Two members of Bath Township’s Board of Trustees had a heated argument during the board meeting on Oct. 17, 2016.
A board member attempted to make a motion when suddenly a discussion broke with board member Cindy Cronk and Ryan Fewins-Bliss. Clearly upset, Cronk proceeded to make a comment to Fewins-Bliss, saying he is “such a girl”. To see what happened, visit https://bathtownship.viebit.com/#tlX0SCV2D1Lx . The feud starts around 2:20.
Fewins-Bliss said he believes Cindy was being demeaning in her comments.
“First, it’s a commonly-used gay slur, to refer to gay men as girls. Second, acting like a girl shouldn’t be equated to ‘bad’ or ‘wrong.’ I’m not sure why she would see femininity as a bad thing,” he said.
Fewins-Bliss made a post about the incident on Facebook. Soon after, the community’s online forums were buzzing. Many were offended by Cronk’s comment, because not only is Fewins-Bliss a man, but he is a member of the LBGT community.
“Cindy Cronk’s statement that he was acting like a girl is a degrading comment…she is stating that acting ‘like a girl’ is a bad thing” said Bath resident Elizabeth Miller.
Cronk now has filled a police report due to some threatening posts made by others on Fewins-Bliss’ Facebook post about the incident.
Cronk’s daughter Lisa Mosely said many people rushed to judge Cronk’s actions.
“Most of the acts on this video by Fewins-Bliss are inappropriate and unprofessional. Let’s hold all of this town’s official to a higher standard and held accountable for their actions on board. The moments leading up to the 3:10 mark should be carefully examined also,” Mosely said.
Cronk also had other citizens defending her comment.
“The way the ‘incident’ was talked about the other day I was prepared to see a knock down drag out fight… I saw a grown man speak to Cindy in a condescending and rude manner and I saw Cindy shut him down,” said Bath resident Heather Hadley. “Kudos to Cindy for standing up for herself.”
Fewins-Bliss said he understands that she was mad, but this should not excuse her from her actions.
“Deep down, I don’t think that Ms. Cronk is homophobic per se, but when she’s mad, she lashes out with primal instinct,” he said. “Unfortunately, this language was what was inside her. She’s mean-spirited and when stood up to, this is how she responds.”
The majority of residents just wanted the board to take responsibility for their actions and move forward.
“We as community members and taxpayers elected you to speak for us. (You all) suck at it! If I behaved at my job like most of the board members behave at theirs, I would be fired,” Bath resident Shannon Vlasic said.
For more information on Bath Township, and to see future Board of Trustee meetings, visit http://www.bathtownship.us/