Typically, the mayor of Buckhannon reserves his official statements — which he reads aloud from a sheet (or two or three) of paper — at the end of city council meetings when yawns and the desire to head home has set in among council members and attendees alike.
But Thursday’s message wasn’t a typical one, and it couldn’t wait, David McCauley felt, as he began to read his statement, even before the traditional moment of prayer and silent meditation and Pledge of Allegiance to the flag had gotten underway. In the wake of the Unite the Right rally and opposing protests Aug. 11-12 in Charlottesville, Va., which left one woman dead and 19 people injured, McCauley felt it was his duty to deliver an unequivocal response — one that left no one in doubt about Buckhannon’s stance on inclusivity.
“We are extremely fortunate to live in a close-knit, inviting, tolerant and inclusive community,” McCauley said. “In the wake of the horrible events occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, we here in our Buckhannon-Upshur community need to be united and vigilant in our rejection of hate and those who would seek to exploit it here.”
The mayor pointed out that Charlottesville was a mere 174 miles — or about a three-and-a-half hour drive from Buckhannon. If it could happen there, it could happen almost anywhere, he said…