Letters and comments for February 23, 2012

By Observer Upload February 23, 2012 01:54 pm
Letters and comments for February 23, 2012

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To the Editor:

I grew up in the wonderful city of La Grande and was a proud graduate of La Grande High School and Eastern Oregon University. In my experience, La Grande has always been a place of beauty, culture and extraordinary people. 

As mayor of the city, Mr. Pokorney has the duty to represent himself in a professional and respectful manner of which we can all be proud. I find it unfortunate that he has chosen to publicly express homophobic views for the world to see on the Internet, as it is a poor representation of the town I love. 

I count several gay individuals among my friends, and I assure you they live a life to be proud of. Bigotry is never acceptable, especially from an elected official. If equality before the eyes of the law is too much to ask for, I believe his moral compass needs adjustment. 

Late Monday, I was pleased to learn from a friend that Mayor Pokorney apologized to a crowd at Eastern Oregon University for his remarks. However, Tuesday afternoon, I logged onto Facebook and noticed the inflammatory remarks had not been removed. I continue to hope that Mr. Pokorney will remove the posts from his public profile and offer an apology to the rest of the people he offended.

Michael Godfrey



Apology not enough

To the Editor:

Mayor Pokorney’s recent brash and reactionary comments on his Facebook profile caused a spark of outrage that I believed would lead to him explaining his comments. 

The “forum,” as it was called, held Feb. 20 at Huber Auditorium on the campus of EOU was, what I thought, to be the aforementioned event.

However, the city of La Grande suffered a great injustice as this so-called forum was merely an event where a marginalized population of La Grande (EOU students) were only allowed to express their comments on the words of Daniel Pokorney and were specifically told that they could not ask him questions.

The event that should have been a discussion between La Grande residents and Daniel Pokorney was merely a 50-minute saving-of-face for the mayor. It opened with an insincere apology by the mayor, continued with people expressing their thoughts as the mayor scribbled away on a piece of paper, and then ended with a promise by Mr. Pokorney to take those thoughts into consideration.

I myself commented on how Mr. Pokorney’s Facebook posts were obviously formed by his own Christian beliefs as he made a reference to the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

By doing this, Daniel Pokorney has proven to the city of La Grande that he cannot keep both his religious and political ideals separate and, because of his inability to do so, Mr. Pokorney is not fit to serve the citizens of La Grande in an unbiased and fair manner. 

Another event must be held where Mr. Pokorney is held responsible for his comments and must answer to the outcry of the citizens. After this, Mr. Pokorney should either resign from the office of mayor or a petition to recall him be circulated.

Joshua Gross

La Grande