Statement from Mayor Shoemaker

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Mayor Matthew Shoemaker issues the following statement regarding comments made by Italo Ferrari during the City Council meeting held on Monday, December 12:
“During Monday evening’s debate on the issue of the property standards of the old General Hospital, the owner’s representative, Italo Ferrari, stated that because of the difficulties he has had securing the old General Hospital from continued breaking and entering, he would need to consider erecting a ‘10 foot fence to close it off like a concentration camp’. In the heat of the debate, I did not call out Mr. Ferrari’s ignorance as I should have in that moment. Mr. Ferrari’s entire performance before City Council showed a stunning lack of self awareness. However, the ignorance of this particular comment is astonishing to the point of requiring a forceful condemnation. Nazis used concentration camps to commit genocide. To use the atrocities of the holocaust in a debate over the proper maintenance standards of a decrepit building shows a complete lack of dignity. I’ve asked staff not to communicate with Mr. Ferrari or any representative of his unless and until an apology is provided by him. I understand however, that there will be a need to deal with this company for compliance and property standards matters so unfortunately communication by some departments will still be necessary. In the meantime, I would encourage Mr. Ferrari to do the right thing and provide an apology for the insensitivity shown. I have already reached out to him to request he do so.”

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