A mayor in Ohio who said last week that ice fishing could lead to prostitution has resigned from office on Monday.
During a Feb. 8 City Council meeting, Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert, 65, said he feared ice fishing on Hudson Springs Lake would eventually lead to prostitution.
“Additionally, if you open this up to ice fishing, while on the surface it sounds good, then what happens next year? Will someone come back and say, ‘I want an ice shanty’ on Hudson Spring’s park for ‘x’ amount of time? And if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution,” Shubert said. “Now you’ve got the police chief and the police department involved. Just data points to consider.”
The City Council was silent for a moment following Shubert’s comments, before a council member said, “I’m not in favor of shanties,” which elicited laughs from others in the room.
Shubert’s comments were widely mocked on social media. Responding to Shubert, Midwest comedian Charlie Berens joked, “Guy, what kind of bait are you using?”
Midwest content creator Myles Montplaisir also addressed the controversy.
“I want to come out and publicly deny any sort of affiliation with a prostitution ring when it comes to my ice shanty, alright? I’m just out there dropping poles in holes,” he quipped.
Shortly after his remarks went viral, Shubert announced his resignation and explained his ice fishing comments were made “out of concern for our community.”
“City Council workshops are a time for discussing important matters, the sharing of ideas and concerns, as well as one’s knowledge and experience prior to crafting legislation to establish new laws and policies. My comments at Tuesday’s workshop were made out of concern for our community; what could become of unintended consequences of new legislation, based on my prior television news reporting experience,” Shubert wrote. “My attempt to inject a bit of dry humor to make a point about this, in the midst of a cold, snowy February, was grossly misunderstood.”
“Some in our community saw this as an opportunity to engage in the politics of personal destruction by means of character assassination, blaming me for the negative international press they helped to promote,” he continued.
Hudson City Council President Chris Foster said in a statement on Monday that members of the City Council “respect his decision and wish him the best in the future,” according to Cleveland.com.
A new temporary mayor will be selected by the City Council and will hold the position until the mayoral election in November.