Bud Kennedy

Facebook saved library cat, but councilman still having a hissy

Mayor Pro Tem Elzie Clements, assailed around the world for trying to oust the city’s library cat, says don’t blame him.

We’re to blame.

We wrote on social media how awful and petty the City Council was for sending away Browser, library patrons’ beloved reading mascot.

“If we would just get people out here in this city to stay off of this media, this wouldn’t have been this way,” Clements blustered Friday at the meeting where the council voted to give Browser a reprieve.

Facebook commenters and newspage readers in Europe, Asia and Australia reacted angrily to the earlier sneak attack and 2-1 vote to dismiss the cat.

Clements said that’s our fault.

“Without social media, it never would have been more than a local story,” he said Tuesday by phone.

“Things happen inside a city that shouldn’t be publicized outside,” he said. “There’s no need to jump on Facebook.

“I think Facebook and the social media [are] a bad thing. I sure do.”

He is not the only politician having a rough time with social media lately.

“I think it’s one of the downfalls of this country,” he said.

“There’s a lot of things put out that shouldn’t be put out.”

Clements, 74, said he didn’t even know until the meeting that White Settlement had a cat in the library.

“I don’t go to the library,” he said. “I don’t use the library.” (His home has two cats, he said, but he simply didn’t think the library was the place for one.)

At 53 and with a career in law enforcement, Councilman and Browser supporter Dave Mann is more media-conscious.

“Facebook is part of life now, and I’m gonna use it to tell people what they need to know,” he said.

“The way he’s describing — that’s the old way White Settlement has always been. Too much was happening behind the scenes. I don’t agree with that at all.”

Right now, city police and firefighters are using social media to ask for everyone’s help.

They’d like to find the damaged black Ford F-150 four-door in the video of the June 25 motorcycle wreck that killed off-duty firefighter Trevor Gage.

If you know such a truck with damage, or if you have video from about 5:30 p.m. June 25 of Interstate 30 or Spur 341, please call 817-246-7070 or post at facebook.com/whitesettlementpd.

Social media can help, not hurt, cities like White Settlement. And it works great for cats.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @BudKennedy. His column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.