After calling Asheville City Council member Gordon Smith "Gordumb" in a rant posted on a public Facebook comment thread last night, mayoral candidate John Miall says he regrets his word choice.
"I used a poor choice of words in responding to that post. I have this morning personally apologized to Councilman Smith, and he was as gracious and as gentlemanly as I would expect him to be," Miall says. "Beyond that, the content of my statements regarding the I-26 connector are on the record and I stand by that."
Miall wrote the 369-word comment on Smith's Facebook page after the council member shared a link to a Citizen-Times article about the mayoral candidates' views on transportation issues. The article lead with the statement Miall made at the Council of Independent Business Owners lunch this Wednesday about his views on the I-26 Connector project. At that event, Miall told the CIBO crowd he would support the project, saying, "Eight or 800 [lanes], we need relief. It's that simple.” (Read more about the event here.) In the online comment, Miall wrote in all-caps, "YES I FAVOR BUILDING AN I-26 CONNECTOR."
In the comment posted from his personal Facebook account, Miall also took a brief jab at fellow mayoral candidate Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer, writing "I don't have a law practice to pay salaries for people to run my campaign." However, the comment is no longer available on Smith's Facebook page after Miall deleted it. However, Xpress acquired the full text of Miall's comment.
Here is Miall's full and unedited rant:
Well, well. While I was out campaigning and preparing financial reports (I don't have a law practice to pay salaries for people to run my campaign) The Misleader-In-Chief A/K/A Gordon Smith has stirred a pot. GOing to the top of this thread let e say that the only thing "startling," Gordon is that anyone pays any attention to you. YOur history of deception and misinformation has not fully caught up with you, yet. le's define important terms in this discussion. YES I FAVOR BUILDING AN I-26 CONNECTOR. If you heard the question as it was stated at yesterday's debate we were asked if we suported the "8 lane....." Obviously to everyone except Gordo (or, shall I define this important term as Gordumb from this point on) I made a joke.... Arguably funnier than Tim Moffit's attempt at humor, but a joke none the less. Let's get a pont on the table.... Anyone who REALLY thinks I meant to build 800 lanes PLEASE don't vote for me. I don't want your support! Now, that said, Esther clearly said she and the close to getting this resolved, blah, blah, blah. It didn't sound to me like she was actually AGAINST IT! Now, important terms: The following things are "traffic calming" in the broadest sense and I SUPPORT them: Stop lights/signs, speed humps, regulatory signs like yield, slow, etc. The actual question form yesterday SPECIFICALLY REFERENCED bulb-outs. As a skilled and trained Risk Manager (I would point out I was named public Risk Manager of the Year in 2005 by PRIMA... The Public Risk and Insurance Management Association) that anything done to impede the flow of traffic including but not limited to forcing vehicular traffic across center lines into opposing traffic (INCLUDING BICYCLES, ETC) is creating an unsafe environment and setting the stage for a suit based upon constructive negligence. Those are big words, Gordumb, but feel free to call me if you need a translation. I never have, do not now, and never will agree that such impediments to the flow of traffic are in the best interest of the motoring public, bicyclists, motorcyclists, mopeds, or pedestrians. When applied in such a way as to create an obstacle course for motorists"
When this reporter sat down with Miall a few weeks ago and asked him what he sees as his greatest challenges if elected as mayor, he said it would include working with members of council.
In that interview he said, "I think my first challenge is internally to show that not only can I, but I want to work with them [council]— even if I disagree with them."
Today, Miall says, "I assured councilman Smith when I spoke with him this morning by phone, that I would consider it a privilege to serve with him and the rest of the council and hope, if I'm successful, that they would feel the same."
Smith declined to comment further on the matter, but did confirm that Miall telephoned and apologized to him personally this morning at 8 a.m.
Caitlin Byrd can be reached at email@example.com or 251-1333, ext.140.