Hudson, OH – An Ohio mayor who voiced concern that permitting ice fishing on local lakes could result in a prostitution surge has resigned from office.
Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert, 65, made the comments during a Feb. 8 City Council meeting “out of concern for our community” over “what could become of unintended consequences of new legislation,” The Plain Dealer reported.
He said those concerns were based on his “prior television news reporting experience.”
The City Council was discussing the issue of whether or not to allow ice fishing on Hudson Springs Lake after multiple community members requested to do so, The Plain Dealer reported.
While other city officials brought up potential liability concerns and wondered if authorizing people to be on the ice would place first responders at risk, Shubert warned that permitting people to ice fish would open the door for prostitution to thrive.
“If you open this up to ice fishing, while on the surface it sounds good, then what happens next year?” the mayor asked. “Does someone come back and say, ‘I want an ice shanty on Hudson Springs Park for X amount of time?’ And then if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution. And now you’ve got the police chief and the police department involved.”
“Just data points to consider,” he added, as the councilman sitting beside him looked at him in disbelief.
The council ultimately voted to allow ice fishing on Hudson Springs Lake, WQBK reported.
Shubert’s bizarre comments gained national attention over the week that followed, according to WBNS.
Many critics mocked him over his attempt to link ice fishing and prostitution.
Shubert announced Feb. 14 that he was resigning and that his comment at the meeting was a misinterpreted attempt at humor, WBNS reported.
“My attempt to inject a bit of dry humor to make a point about this, in the midst of a cold, snowy February, was grossly misunderstood,” he said in a statement. “Some in our community saw this as an opportunity to engage in the politics of personal destruction by means of character assassination, blaming me for the negative international press they helped to promote.”
Shubert said he felt it was best for him to step down from his role as mayor, WBNS reported.
“With the recent changes on city council, where six of seven seats have turned over, City Hall is entering a new era. My role as a change agent is complete,” he wrote. “Hudson has a stronger financial and economic base than ever before, and major road improvements are being completed. I have, therefore, decided to step down as mayor to allow for new leadership, a clean slate, and a path forward.”
Hudson City Council President Chris Foster released a statement Monday saying the city appreciated Shubert’s service to the city, The Plain Dealer reported.
“We respect his decision and wish him the best in the future,” Foster said.
A replacement mayor will be chosen by the City Council pending November’s mayoral election.