OUR VIEW: Public life can be tough

Published on Monday, 11 February 2019 20:34
Written by staff

Former New Britain mayor and now former Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce President Tim Stewart announced on Saturday that he was stepping down from his position with the Chamber.

Gennaro Bizzarro, chairman of the GNBCC, accepted Stewart’s resignation Saturday morning.

The move follows several contentious days for Stewart, the Chamber, his daughter, Mayor Erin Stewart and the city, following Tim’s inappropriate Facebook post during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.

Tim made a crude comment calling female Democratic U.S. representatives, who wore white during the president’s address last week, “Bitches in heat.”

The clap back toward him was swift and loud. “In today’s environment, his insensitivity to women won’t stand, and we are calling on the Chamber of Commerce to ask for his resignation or fire him,” said Alderwoman Eva Magnuszewski, president pro tempore of the Common Council.

Bizzarro said of Stewart’s post, “His choice of words was inexcusable and has no place in modern civil discourse,” adding he was placing Stewart on administrative leave.

“To all of those asking; I’m embarrassed and mortified,” Mayor Erin Stewart wrote on Twitter last week. She also noted she asked for and received her father’s resignation from two city boards and tweeted he had done the right thing by resigning on Saturday.

Tim did write an apology on Facebook which read in part, “My comment was wrong and in poor taste in response to a particular time during the speech that I took offense to. This in no way excuses my behavior and I am deeply sorry to not only the women in my life but to all women for the remark.”

To his credit, Tim has accomplished many positive undertakings for the Chamber and the city. Despite this recent misstep, his commitment to the community should not go unnoticed.

The question now is how will the Chamber move forward? We believe the best course of action is to thoroughly vet all candidates for the Chamber post. This means a complete background check, personal and professional references and yes, a look at each individual’s social media history.

We live in a society where privacy is the exception not the norm. Those who choose to be in the public eye must understand they will be subjected to intense scrutiny on all levels and at all times. Self-control is key.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Editorials on Monday, 11 February 2019 20:34. Updated: Monday, 11 February 2019 20:36.