Dilworth apologizes for the note that prompted Cort to quit.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
In what may be a first, David Dilworth says he’s sorry.
The Pacific Grove activist sent a “mea culpa” press release Aug. 9, apologizing for the way he worded an Aug. 3 email to P.G. Mayor Dan Cort.
Unless the mayor steps down for “family reasons,” Dilworth had written, he would begin a recall campaign. Cort announced his intent to resign in an email to media hours later, pasting Dilworth’s message beneath it.
“I made a mistake using words that reasonable people find politically threatening and inappropriate,” Dilworth wrote in the Aug. 9 apology.
“In the days following, I have learned good people were angered and saddened by this…I promise to be much more careful of my words and comportment in the future…So I pledge to continue working to protect our community's environment and public influence in governmental decisions. I ask that you forgive my mistake and give me another chance to live up to your expectations.”
Anger with Dilworth was palpable at the Aug. 5 City Council meeting, where more than a dozen speakers rallied to Cort’s defense.
Following the outpouring of support for the mayor—and vitriol against Dilworth, as expressed in emails, letters and comments to the Weekly’s online stories—Dilworth attempted to retract an opinion piece criticizing Cort’s environmental record.
“Because of my public promise to much more carefully choose my words, I must withdraw my commentary,” he wrote in an email to the Weekly.
The op-ed, titled “Mayor Cort Quietly Harming Real Sustainability,” addressed the reasons Dilworth—whose nonprofit, Helping Our Peninsula’s Environment, has taken on anti-pesticide and anti-development crusades—targeted Cort, arguably the most environmentally minded mayor in the county.
“To my growing alarm, with Cort as Mayor, the City has impaled our real, physical environment, like the deer impaled on a sharp fence this spring, which the Mayor was warned about years earlier,” Dilworth wrote.
“Mayor Cort, who in real life is a developer from Stockton, can say the word ‘sustainable’ five times in one sentence but that didn't mute the dying deer's screams as it was impaled on a developer's new sharp fence this spring only a block from Mayor Cort's house.”
Dilworth hung up on the Weekly when this reporter called to verify that he's not dropping the recall campaign. But the campaign website, RecallCort.com, is still functioning.