LAKE WORTH -- Mayor Pam Triolo issued a proclamation declaring Wednesday International Talk Like a Pirate Day and urging residents to celebrate in “a hearty, fun-loving way.”
The Lake Worth mayor’s proclamation was intended as a lighthearted gesture acknowledging City Manager Michael Bornstein’s passion for pirate lore and the International Talk Like a Pirate Day begun on a whim in 1995 by Oregon friends John Baur and Mark Summers.
“The City of Lake Worth is known to possess a spirit of independence, high spirits and swashbuckling, all traits of a good pirate,” the proclamation states. “It’s fun to talk like a pirate by using words like Arrrrr, ye and bilge rat.”
Former City Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden didn’t find the pirate proclamation humorous.
In an email to Bornstein, she called it “an insult to the people of the city of Lake Worth” and suggested that a better proclamation would have been Constitution Day on Sept. 17, the day Constitutional Convention delegates signed the U.S. Constitution.
“In these times when there is so much turmoil, ignorance and killing, this effort to further dumb down our government should be rejected,” Golden wrote.
Golden noted that modern pirates rob, murder and kidnap people for ransom. She noted that yachtsman Peter Blake was shot and killed by pirates off Brazil in 2001 during an environmental exploration expedition.
In another email, resident Lynda Mahoney said the pirate day proclamation sounded “juvenile, nonsensical — a day that might occur in a kindergarten class.” She said the city should not waste time on such foolishness because it has serious problems.
Bornstein responded in part with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.”
“I’m so sorry you find this fun, silly proclamation anything more than that,” Bornstein wrote in his response to Golden. “I could easily become consumed with a sense of over correctness in almost everything involved in government. However, I refuse to become devoid of all the wonderful human emotions including, most importantly, humor.”
Triolo read the Talk Like a Pirate Day proclamation at the beginning of Tuesday night’s commission meeting, evoking giggles from the crowd at City Hall.