Mayor Plays Golf, Skips Tornado Recovery Effort

May 14, 2015

The mayor of a small town in Texas recently ravaged by a tornado is taking some heat after playing golf instead of participating in community relief efforts.

Van Mayor Dean Stone did not show up for a 9 a.m. press conference Wednesday morning that he was expected to attend and was spotted on the golf course soon after. According to, Stone arrived at Garden Valley Resort and Golf Club around 7 a.m. and stayed until at least 10:30 a.m. The mayor also skipped a 3 p.m. press conference, but apparently was not on the golf course.

A tornado ripped through Van Zandt County—about 40 miles east of Dallas—Sunday night and brought with it winds of up to 140 mph, killing two people. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot declared a state of disaster in seven counties Monday night. Two schools in Van were severely damaged and every school in the district was closed Monday and Tuesday of this week. Making matters worse is another series of dangerous storms scheduled to hit the area later this week.

Last summer, President Obama received public criticism after leaving a Martha’s Vineyard golf course to deliver a statement on Ferguson and Iraq, then bolting back to the course.

In the video below, Stone talks to a local KLTV reporter soon after leaving the course and says he did not feel guilty about his decision to spend Wednesday morning playing golf.

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