Dixon Vice Mayor Faces Continuing Backlash as Crowds Protest Controversial Op-Ed

DIXON -- Dixon was in the spotlight Tuesday night following a controversial op-ed written by a city leader.

It was a small column in a small publication that led to confrontation and a small town meeting overflowing with crowds and opinions.

"Mr. Hickman's vicious message has no place in a city like Dixon," said one speaker.

Many wanted Vice Mayor Ted Hickman out of office.

The controversy stems from a column Hickman wrote about Pride Month. He used words like "fairies" and "tinker bells" while describing gay people. He also called for "Straight Pride American Month."

"I want them to know it's not OK what they’re saying," said protester Anthony St. Amant.

The vice mayor made a short comment during the meeting but didn’t apologize for his words.

"If I were to rewind time and were to write again I would not use words sarcastically or not as vice mayor because I see where that would be seen as unacceptable to some," Hickman said.

"He's standing for simply straight people; normal, rational, healthy people. Why can’t we have a march?" said Don Grundmann.

Grundmann came from the Bay Area to support Hickman. He says others do too.

"A lot of people can also support this but they’re drowned out," Grundmann said.

But the vice mayor's views hurt many in Dixon. Now some neighbors, who kept away from the protest, are trying to show there’s more to the town than this controversy.

"Dixon’s a great community and one statement made by one person doesn’t define all of us," said Liz Fuller, a Dixon native.

No action was taken at the meeting. The council talked about planning a special meeting to discuss the backlash against Hickman, who is running for re-election in November.

The meeting started at 7 p.m. and was still going on as of 9 p.m.