Owatonna Mayor shares letter following calls for resignation
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - In a letter, Mayor Tom Kuntz says in part: “Our small-town values usually mean that we bring integrity to our work, we look out for our neighbors, and we support our community’s endeavors. Sometimes, however, these small-town values may make us uncomfortable with change and less open to people we don’t understand.”
Back in June, Mayor Kuntz made stirred controversy with his comments about a July 8 Pride event being held at a church.
Nathan Black, the founder and chair of Rainbowatonna, says in a letter addressed to the city council: ”Kuntz was upset that Associated Church was hosting this service and asked bizarre questions like, ‘Are there going to be stripper poles in the sanctuary?’”
In this letter sent Friday, Mayor Kuntz said that he “...realized that the discomfort I have been experiencing is minor compared to what some of our community members, neighbors, and especially young people, have experienced every day of their lives.”
On Friday, Rainbowatonna also released a new statement, saying that both parties worked together to take a positive step forward in resolving concerns regarding the mayor’s actions prior to the Rainbowatonna Pride events.
Nathan says: “I know that it takes a lot of courage and commitment to do the hard work of making amends and I am very appreciative of Mayor Tom for meeting with us.”
Rainbowatonna’s Pride event in July was a success. This year, organizers did move it from the church due to safety concerns.
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