The vice mayor sought advice from more than 600 of his most trusted Facebook friends on a rather important issue to Dunedin this week.
What should he wear to the April 5 city commission meeting?
“Should I wear my Dunedin City Tartan kilt and full dress when I read our City Proclamation for Tartan Day?” Ron Barnette wrote in a status update on Monday. “Please let me know!”
The Tartan Day proclamation, read along with a proclamation for the Highland Games and Festival Week, signifies the start of a string Dunedin’s beloved Scottish heritage events and honors local cultural groups: the New World Celts and the Scottish-American Society.
Historically, National Tartan Day, which is celebrated April 6, recognizes the role of Scottish-Americans in the country’s development. The date commemorates the 1320 anniversary signing of Scotland’s Declaration of Arbroath, which proclaimed its sovereignty over English territories.
Barnette, who boasts a mix of ethnic heritages including Scottish, Irish and Cherokee, has appeared at city meetings on occasion wearing his kilt, and once, even a pink streak in his trademark Rod Stewart-esque hairdo for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Barnette's Facebook status update on Monday received 35 affirmative comments and 21 "likes." Here are some of the responses:
- "Though I no longer live in Dunedin, I'll be disappointed if you don't."
- "I know of at least 200 people personally that would say yes."
- "Absolutely but don't forget your underwear"
So what did Barnette decide?
"It's a deal!!" he replied to his Facebook friends. "I'm attending our Thursday Commission meeting in my kilt...and proudly so."
("I do love my kilt," he later wrote to Dunedin Patch.)