Troy councilman livid over mayor posting sign with Ohio logo considered anti-mask

TROY — Troy Mayor Robin Oda admitted Monday to posting what was considered an anti-mask sign on City Hall doors, saying when pressed for an explanation that she “wanted to see if anybody would notice it.”

Oda has been vocal about her disagreement with some restrictions placed by the governor and state agencies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sign read in part:

“You Are Welcome Here Regardless of the Following:

- Ability or inability to wear a mask

- Religious beliefs

- Political affiliation

- Socioeconomic status

Required to enter:

Kindness and consideration for others while inside ... despite the above.”

City resident Doug Page questioned the sign he saw posted on the door of the city engineering/planning office.

“We are in the middle of a health crisis,” he said. As of Monday, 7,872 Miami County residents were infected, placing the county second in a nine-county area for cases per 100,000 people, he said, noting the county at one point was the top five in the state.

Page said the sign “expressed some wonderful sentiments, but one said the building was open to everyone regardless of their ability to wear a mask. Of course, it is. However, isn’t this a mixed message that we are sending? Anyone can say, ‘I can’t wear a mask,’” Page said. “I just wonder why we have that sign up, with that particular message.”

Oda said the signs were up for about 10 hours and Service-Safety Director Patrick Titterington said they were taken down last week.

Those statements were disputed by Page and some council members who said a sign still was posted as of late Monday afternoon. “We will look into it … It wasn’t supposed to still be there,” Oda said.

Councilman Bill Rozell read the sign content, noting that it was also posted at several downtown businesses. He wasn’t questioning a business posting the sign, he said.

Oda said she placed the sign “temporarily” adding, “I wanted to see if anybody would notice it, and obviously somebody did.”

One council member asked what led to her action. “I am not in favor of some of the stuff going on and I wanted to see if anybody would notice,” Oda said.

Several council members said they were not aware of the sign. Some said they were concerned about the use of a state of Ohio logo at the bottom of the sign.

Council President William Lutz said he was livid by the sign placement.

“I cannot describe how livid I am. Public buildings are not meant to be canvases for political thought from elected officials,” he said, noting that the city had park levies on the ballot but never had a vote for park levy signs in a city park.

The city of Troy stepped in and organized a Tree Lighting event for the day after Thanksgiving following the decision of Troy Main Street to cancel this year’s Grand Illumination on the Public Square in early November.

Oda said the show would go on and an estimated 1,500 showed up for the activities. Oda said people needed some Christmas activities in a challenging year.

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