ACHTUNG: The following is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
“Next time, Hubert, ever the gentleman, offers his seat to a woman in a public lavatory… There is considerable misunderstanding.” — Vivian Stanshall, “Sir Henry at Rawlinson End.”
Though I’ve been accused by mine enemies of letting Dorr Township Trustee John Tuinstra live inside my head, I just can’t pass up yet another example of his manufacturing controversy where it doesn’t exist and promoting autocratic government. He is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes bad government and bad boardsmanship.
He was in fine form again Thursday night at an otherwise routine Township Board meeting. But just before the appointment of Lee Bernal to a vacant Parks Commission was confirmed, Tuinstra just had to grill the newcomer with nonsensical questions.
He asked Bernal whether he was a Democrat or a Republican for a post that does not require any party affiliation. Positions that are appointed rather than elected, such as Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Library Board, are supposed to be non-partisan. It’s hard for me believe Tuinstra was unaware.
Yet he oozed skepticism when Bernal told him he was neither a Democrat nor a Republican. He appeared to be disappointed, seeking governmental purity, a one-party township in every position, even when irrelevant.
But things went from bad to worse.
Tuinstra asked Bernal about the facility in South Park that likely will be torn down and questioned him if he favored gender neutral bathrooms as opposed separating them for males and females. He further asserted the City of Wayland has had headaches over installing “family” restrooms and caving in to the interests of LGBTQ and transgender interests.
Except for a brief stupid debate of the issue at a car show several years ago in the City Park, I know of no problems. In fact, as a frequent user of the Rabbit River Trail with my dog, I have welcomed the two family outhouse bathrooms when walking the trail with an old fishing buddy. When both of us had to use the facility, we didn’t have to wait for the other to finish. We each used one of the two bathrooms at the same time.
Therefore, instituting “family” restrooms for me is simply doubling their availability for public use.
One member of the Parks Commission told me that when she has to use a rest room at a gas station and the “women’s” facility is not only in use, but has a lineup, she simply enters the “men’s” bathroom and locks the door rather than wait and perhaps soil herself.
It’s common sense, not a political statement, that drives that choice.
But Tuinstra had to wax eloquent at a Township Board meeting about how he’s gravely worried about transgender people taking over the world.
And this same township government official has railed against appointing some people to local positions because of his steadfast defense of term limits while he is in the middle of his third four-year term on the board, at least 10 years.
Should he finally decide to term limit himself two years hence, I submit he’ll be doing Dorr Township a favor.