Small town Hanford is not without political controversy. On March 9, 2022, Mayor Diane Sharp resigned over criticisms of the way she handled unruly public meetings. Vice Mayor Morrow was also critical of Sharp for sending an “email blast” to her supporters. Morrow said that she felt obligated to apologize “for the airing of dirty laundry that’s been occurring.”
Shortly thereafter, city council voted 5-0 to appoint Morrow as the new Mayor, in hopes of a stable, controversy-free leader.
However, Morrow seems to engage in the same airing of dirty laundry and mudslinging as Sharpe. Morrow spends much of her time on social media, embroiled in interpersonal conflict with the executive committee of the Libertarian Party of California (where she sits as an at-large member). Morrow spends hours online arguing with her fellow committee members, and posting out of context screenshots of her heated disagreements. Instead of working to de-escalate the conflict, she seems committed to inflaming it, and furthering the tensions within this small, struggling third party.
Hanford citizens are curious to see if her controversial behavior will spill over into Hanford’s political arena, and if she will devote more time to serious Hanford politics than spiteful, disingenuous social media controversies.
The residents of Hanford are watching and waiting, hoping for a professional, courteous Mayor who exercises sound judgment and spends her time wisely. We hope Morrow’s Libertarian Party drama does not spill over into Hanford’s city council activities (two other members and one hopeful – Cheyne Strawn, Francisco Ramirez, and Amanda Saltray – have all joined the Libertarian Party recently). Although no serious financial conflict of interest exists between Morrow as Mayor and Morrow as an at-large member of the Libertarian Party of California (Morrow resigned from her position on the Libertarian Party of California’s Candidate Support Committee – a committee that has pledged money to support its elected libertarians in Hanford), it is reasonable to assume a conflict exists regarding Morrow’s attention and time.
As of now, the Libertarian Party seems to be an exact caricature of what most people imagine it to be – a small, navel-gazing group of philosophers who argue and bicker amongst themselves with no regard for the problems of the real people around them.