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Glendale council chairman steps down

Comments stirred condemnation from some groups

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Jay Ingleby has resigned as Glendale Community Council chairman after the community and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson spoke out against his comments.

Ted Nguyen, spokesman for Anderson, said Ingleby called in his resignation Monday but did not give any reasons for his decision.

Ingleby's comments about too much "Spanish stuff" moving into the Glendale area brought condemnation from the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and other Latino groups.

Ingleby was not available for comment early Tuesday.

Last week, Ingleby told a Deseret News reporter that he would resign if the community asked him to, but Ingleby did not return calls Tuesday about his decision to resign.

Ingleby has served in the volunteer position for four years and said he felt he was giving the west Salt Lake community a voice, but if the people don't want him, then he would step down.

However, Ingleby said he would continue to stay involved in his community. "I will still go to the meetings and voice my concerns. If I don't do that, I'll be sitting in a sea of nothingness," he said.

He apologized for the comments and said he made them because he was upset about losing the Grand Salt Lake Mall. He was concerned about bringing shoppers to the west side of Salt Lake City if many businesses are Latino, and people aren't able to read the signs.

"People think I'm racist. That's totally hooey, OK. I'm trying to be a representative for the community. I'm trying to do the best I can to get the community back on its feet," he said.

Ingleby previously said he understands it takes involvement from all people in a community for things to get done, and he worked to include the Latinos in his community at the council meetings, specifically with sending out Spanish-language invitations, but received little response.

In response to Ingleby's remarks, the mayor held a news conference Saturday and called for a renewed city commitment to diversity. He asked for people to reject bigotry and unkindness toward minorities.

Nguyen said Tuesday that the episode involving Ingleby has "helped us as a community realize the importance of diversity. Diversity brings strength to our community, and we should welcome all who join our community."

Another chairman will not be voted in until November, but Nguyen said the other community leaders should take this opportunity to "broaden their membership to include members of the ethnic minorities, and include all people of in the community."

John Renteria, president of the Utah Hispanic chamber of commerce, said Ingleby's decision came as no surprise to him. He said Ingleby's remarks were clearly ignorant and irresponsible.

"(The Latino businesses) should be viewed in a healthy and positive way, and not in the way Ingleby portrayed the businesses," he said.

Renteria said people should hold community leaders accountable for their actions, and he was pleased that people did show their dissatisfaction with Ingleby.

"I hope we have all learned something from this and can take a more active role in working together," he said.

E-mail: jcheney@desnews.com