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Platteville Ald. Sharp resigns
Cena Sharp

City of Platteville at-large Ald. Cena Sharp resigned from the Common Council Monday after one year and three months in office.

The announcement was made on the city’s website, with the resignation “effective immediately.”

Sharp, who was elected unopposed for her at-large seat in 2018, said, “I wanted more time with my family.”

“The city thanks Sharp for her service to the community,” the webpage said.

Sharp’s 15 months on the council included one controversial moment, when during a debate on allowing ATVs and UTVs on city streets last July, Sharp said, “Can I throw out an argument that’s going to be really controversial and makes everybody really mad at me ’cause I’m on a roll?. There’s a white privilege behind it that nobody’s talking about. Like, let’s bring up race as we sit in here with a room full of white people. I know. But who is it benefit — who is it benefitting? And who is it not? How many black people do you see driving UTVs? Give me a number.”

One week later, Sharp released a statement to The Journal saying, My mention of privilege was poorly timed and took important attention away from the issue at hand. I concede that the ATV/UTV conversation was the incorrect forum to talk about privilege. Further, I would like to make a clarification that I misspoke — saying ‘white privilege’ rather than ‘affluent privilege.’ I intended to have a conversation about socioeconomic status, not race.

“However, I maintain that the balance between those who will benefit from this ordinance versus those who will not, but are nonetheless at risk, is an important part of this conversation. Primarily, I apologize that my inclusion of privilege in the conversation regarding ATV/UTV access through Platteville washed out the rest of the discourse at the last council meeting.”

Sharp voted against the trial ATV/UTV ordinance, which passed 4–3. The ordinance will expire when winter street parking begins in November.

The council is expected to discuss the process to fill Sharp’s seat at its meeting Tuesday. The last time the council had a vacancy before an election, when Ald. Katherine Westaby resigned, the council chose Robin Cline over Deb Browning. Cline was elected without opposition in 2017.

The position’s term expires in April 2021.