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3/10/2019 11:15:00 AM
COMMENTARY: All-male West Lafayette City Council calls itself out as 'absolute disgrace'

Dave Bangert, Journal and Courier Columnist

WEST LAFAYETTE – What Gerald Thomas said Monday night had been fairly obvious – at least, should have been obvious – to anyone who’d been to the 38 monthly West Lafayette City Council meetings since the most recent municipal election in 2015.

It’s just that no one said much about it.

“It’s bothered me for some time,” Thomas, an at-large member of the city council since first being elected in 2007, said near the tail end of a fairly routine meeting in Happy Hollow Elementary’s former large instruction room, otherwise known as the city’s temporary council chambers.

The temporary room wasn’t the problem. It was, he said, the nine people sitting in front of it.

“There’s an august group of gentlemen at this front table, doing great work for the city,” Thomas, a Democrat, said. “But there’s something wrong with this picture. There’s not a female sitting at this table, representing the city as a council person.”

The West Lafayette City Council – four Republicans and five Democrats – has been all-male since the 2015 election, when council members Ann Hunt and Vicki Burch did not run for re-election. Three women who ran that year for city council seats did not win.

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