The Tuesday, July 21, 2015, regularly scheduled city council meeting began at 3:30pm. With more than two dozen residents signed up for public comment, the meeting lasted well over six hours. The standing room only audience were there to voice concerns about multiple measures on the council agenda. While some left, many remained to the bitter end. The measures aimed to hold a special election in November, to change key components of the city’s charter.
Those in attendance remarked that council took nearly six hours before making motions to entertain the first item up for vote. Council members all but sat there as the mayor put Item #5 and Item #6 up first. After sitting in silence, council woman Yvonne Arceneaux, timidly seconded for discussion on #5 with councilman Isaac Galvan moving #6.
Both items failed. It appears the mayors only ally is Isaac Galvan. Newly elected councilwoman, Emma Shariff, uttered music to attendees ears and abstained. As a direct result, City Attorney Craig Cornwell stated no further items would be discussed since these two items failed. The mayor asked the city attorney to bringback the item related to council salaries, to next weeks meeting. The 3:30 pm meeting adjourned at 12:19 am.
I was the first speaker of the evening and I specifically stated “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I went on to inform the council that the way they would vote on items 5 through 11 would reflect on how much they respect their constituents, many of whom were in the audience. The majority of the speakers echoed my sentiments. Unfortunately, since some of the items were never actually voted upon (moot because 5 & 6 failed), the mayor is bringing some of them back again next week. Hopefully if these items do show up on the agenda the citizens will all come back next week and remind her and the council that they do not want these changes.