Mayor of Staples: Former council member's 'horrible' rant doesn't define us



Reader Chris Etzler -- the mayor of Staples, Minnesota -- responds to Former Staples city council member trashes Minneapolis, threatens to skin a man alive

As a long-time resident and mayor of Staples, I was sickened reading Susan Du’s article on November 14 concerning Mike Isenberg’s vicious online comments and messages. Mike does not in any way represent the city of Staples and its residents. Being elected and being a leader are two separate things -- as we have seen time and again at all levels of politics.

It was stated in the article, but it bears repeating: Mike is no longer a city council member. He was elected to one term, which he didn’t even finish, choosing to quit by absenteeism for the last six months of office. Mike’s history and growing reputation of antagonism with residents of Staples and the online Facebook community is well-known here and, unfortunately, now with your readers as well.

I’m sure many of your readers share my weariness with the online negativity that seems to only be increasing and broadly painting people and ideas in stark contrasts. City versus Rural. Us versus Them. It needs to stop. Even though we are two hours north, I know I speak for most of the Staples community in stating that we consider those living in the Twin Cities as neighbors and friends.

Staples is a growing, active community. Our business community continues to expand and thrive. Our residential community is known for its strong advocacy of the arts and family values. Please do not allow one person -- one horrible online exchange -- to color our entire city in an unfair light.