Update: The mayor is out after his odd comment about ice shanties. Mayor Craig Shubert of Hudson, Ohio, resigned Monday after taking all kinds of grief for expressing his view that if the city allowed ice fishing, that would lead to ice shanties, and those would lead to prostitution. “My attempt to inject a bit of dry humor to make a point about this, in the midst of a cold, snowy February, was grossly misunderstood,” Shubert said, per the AP. Shubert didn't seem like he was joking at the time, but it's moot now. He criticized those who engaged in "the politics of personal destruction" and "character assassination." Our story from Feb. 10 follows:
It's highly doubtful that an ice fisherman shivering in a shanty on a frozen lake would think to bring a sex worker along for company, but for one Ohio official, it's a distinct possibility that needs to be considered. Per Cleveland.com, Mayor Craig Shubert aired his concerns Tuesday at a Hudson City Council meeting, where the topic of whether to allow ice fishing on Hudson Springs Lake—a recent request by "a number of residents," according to Council President Chris Foster—came up. Multiple officials at the meeting pushed back on that request, expressing concern over people potentially falling through the ice, burdening local first responders and adding liability risk for the city.
Foster also noted there'd been fatalities in the past on the lake, per the Washington Post. Shubert then jumped in with his own worry: "If you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution. And now you've got the police chief and the police department involved. Just data points to consider." Foster, seated next to the Republican mayor of two-plus years, can be seen in a video of the meeting reacting with surprise at Shubert's remarks. After a few seconds of confused silence, another councilman, Chris Banweg jokes, "That's why I'm not in favor of shanties."
The Post notes that the clip of Shubert's comments soon went viral, earning more than 739,000 views by Thursday afternoon. The day after the meeting, FOX 8 managed to get a statement out of the mayor on what exactly he'd meant, in which he noted his comment "stems from my experience as a former television news reporter covering law enforcement agencies, which have made arrests for acts of prostitution in ice fishing shanties." Councilwoman Nicole Kowalski calls Shubert's ice-fishing remarks "outrageous," adding she has no knowledge of any ice-shanty prostitution—an apparent urban legend that goes back decades—ever happening in Hudson and doesn't expect it ever will. (Read more strange stuff stories.)