Now it appears to be trickling down to the local level. After the Hamilton City Council recently appointed Sherry Armstrong to fill Matt Sims’ vacant seat, this newspaper quoted Mayor Bob Page as saying, “We didn’t have a lady serving with us on the council.” The paper reported that “diversity was a deciding factor.” As the country singer Jason Aldean says, “Try that in a small town.”
Choosing a councilperson because they’re a woman is just as bad as choosing one because they’re a man. The citizens of Hamilton don’t need a mayor and council appointing people based on gender, skin color, sexual preference, etc. Hamilton deserves the best people on the council, who are selected based on their ability to do the job. Or better yet, let the people of Hamilton vote through a special election as was done recently in Winfield.
We also need to consider the good name and reputation of our new Councilwoman Sherry Armstrong. Because of the mayor’s comments, the people of Hamilton may now question whether she was the most qualified or was selected because she’s a woman. Her gender should not be an issue and likely would not be an issue. However, the mayor has made it an issue, which is shameful. The reputation of Mrs. Armstrong and our city council will suffer. This demonstrates how gender politics actually hurt people while trying to help them. The mayor should publicly apologize to Mrs. Armstrong and the citizens of Hamilton.
See complete story in the Journal Record.