Open letter of resignation from Annette Macfarlane

Annette Macfarlane is seen here in a screen shot of a YouTube video shot by the Tremonton Leader at a Tremonton City Council meeting on March 5, 2013. Macfarlane is the director of New Hope Crisis Center and spoke out against a proposed hog processing plant.

<span>The director of Box Elder County’s New Hope Crisis Center has resigned. In an open letter of resignation, Annette Macfarlane says that she is “deeply saddened” that her comments were deemed hurtful.</span>

<span>Macfarlane came under pressure after comments made at a Tremonton City Council meeting on March 3, 2013. Macfarlane’s comments centered on the effects a proposed pig processing plant might have on the community and specifically on her center that deals with domestic abuse.</span>

<span>In her comments to the Tremonton City Council, Macfarlane claimed that she had spoken to the director of Cache Valley’s crisis abuse shelter (CAPSA) and the Cache County Sheriffs Office about the effects and problems associated with a growing Hispanic population. Both CAPSA and the Cache County Sheriffs Office denied the claims that Macfarlane made about both of their organizations.</span>

<span>The letter is published in its entirety without any edits.</span>

<em>Sometimes actions undertaken with the best of intentions go an entirely unintended direction. This is what happened regarding remarks I made during a public comment period at the Tremonton City council meeting in March.  </em>

<em>My intent was to alert the council about possible consequences with bringing a pig slaughterhouse into the community; the outcome was that I hurt and offended a group of people whom I both respect and value.  The firestorm of media attention which resulted from these comments made it impossible to continue in my position of Executive Director of the New Hope Crisis Center, and I resigned 1 May 2013.</em>

<em>I realize that what I said has hurt many, and, again, I am deeply saddened and deeply regret this. This was not my intent. I am neither a racist nor a bigot.  </em>

<em>The Executive Director from Logan was correct in stating she never talked to me about the pig slaughterhouse. Our conversation took place a few years back at the time of the ICE raids at the EA Miller beef slaughterhouse in Hyrum.</em>

<em>I stand behind the information I relayed to the council which came from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office. I told him who I was and why I was gathering information.  I took careful notes and the comments I made were an accurate summary of that information.</em>

<em>In retrospect, I would still have addressed the concerns I had about the pig slaughterhouse coming to our community, but I would have been far more sensitive about how I delivered the information. </em>

<em>I’ve spent nearly 7 years working to improve services to underserved victims in my community by funding programs to reach the Hispanic and Native American populations.  Through my efforts, we have made tremendous progress in developing relationships with these communities. I have 2 Hispanic women on my staff who are valued for both their culture and their ability to advocate.   </em>

<em>As a survivor of domestic violence my work at NHCC was not merely a job, but a passion, and I will continue find ways to be involved. Keeping families strong and people safe is just too important to walk away from just because I’ll no longer be getting paid to take action.</em>

<em>Finally, many have said how they admired me for making the comments. I thank you for that, but I also remind you that I unintentionally hurt others. And please don’t let my experience prevent you for standing for what you believe is right. </em>

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