A woman whose childhood home is scheduled to be demolished by the village has sounded off against the mayor in a long post on Facebook, saying he embarassed her family when talking about the property during a Council meeting.
Marie Kuipers took offense to Mayor Keith Killion's remark that when the village salvages valuables from the Habernickel Farm property on Hillcrest Road, it should
Killion says the comment was made in jest at the Oct. 5 council meeting to point out that there likely wouldn't be many valuables found in the house due to the age and era of the home.
But Kuipers, who now lives in Michigan, claims it was a "snide and unkind" remark designed to "embarrass" her family. She said she took her fight to Facebook after The Ridgewood News declined to publish her letter to the editor (attached at right).
"I simply can't wrap my brain around his choice to use his position, his reach, and his words to cause additional pain to people about to watch a significant part of their former lives destroyed," Kuipers said, calling Killion's comment "reckless."
Killion said the remark may have been insensitive, but the comments that ensued have gone too far, he said Saturday.
"It certainly wasn't meant to offend anyone or to degrade the house," Killion said. "Hindsight being 20/20 I can understand the former owner of the house would have taken offense. ... I apologize for any insensitivity or hurt I may have caused."
Pointing to the nearly 50-comment thread, the mayor says what's been said about him is a complete overreaction.
"They went way too far," Killion said of the comments, which he said were tantamount to cyberbullying. "I'm very surprised that our residents would take their displeasure to that plateau. I would have thought we were just a little more civilized than that."
The village is it purchased in 2004 into an active recreation facility. Work should be completed by the end of the year, officials say.
"For the record, there was never, ever, a single lava lamp in our home for the 30 years that we lived there," Kuipers said.