Is this thing on? Yes it is


Library commissioners say the darndest things.

We never would have known that, though, had a City audio recording machine not been working overtime after a recent Library Commission meeting.

The recording was made after a meeting last month where chronic citizen rabblerouser Ray Hartz used the A-word — assassination — in connection with Library Commission President Jewelle Gomez’ re-election to her post:

“Maybe what you should do is do what they used to do in the old Roman republic — elect Ms. Gomez to the position of dictator for life and then at least the rest of us would have the hope an assassination might result in a change of leadership.”

Oops. Not wise. Hartz says he meant no harm by his “literary device,” but after the meeting, an agitated Gomez chatted with several unknown voices about the exchange:

“I’m getting a restraining order. The man is crazy. He thinks he’s the center of the universe and he can say whatever he wants. Well this is civil discourse and he can not say whatever he wants. I know 12 people who would fucking bury him if I could walk out of here today. Shit.”

A couple of days later, Hartz found himself explaining his position to police who paid a visit to his home. No charges are expected, though we can’t expect Hartz to change his tactics too much either.

For her role, Gomez told the Ex:

“In a city in which Harvey Milk and George Moscone were assassinated as public officials, I felt threatened. So my anxiety and fear resulted in those comments, which I assumed were off the record because the meeting was over.”

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

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