Our thoughts on the Carmel Mayor's actions

March 22, 2018

In December 2017, Kim Stemler, Executive Director of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, met with Carmel City Officials to address the inappropriate and sexualized comments Carmel City Mayor Steve Dallas made to and about her. The Monterey County Rape Crisis Center (MCRCC) supports Kim Stemler and her right to do her job without being sexualized and harassed by anyone. Ms. Stemler is right – she should not have to put up with this. No one should.

After a three-month long investigation, Carmel City Attorney Glen Mozingo stated: “While his [Dallas’] comments and behavior may have been unprofessional, it doesn’t present any civil or criminal liability.”  However, after spending at least $25,000 on an investigation, the Carmel City Council had words for Dallas requiring that he:

- Demonstrate respect for and sensitivity of others, with an understanding and appreciation of appropriate boundaries.

- Work on self-awareness of how his actions and words affect other people.

- Comport himself in a professional manner at all times that dignifies the office he holds.

In other words, the Mayor’s behavior forced the Carmel City Council to spend an incredible amount of time and public money on the investigation, endure public shame and embarrassment, and put the people who Dallas wronged through a horrible ordeal for months to hold a two-hour public meeting where the Carmel City Council asked the Carmel City Mayor to be a decent human being.

Kim Stemler deserves better, the six parties included in this investigation deserve better, the citizens of Carmel deserve better. People deserve to live and work without public officials harassing them and making threats to their safety and/or livelihood. If our public officials cannot embody this ideal, then they do not deserve the office they hold.

We do not need to support leaders who make sexualized and inappropriate comments to community partners - or anyone else, who look into tenants’ bathroom widows without permission, and who make threats to business owners.

We do not need to spend tens of thousands of dollars covering their liability. We do not need to expend time and energy on keeping them in their positions when it is obvious that their behavior has disqualified them from keeping their office. We do not need them.

Written by Deputy Director Lauren DaSilva, with permission from Kim Stemler.

This was also featured as a letter to the editor in the Monterey County Weekly on March 22, 2018 (click here to go to the page).