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City of Bainbridge Island City Manager Finalist Anthony Williams will be one of three panelist tonight in a scheduled "Meet the Finalists" virtual meet and greet put on by the COBI. Williams has served as the Mayor of Abilene, Texas, since 2017. He also hold the position of Advancement & Executive Community Relations Officer at Abilene Christian University. He has worked at the university for 23 years in various positions. Some include roles as, Chief Business Services Officer and Director of Retail Operations. Mr. Williams holds a B.A. in Education from McMurry University.
The issue at hand, his employer of 23 years has a history discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Abilene Christian University is the same university that banned same sex relationships for any student staff in 2018. Also the same university that does not allow any faculty or staff to be in same sex relationships as it does not align with the religious doctrine. ACU is also ranked on Campus Pride's "Worst List" for universities that are not LGBTQ friendly.
"Abilene Christian University has qualified for the Worst List because it has a past and recent history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination and most recently, implemented an aggressive, discriminatory ban on same-sex relationships for student employees (including same-sex dating) that has created an inhospitable, harmful climate." - Campus Pride Website
You can read various articles on the recent history of Abilene Christian University's relationship with LGBTQ issues.
- March 2018 - ACU bans same-sex relationships for student employees
- March 2018 - Abilene Christian Alumni Fight Back
- April 2018 - Abilene Christian University policy discriminates against LGBT students
- March 2019 - Abilene Christian University professor argues homosexuals should be excluded from Boy Scouts of America
So... Will this be addressed at the meet and greet? Did anyone on the City Council, City Staff or the company used to hire the new City Manager (SGR) see this before Mr. Williams made it to the short list of finalists? Should this matter in the hiring of a City Manager for the City of Bainbridge Island?
We have reached out to City Council members for comment.
C.O.B.I.'s last permeant City Manger, Morgan Smith left in December of 2020 as her contract was not renewed and the City Council had decided to put on a nationwide search.
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