Charlottesville mayor issues apology for critical comments

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer had his wings clipped a bit by fellow City Council members on Wednesday.

mike signer charlottesvilleSigner, under fire for comments made in the aftermath of the events at an Aug. 12 white supremacist rally that seemed to throw City Manager Maurice Jones and Police Chief Al Thomas under the bus for their roles in overseeing what became an out-of-control security situation, issued a lengthy apology after a long closed-door meeting of the City Council.

The City Council, in turn, issued its own statement, as a body, noting that it had not asked for Signer’s resignation, and “reiterates shared responsibility for good governance and conveys Council’s commitments to working effectively together for the best interests of the City and its people.”

The mayor had come under increased public scrutiny after speaking critically of Jones and Thomas following the Aug. 12 rally, which resulted in the death of one protestor, numerous injuries and images broadcast across the world showing police standing idly by as protestors and white supremacists clashed on the streets.

“In the deeply troubling and traumatizing recent weeks, I have taken several actions as Mayor, and made several communications, that have been inconsistent with the collaboration required by our system of governance and that overstepped the bounds of my role as Mayor, for which I apologize to my colleagues and the people of Charlottesville,” Signer said in his statement released to the press today.

“Going forward, I am committed to working with my colleagues on City Council to putting the needs of the City and our community first.  I am looking forward to working for consensus and to forge unity.  I have honestly enjoyed this opportunity to discuss a fresh start with my colleagues during this closed session,” Signer said.

The City Council statement acknowledged the need to move forward.

“We all faced a horrible tragedy in Charlottesville, a city we all love. We faced this challenge as a city, as leaders within it, and as individuals. We still face challenges. We acknowledge that people in our community continue to hurt and that we have a long road ahead to address the issue of equity.

“But we have to move forward. We have recommitted to one another to work as a leadership team – learning from the events of the day, discovering ways to have a more constructive community dialogue moving forward and, eventually, reemerging as a stronger city. To be successful, we as leaders must be united if we expect our community to be united.”