Even political leaders can, do offend

Councillor made a Facebook mistake and said she was sorry

Editor, The News:

Re: O’Connoll criticized for ‘R’ word post (The News, May 7).

Through retrospection, I recognize that Pitt Meadows Coun. Gwen O’Connell, only after having this brought to her attention, has been enlightened to the err on her recent Facebook post, and I  must trust that her apology is sincere and heartfelt.

But I would be amiss if I did not take this opportunity to advocate for the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows citizens who require and engage our agency’s services.

As the director with the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living, overseeing programs that support adults with developmental disabilities, it saddens me that we live in a culture where some find humor in hurtful and derogatory comments and continue to defame, based on individual ability level and cognition.

In June 2013, the Municipal Advisory Committee for Accessibility Issues awarded two local citizens for their campaign effort entitled “Spread The Word To End The Word,” with the intention to bring awareness of the hurtful nature words create.

Given Pitt Meadows has council representation on this committee, it is disappointing  that we are having to draw attention to what some municipal leaders  may find humourous.

To Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters, I commend you on your decision to be more cognizant before posting future comments on social media.  Your constituents surely have entrusted you, as a senior community leader,  to demonstrate mindful work of the city, its people and core values, on both a professional and personal level.

Roger Larmor, director employment and

community services

Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living