Letters: Former Thorpe supporter offers reasons he now backs Antioch mayor’s recall

Claims mayor is lying about recall proponents

Publisher’s Note: With apologies, this letter was received in the Herald’s junk email folder on Wednesday, Feb. 9 but not discovered until Sunday, February 27.

Dear Editor:  

Mayor Lamar Thorpe, tonight you lost a supporter.  I am sure my one vote won’t be missed and my one signature that I have decided to give towards your recall won’t be the difference maker, but I am choosing to sign anyway.  I was firmly in your camp when you ran for council in 2016 and once again when you ran for mayor in 2020.  I was sold on the vision that you said you had for our city, on your campaign slogan of transparency, and your promise to listen to us citizens.

When the news hit that you’d been served with recall papers I was angry for you.  Although I thought the post of the picture of you with the framed petition was childish and beneath an elected official, I brushed it aside as an act of a hurt man that wanted to appear strong.  I believed you when you said it was a very small group of individuals that wanted you removed.  I even bought into the idea that it was racially motivated.

Then I saw you start to advertise for a fundraiser calling the residents trying to recall you “Karens”.  I couldn’t believe that you would stoop to name calling and bullying.  The mayor of our city should be above any tit-for-tat tactics, and it was really off putting to see you treat residents that way.  You are still their mayor and are supposed to represent the best of us.  This was a poor representation.

Sadly, I missed the celebration of our city that took place downtown on Sunday.  I would have liked to attend but was at least able to see the pictures and watch the videos online.  I cannot even explain to you my level of embarrassment and horror when I heard that an event that was meant to celebrate the last 150 years in Antioch was used as an opportunity to discredit the recall attempt against you.  Your speech took away some of the joy instead of enriching the day.

The tipping point came today.  I happened upon a TikTok video of you making fun of the recall attempt, yet again.  What I saw were two boldfaced lies.  The first lie was that those attempting to recall you are against body-worn cameras.  Mayor Thorpe, meeting minutes are public and easily accessible.  The names I have seen advertising your recall signings are repeated, several times, in the minutes asking for body-worn cameras.  This was not a simple misunderstanding; you are actively attempting to discredit these individuals.

The second lie was that they do not want the Sycamore Corridor cleaned up.  Did you know there was a neighborhood cleanup, here last month?  I did, because I live here.  It was the recall volunteers that were here, walking the streets, picking up the trash, and chatting with us residents.  This video made me want to look more at your social media and that is where you lost me.

I could not believe what I saw when I went to your Facebook page.  You posted that you’ve cleaned up Sycamore, you even had the police here to take a photo with you.  How can you post this and completely ignore the woman and teen that were killed here?  How can you say it’s safe when there was a shootout here in broad daylight just last week?  The only conclusion I can draw is that you wanted to appear as if you’ve made these changes because the recall petition mentioned how you responded to the businesses in Sycamore Square.  You created an illusion to make it look like you’ve done something there when in fact nothing has changed.  You are trying to use those of us that live here as a political pawn, and I am ashamed that I ever supported you.

Miguel Vazquez

Antioch

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