Mayor's racy photos become the talk of the town

Mayor's racy photos become the talk of the town

ARLINGTON, Ore. - Mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist's name is sure to be mentioned when Arlington holds its annual town meeting Wednesday.

Some of the mayor's roughly 500 constituents will want to know her views on the issues affecting the Eastern Oregon community; others will want to talk about her underwear.

The mayor's lingerie is a hot topic here, with some residents upset that she posted pictures of herself wearing only a black bra and panties on her MySpace page. She was on one of the town's fire engines.

Kontur-Gronquist's MySpace page is blocked to all but her friends, but the pictures were at one time available to all users. Someone sent the following picture to KATU last week:

In an interview with the (Pendleton) East Oregonian, the mayor said she did nothing wrong and those who are offended need to get over it.

"That's my personal life," she said. "It has nothing to do with my mayor's position."

Kontur-Gronquist, who is also the fire department's executive secretary, said the photos were taken before she was elected mayor three years ago, and she saw no reason to remove them from the Internet after taking office.

"I'm not going to change who I am," she said. "There's a lot of officials that have a personal life, and you have people in this community who have nothing better to do than scrape up stuff like this."

Lorena Woods is one of those residents who say the photos of a scantily clad mayor reflect badly on Arlington.

"It's a picture of her in bra and panties on a rural protection fire truck in a rural protection fire hall," Woods said. "This isn't the way we want our city to be portrayed."

Councilman Jeff Bufton said he's heard a lot of negative comments about the pictures but declined to say whether the council plans to address the topic.

Some residents said they were starting a recall petition.

And at least one city council member is speaking out, saying the photos are inappropriate and send the wrong message to kids.

"It gives the impression that it's just OK to do whatever you feel like doing, whenever, and not have any kind of concern about how it might affect other people, and that is a big concern I have," council member Alice Courtney told KATU.