Transgender restroom usage talks begin in Flatwoods

As the issue of transgender usage of public restrooms gains national momentum, Flatwoods City Council and Mayor Ron Fields met Thursday evening at the Flatwoods Municipal Building for the first reading of an ordinance concerning transgender access to restrooms, and shower facilities in government buildings in Flatwoods.

The climate of the special meeting was pleasant, as individuals both pro and con spoke when granted the opportunity during the meeting, according to Mayor Fields.

“This was the first reading regarding transgender use of restrooms, shower facilities in government buildings throughout the city of Flatwoods, and it went well,” Fields said. “We had several people to speak, some for it and some against it. There was about 75 in attendance.”

The ordinance will allow citizens who are transgender to have access to restrooms and shower facilities housed in government buildings in Flatwoods, and does not apply to private businesses, according to Fields.

All six members of the Flatwoods City Council attended the special meeting held Thursday, which includes Kent Picklesimer, Gray Tomblyn, Samantha Salyers, J.R. Gullet, Carl Wheeler, and Ray Sloan. Also present at the meeting were Heather Morris, Flatwoods city clerk-treasurer and city attorney, Stephen McGinnis, according to Fields.

“I don’t know of any restroom chaos that has occurred here in Flatwoods. It is just good to handle things before it does happen,” he said.

He said he will confer with the city attorney McGinnis to ascertain how the ordinance will relate to the school system in Flatwoods.

“I know what the ordinance means for the city, but there are a couple of questions regarding how it relates to the schools,” he said. “So I will be talking further with attorney Stephen McGinnis, so that I can get clarification about how it will relate to our schools.”

The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, at 9 a.m. at the Flatwoods Municipal Building for the second reading of the ordinance. Fields said the meeting will be open to the public, as Thursday’s meeting.

Flatwoods mayor and city council met for first reading Thursday evening

By Portia Williams

[email protected]

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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