Longtime readers will remember that the Sixth District Alderman wasn’t always a perennial winner in these categories. He was actually voted Best City Council Member by our readers in 2008, 2009, and 2012.
But since then, he has racked up a major controversy pretty much every year, from calling an African American woman TV reporter the c-word on camera, to being photographed intoxicated in many locations all over town, to name just a few.
For most of 2019, however, Thomas had actually kept what by his standards was a fairly low profile. And if you’re interested in being fair, he often made the most insightful and practical points during City Council debates during that time.
Then came Puppygate.
In April, Thomas claimed in an accusatory Facebook post that a dog shampoo manufactured by Burt’s Bees had killed several of his puppies.
The resulting controversy garnered press attention of its own, which ramped up considerably when the manufacturer of the shampoo responded publicly denying that the deaths could be caused by their product.
Thomas has since deleted any posts pertaining to the issue, likely to avoid legal action, and has remained uncharacteristically silent on the issue.
The longest-serving member of Council, Thomas again faces a re-election battle. If he prevails once again this November, he will be on track to be a 24-year City Council member. – Jim Morekis
Runner-up, Scandal: Googly-Eyed Bandit