Tomorrow is Glenn Beck Day in Mount Vernon, Washington. The Fox News host will receive a ceremonial key to the city and speak at $25-per-person sold out event. But not everyone in the town of 32,000 north of Seattle is happy about it.
The idea came from Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris who knew beck as a youngster. He’s been working on it for more than a year, when Beck was still a host for HLN. Mayor Norris is even picking up the tab. “I decided to recognize him for his professional achievement, not for his political views,” the mayor tells the AP‘s Manuel Valdes.
But the 7-member Mount Vernon city council isn’t happy about it and Wednesday night they unanimously passed a resolution stating, “Mount Vernon City Council is in no way sponsoring the Mayor’s event on September 26, 2009 and is not connected to the Glenn Beck event in any manner.” The council was given a petition bearing more than 16,000 names from those opposing Glenn Beck Day.
What do the locals think?
“I’m really sorry that it is happening,” said Rosie Gates-Malone, a Mount Vernon resident. “I think Glenn Beck is an extremely divisive, controversial person. He doesn’t bring people together. I think it was a big mistake on our mayor’s part.”
Allison Moreland, who owns a business in downtown Mount Vernon, disagrees: “I think the mayor has the prerogative to do what he wants. The little bit I’ve listened to, I pretty much go along with (Beck’s) stuff, what he’s saying about the government. I think a lot of people need to hear it.”
(Photo: Glenn Beck’s 1982 high school yearbook photo, courtesy of Sehome High School, Bellingham, WA)