Comments by Van Alstyne Mayor create controversy - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Comments by Van Alstyne Mayor create controversy

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VAN ALSTYNE, TX -- The Van Alstyne city council meeting started out like any other.

But then came the topic of construction noise from new homes being built in a neighborhood south of town.

The concern is that workers are being too loud after dark.

The discussion in the council meeting was about how to address the noise moving forward.

But then came a comment from Van Alstyne Mayor Kim DeMasters that some say is offensive.

"I do know the standard of construction workers that are in our neighborhood after dark or before dark are not the most desirable people that you want in your neighborhood before dark or after dark," she said. "The majority of them don't speak English. The majority of them play their music … decibels beyond what we should all have to deal with and they can't understand you to tell them to turn it down."

Van Alstyne city council member Jim Smith was at the meeting and says he feels the comment was inappropriate.

"That is a statement that an elected official should have not made," Smith said. "For her to make the statement, ‘We don't like those people in our neighborhood after dark,' is racially charged. There's no other way that you can look at that."

Darryl Metz lives in the neighborhood under construction and agrees the noise has become a nuisance. But he says he doesn't see the construction workers as a threat.

"I don't personally find it offensive. I can understand how some people could," Metz said. "She probably should've chosen her words a little better than that."

In a statement to KTEN, Mayor DeMasters said:

"I apologize for sounding as if a particular group was being singled out. We welcome everyone who wants to work and live here. The council members that prompted this are trying to create a distraction while I am trying to solve a real problem -- construction noise keeping kids up on school nights."