HUDSON, Ohio — A Hudson spokesperson said that the city won't be responding to Mayor Craig Shubert's viral comment that claimed that allowing ice fishing could create a slippery slope that ultimately leads to prostitution.
But in a statement to 3News, Hudson Communications Manager/Public Information Officer Jody Robert clarified the mayor's role in the city's local government, which she described as "largely ceremonial."
"We will not be doing interviews on this subject," Roberts said. "The mayor is a part-time, largely ceremonial mayor, with no vote or power to enact legislation. City Council holds that legislative power. Based on [Tuesday's] meeting, Council members did not respond to the mayor’s comments. Based on that lack of response, I don’t believe his thoughts were anything Council wished to move forward on."
Shubert has received national attention over the past couple of days after he expressed concern during a discussion regarding ice fishing safety at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
"If you open this up to ice fishing, which while on the surface, it sounds good, then what happens next year? Does somebody come back and say, 'I want an ice shanty in Hudson Springs Park for X amount of time?'" Shubert stated during a discussion regarding ice fishing during a city council meeting on Tuesday night. "And if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution. And now you have the police chief of the police department involved. Just some data points to consider."
By this point, Shubert is hardly a stranger to the spotlight. Over the course of the past year, he has made headlines for his criticism of the city's school board due to controversial writing prompts -- including prompts that focused on sex and drinking -- in a book that was assigned in Hudson’s Senior College Credit Plus Writing class.
Shubert, who likened the prompts to "child pornography," called for all five of the city's school board members to resign over the incident. Despite a Summit County Prosecutor's Office investigation into the matter referring to Shubert's call for board members to resign as "reckless," the mayor proceeded to double down on his criticism.
"The prosecutor’s office has spent tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds gunning for me, to intimidate me and the Hudson parents who spoke at the September 13 school board meeting, but has ignored the real crime of who is responsible for ‘pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor," Shubert said in a statement to The Akron Beacon Journal.
Speaking to 3News on Wednesday, Ward 1 Councilwoman Kate Schlademan noted Shubert's history of odd statements, adding that several school board members received death threats in the wake of the prior incident. But while she could hardly contain her own laughter when thinking about the latest brush-up, she also made sure to distance herself and the rest of Hudson from the mayor's actions.
"That comment does not represent our wonderful community," she said.