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Porter Should Leave Council

Tim Porter should resign from his position as a St. Clairsville City Council member. His admission that the voice heard on a recorded message made public this week is his leaves Porter with no responsible alternative to stepping down.

In the recording, Porter launches into a profanity-filled tirade against someone else. He has said he was angry because the person owes him money and refuses to pay him.

But also in the recording, Porter mentions Bill Brooks, a candidate for mayor of St. Clairsville — and uses the “n-word” to describe him.

That word is highly offensive. Porter’s use of it may well prompt the nearly 300 residents of St. Clairsville who are classified by the Census Bureau as “black or African-American” to wonder how well he represents them as a council member.

Porter has said he already has apologized to Brooks. Good. But regardless of how sincere he was in telling Brooks he is sorry, their relationship will remain tainted.

After the recording went public, Porter was removed as president of the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce. He said he is considering what to do about his position on city council.

Controversy over whether the municipal water system should be sold to a private utility already has divided both council and St. Clairsville residents. The last thing the community needs is another rift.

For the good of everyone in St. Clairsville, then, Porter should resign from council.

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