Former Hamilton Council President Jack Lacy has resigned two local posts after facing criticism for an e-mail that compared President Barack Obama’s inauguration to the evacuation of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. “I’m confused,” Lacy wrote. “How can two million blacks get into Washington, D.C., in sub zero (temperatures) in one day when 200,000 couldn’t get out of New Orleans at 85 degrees with four days notice?”
In an e-mail to PolitickerNJ.com, Lacy called his resignation letter “my final commentary on this subject.”
“I am now totally and completely a private citizen and do not care to engage in further discussion on this matter,” Lacy said.
The full text of his letter of resignation follows:
After much deliberation and with a heavy heart I tender my resignation effective immediately from the Hamilton Township Library Board of Trustees and the Hamilton Township Redevelopment Agency. This was not an easy decision to come by, given my lifelong love for Hamilton and its residents and my deep and abiding commitment to the proper functions of municipal government for the benefit of all citizens served.
As all who really know me are aware, I have never backed down from a legitimate political fight or policy dispute. However, the politics of today in Hamilton with its pettiness, nastiness and “gotcha” mentality, as practiced by defeated candidates and cohorts operating in the shadow of anonymity, are not the politics that I first entered into 40+ years ago. Then there was honor and mutual respect among political and policy opponents; today there is none.
My record of achievement and accomplishment in a variety of civic and community service roles over those four decades speaks for itself, but the current controversy over a forwarded email joke that has circulated literally millions of times over the internet has become an unfortunate and disproportionate distraction. I do not want to see my lifetime record of civic commitment besmirched and denigrated by such a trivial matter brought on by small-minded people who are attempting to attack by scurrilous and venomous inference the outstanding record that you and the council have already achieved in correcting the woeful financial and managerial conditions inherited from the prior administration.
My true friends and colleagues know that I have never, ever practiced any form of discrimination in my personal or professional life and certainly would not begin to engage in such a vile practice in my retirement years.
I most regret that I will not be able to continue to serve all the people of Hamilton that has been my ongoing passion for most of my adult life. But, from today forward my family and my dearest friends take priority in my life.
I thank you and the council members who have given me unswerving support during this difficult time. And I thank the hundreds of folks who by telephone, email and face-to-face conversations have encouraged me to continue to serve. Regrettably, that is not to be.