While most people say things in the privacy of their homes that they would never say in public, the accidental July 4 Facebook Live posting by Anderson Mayor Tom Broderick provides a troubling peek at his attitude toward city council members.
Though we find nothing in the video to confirm an allegation of racism, which has been leveled against the mayor by some, the mistaken video post — and then the mayor’s unintentional removal of his post taking responsibility for the video gaffe — indicate a concerning carelessness.
The unintended Facebook live post, however, does not demand the mayor’s resignation, as some have suggested.
Some members of Anderson City Council plan to meet via Zoom at 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss what they’ve termed “requests calling for the resignation” of the mayor. They also intend to discuss the city “employment” status of the mayor’s son, Evan Broderick.
The younger Broderick resigned from his post as assistant city attorney in 2018 after pleading guilty to drunken driving. But he has continued to work for the city as a contract attorney.
Evan Broderick is in trouble again after being arrested last Thursday night by Edgewood police on another allegation of driving while intoxicated.
His repeated problems with the law should preclude the city from using him in any capacity.
Mayor Broderick, meanwhile, has had a lot of explaining to do over the accidental Facebook post. His phone was in his pocket when the post started, so no visual images accompany it.
But the 10 minutes of audio have circulated on social media. And it’s embarrassing.
Both Brodericks can be heard in the video laughing about Councilman Ty Bibbs being selected as the community’s most eligible bachelor in the 2007 Best of Madison County survey by The Herald Bulletin.
At one point, Mayor Broderick says, “Those people are driving me nuts, Evan,” followed by an expletive. The mayor then states his appreciation for not having to see council members during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve got to be honest,” he says. “I’ve been so excited about it. I don’t have to look at them most of the time.”
Bibbs and two other members of council are Black, leading to questions about the mayor’s use of the expression “those people.” Given the context of the video, however, Broderick is clearly talking about all council members who have opposed him.
The council has often opposed the mayor, despite the fact he is a Democrat and seven of the nine councilors are Democrats.
“I was expressing frustration,” the mayor told The Herald Bulletin. “I’m still frustrated because nothing is being done on serious, pressing matters. I apologize to anyone who was offended.”
While that frustration is understandable, the immature attitude, reflected in the video, toward fellow government officials is not.
Broderick will probably find the council even more difficult to deal with now.
Here’s hoping he offers a sincere apology in person Thursday night, and that he works hard to achieve mutual trust and a functional working relationship with all members of the council.
The people of Anderson need elected officials to work together — rather than against one another.