Local government

Diversity & Equity controversy comes to Barre City Council tomorrow night

William Toborg and other members of the Barre City Diversity & Equity Committee will appear before the City Council tomorrow night.

By Guy Page

The Barre City Council Tuesday, September 27 meeting agenda includes an “Appearance by the Diversity & Equity Committee.” 

The Council’s interest in hearing from the D&E Committee has been whetted by controversial statements made by three of the five committee members – including chair Joelen Mulvaney – that committee member William Toborg does not belong on the committee because he opposes legal abortion. 

The comments – recorded on this YouTube video – took place at an August 12 meeting after Toborg described how he was pressed into an outdoor wall by a car driven by someone angry at the anti-Article 22 sign on his mini-van outside the August 9 primary polls in Barre. Far from expressing concern about the incident, three committee members said his pro-life views should exclude him from the committee.

Mulvaney also said Toborg’s Roman Catholic religious views should have no place in committee discussions, which she said may not include religious views on (in her words) political and social issues. Committee members Ellen Kaye and Emily Wheeler both said Toborg should not sit on the board because of he opposes legal abortion. 

In a follow-up email, Mulvaney said she will mute Toborg at any future meeting unless he is speaking to offer his resignation.  

Greg Quetel, the fifth member of the D&E Committee, and its only black member, disagreed with Kaye and Wheeler: “In the spirit of inclusion in the true sense I think we’re all made better when everyone can tolerate each other and accept them.”

It is not known what action, if any, the Council will contemplate tomorrow night. Mulvaney wants the Council to ‘ferret out’ candidates unsuitable to Mulvaney’s understanding of the committee’s mission. Supporters of Toborg have emailed the council voicing displeasure over his critics’ intolerance. Some have called for their ouster from a committee dedicated to diversity.

The meeting begins at 7 PM at the Council Chambers in City Hall, and may be attended in person or via Zoom. The Diversity and Equity Committee is #9 on the agenda. A ‘round table’ discussion and possible executive session (meeting in private to discuss personnel or contracts) will follow.

The next meeting of the Diversity & Equity Committee is scheduled for 6 PM, Thursday September 29. 

Categories: Local government

11 replies »

  1. Joelen and her committee members are SICK! Don’t they know that we live in America and EVERYONE has a right to free speech regardless of any other affiliations. Wm. Toberg is being chastised because of his opposing views? That’s all? He’s not given a chance to offer another informing view? WRONG and un-American!

    For those who don’t quite know, here is an example of Equity vs Equality. You have a classroom with teacher grading the students after an exam. Some students study their hearts out to get a good grade. The other students just ignore the need to prepare. The teacher comes back and announces to the students that she averaged out the grades to give everyone the same grade because it’s ‘only equitable’ (Equity). We’re told that doing things this way makes everyone feel equal. (All about feelings and emotions). Meanwhile the students who worked very hard for good grades felt cheated that they weren’t given what they deserved for their efforts. (lack of Equality). The principle of my classroom example can be applied to business, politics, anything and everything and is the reason don’t bother trying to succeed anymore.

    EQUITY is the move towards Socialism and ultimately communism. Those council members need a fresh course on the Constitution and even to be fired until they understand what they’re doing!

    • You are so right. The chairperson needs to reread the Constitution, Liberty and Justice for ALL. Not just for the ones who agree with her. She needs to take her marbles and go home. We don’t need anymore pettiness in our government

  2. Equity, CRT, Transgenderism, Transvestite Library Time, etal, are just too cool, hip, progressive and fair to be anti-American and evil. Everybody receives everything regardless of your hard work or laziness.

  3. Members of the Diversity Committee would do well to look up the word “DIVERSITY” in a good dictionary such as Webster’s. To save time I referred to my on-line copy: “diversity noun
    1 : the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: VARIETY
    [plus illustrations]
    2 : an instance of being composed of differing elements ; an instance of being diverse….”

  4. The question is simple: Does the Barre City Council believe in the First Amendment. If not, and if they support Joellen, and if they are then challenged in court, they will lose, and they will end up paying the plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

  5. The committee was born out of a resolution, #2020-05, Resolution Condemning Systematic Racism and Police Brutality. The first line references George Floyd and Brianna Taylor, which neither person is connected to Barre City or Vermont. The resolution and the board were created by false pretenses. Primarily, this Board was created by supporters of Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matters is an organization that is now under numerous Federal and State investigations for fraud and money laundering. A number of chapter leaders convicted and sentenced. When reading their mission statement it references Barre City “was developed on Sokoki Abenaki land, which the Western Abenaki nation never ceded, made treaty for, nor were they conquered.” Essentially, the entire United States was developed on tribal lands. It goes on to reference a number of Democrat/Progressive talking points that are copied and pasted from the manuals of political engagement and rhetoric. They also have not posted the minutes of their last three meetings and missing others from 2022 and 2021, a clear violation of the law. The committee is a fallacious group of talking heads with no authority and no ethical foundation. The committie should be disbanded immediately as they are a group of frivolous political hacks with no meaningful purpose or legitimacy.

  6. And, why does Barre, VT need this committee? Just look no further than the council itself. A vote should be taken to disband this committee tonight. Also, who appointed life long agitator Mulvaney to chair this committee? This isn’t about diversity or inclusion, it’s about abortion. Another farce committee to promote the death of the unborn. Vermont needs to flush these fanatics out of public service. They only serve their self interest in radical policies that no one with a brain wants.