Lake Havasu City, AZ – Councilman Under Fire After Insensitive Remarks to Jews

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     Councilman Lee Barnes making his remark Photo Credit: VIN News Lake Havasu City, AZ – An Arizona councilman made insensitive remarks about Jews during a meeting about a contract for the city manager.

    Councilman Lee Barnes referred to himself as “just a little Jewish” when it comes to finances while discussing the contract of the ousted city manager during a special meeting Tuesday.

    Mayor Mark Nexsen referred to Barnes’ statement as “inappropriate.” Nexsen said he plans to talk to Barnes about his poor choice of words. The mayor added that Barnes owes the community an apology.

    Barnes later said he understood his words could be seen as derogatory and stereotypical. “Excuse my action but I’m just a little Jewish to be able to do this,” Barnes told the council, causing an uproar among the standing-room only crowd.

    According to News Herald Barnes later said he understood that his words associating a religion with finances could be seen as derogatory and stereotypical.

    “What I meant there is Jewish people are pretty good with their money,” he said. “I think a lot of Jewish families teach generation after generation very well on how to handle their money.”

    Barnes then acknowledged that his apology could also seem insensitive.

    “It wasn’t meant to be inappropriate, and I meant that we should handle our money very carefully,” he said. “I hope this doesn’t turn into a big deal, and I apologize to those people who found it offensive.”

    The city council voted 4-3 Tuesday evening to fire city manager Richard Kaffenberger with a year left on his contract amid a controversy of a contract for the city’s wastewater system.


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