Weaverville – Two Weaverville residents and at least ten others in support of their position called for the resignation of Weaverville Councilwoman Michele Wood at the Monday evening (July 25th) meeting. The call came during the public comment portion of the meeting (see article page 13).
Weaverville business owner and landowner Lou Accornero was the first to address the council, telling them first of his list of businesses that the buildings he leases are home to and his future plans for a 12,000-square-foot medical building. “I try to fulfill the needs of Weaverville. I do not want my plans destroyed by suggestions or comments from one town council member.”
He went on to point out that Weaverville Councilwoman Michele Wood is “compromised by her emotional and irresponsible comments about suggesting and publishing” a Facebook meme in which she posted, “I would like all the women in my life to stop for a minute, take a long, deep breath, and burn everything to the f*cking the [sic] ground.” Her post came just after the US Supreme Court announced its overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“This comment rates right up there with instigating marches, protests, riots, burning down towns and school shootings,” said Accornero. “It only takes one deranged person to read this comment, agree, and take action.” He went on to say, “The Town of Weaverville needs caring, concerned town council members that can carry on the dream of the original founders of this town and unite us all. We do not need an emotionally and mentally unbalanced woman on the town council who has little concern for our town. ” He ended by calling for Wood’s resignation from the council. He added forcefully, “I never thought at any moment in my life I would ever have to stand up here and say something like this.” Several members of the audience applauded Accornero’s statement.
Resident Doug Theroux followed Accornero’s comments by first saying “ditto” to his remarks, then continued the criticism of Wood’s Facebook post, “Through our lives we all make mistakes, but I’m not here to talk about a mistake. I’m here to talk about a decision made, and in very poor judgment, I might add. For anyone sitting on the town council to make a statement like that might potentially incite violence, it is totally uncalled for and that person needs to resign tonight.” He then made a case for adding a recall process to the town charter, a matter he looked into several years ago. “It’s something I think that should be looked at because Weaverville right now has no provisions for some kind of recall process,” he told the council.
He continued by saying, “Anyone giving a statement like that a thumbs up or a heart should also not be in a position of power that affects the citizens of Weaverville.” His comment was directed at Town Attorney Jennifer Jackson, who gave Wood’s Facebook post a thumbs up.
Theroux added, like the previous speaker, that he did not think he would ever be before the board making this kind of statement. “I didn’t think I would ever stand up here and say anything like this. I have worked with a number of you here and enjoyed it and thought very highly of you, but after tonight I have to rethink that. Thank you.” His statement also received applause.
In response, Councilwoman Wood said, “I would just like to say that the meme I reposted on Facebook was widely circulated in a lot of places as a figure of speech. I’m disappointed that the editors of the paper didn’t see it as a figure of speech and made a mountain out of a molehill, which is another figure of speech. The comment that I reposted: Those who know me know that I spent my entire adult life working with non-violent training and non-violent programs. Speaking up for social justice, and that is why I did that. I have no intention of setting anything on fire in the town of Weaverville.”
The Tribune did contact Wood after she first posted the meme asking about her post and printed her response in Issue 26 of this year’s newspaper, in which she stated, “The post on my personal Facebook relevant to the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was a personal expression of my sadness and outrage over the removal of what has been a constitutional right and personal choice for women for over half a century. I mourn the hardship it will cause so many.”
“In response to your questions, my post simply expressed my anger and frustration over this setback, and I do not advocate violence of any kind, either on my own or in my role as a Weaverville council member.”
Editor’s note: Read the related commentary page 18.