Just because President Trump has said obnoxious things does not excuse inappropriate comments by local elected officials. Including Snohomish County Fire District 1 commissioners.
ACCORDING to its human-resources policy, Snohomish County Fire District 1 “values diversity and strives to have a diverse workforce.”
Two district commissioners set this effort back when they joked during a recent commission meeting about hiring “Mexican” workers to save money.
It’s good that Commissioners David Chan and Bob Meador apologized, although it’s disappointing that they were allowed to vote on whether they should have been disciplined. They should have been recused from that decision.
Especially troubling is Chan’s comment that “Our president has said a lot worse.”
That’s no excuse and normalizes President Donald Trump’s worst behavior.
Recent displays of poor behavior include Trump’s apparent refusal to shake German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hand during a photo opportunity and false accusations that he was spied upon during his campaign by President Obama.
Yet here we are in March, with elected officials comfortable making insensitive jokes about Mexicans during a public meeting.
Fire District 1 is one of the state’s largest providers of fire and emergency medical services. It grew with the population and by forming partnerships built on trust and mutual respect. Now it provides service in the cities of Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds and Brier, as well as unincorporated areas.
Ethnic minorities are driving much of the area’s growth. Snohomish County’s percentage of Latinos — most of whom identify as Mexican — has increased to nearly 10 percent, or 71,113.
Commissioners must be clear that they value these residents just as highly as everyone else they serve. Regardless of what the president says.