West U council candidates respond to Brandtner’s comments

April 27, 2017

Several of the candidates for West University Place City Council have issued statements to InstantNewsWestU.com regarding mayoral candidate Sonny Brandtner’s comments at a candidate’s forum at West University Methodist Church on April 18.  

(For background, see related stories –YOU DECIDE: Is Brandtner’s attack on West U mayor sexist?

Sexist mudslinging, chapter 2: This time it’s surrogate making charges in West U mayor’s race)

Rather than run each candidate’s statement separately, we asked all the candidates for a statement on Brandtner’s comments. The council candidate’s statements are listed in the order they appear on the ballot. 

To view the Sample Ballot for the West University Place General Election, click here.

“I didn’t hear it so I can’t comment. One has to remember the free speech provided in the constitution particularly in a political season.” -Burt Ballanfant

“I was not in the room at the time that Sonny made his statement regarding Susan’s abilities and time, due to the restrictions of the Open Meetings Act.  I have since listened to the Fox 26 tape and concur that Sonny stepped way over the line claiming that Susan did not have enough time to do her job as mayor.  She has done an excellent job, both as a council member and as mayor.  I support Susan wholeheartedly and will be voting for her in this election.” -Mardi Turner

“In this day and age, it’s surprising there is still a double standard for women in the workplace, in politics, or anywhere. I know many moms in West University who have successful, demanding careers as doctors, lawyers, and business professionals while taking care of their family, volunteering, and serving on various boards. Susan Sample has proven her ability to handle the mayor’s job over the past two years. There are several candidates running for office, including men, who have demanding careers, yet their ability to serve West U has never been questioned, and it should not be a selection criterion.” -Kelly Burke

“I was stunned by Sonny Brandtner’s comments about Susan Sample’s performance being adversely impacted by being a working mother.  As Mayor, Susan has done an incredible job of dealing with a difficult City Council.  In addition to ably leading all of the Council meetings, she has also represented the City at an untold number of outside events.  I don’t see how anyone can say she isn’t serving the City well.  This pattern of dedication is consistent with that of the previous four years when I served her on City Council.  She was always on top of the subjects and ready to contribute.” -Dick Yehle

“While I will decline comment specifically on Sonny Brandtner, I fully support equal opportunity employment.  And, I fully support working parents, such as my lovely wife.  I (like other candidates, I’m sure) have an active life and family.  But I make time for the things that matter, like the City of West U and its government.” -Wayne Franklin

“Comments made at the first debate toward mayor Susan Sample were vile, unacceptable and have no place in society.  Susan has been a solid mayor for West University, is a solid professional at her job and has a beautiful family.” -Michael Kaplan

I was particularly shocked, in this day and time, that Mr. Brandtner would personally attack someone who is successfully managing a high-pressure job with a world-class company, raising two young children, and serving as mayor of a small city.  Whether it is Susan Sample or any other person, he or she should be admired and respected rather than being shamed and degraded. Having had sole custody of a young daughter while working full time was difficult enough for me. I admire Susan and her success and cannot imagine anyone being so insensitive and nasty.  Mr. Brandtner should listen to his heart, if he has one, rather than his main supporter and/or adviser. -Bruce Beneke

“I want to be as clear in my support for Susan Sample’s re-election for Mayor as I was the night of the West U City Council Forum at the Methodist Church when Susan Sample’s opponent made a shameful, discriminatory remark against Susan.  It was a similar attack to the one made against my wife, Laura when she was running for Mayor of West U 27 years ago. To be absolutely clear and without equivocation, this remark was inexcusable. Join me and my family in sending Susan back to the Mayorship of West University.” -Bob Higley

George Boehme

George Boehme is the publisher of InstantNewsWestU.com and West University Essentials magazine.

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