During the council meeting Tuesday evening (details of that available here), I found that when the mayor arbitrarily admitted he was breaking protocol and did not ask the council to vote on his proposed procedure, the mayor and the council were not adhering to the City Charter.
As I stood to address Mayor Rewis over this concern, he expressed that the council voted in 2012 to not hear from anyone not on the agenda. I reminded him that the city charter actually requires a vote from the council because it was a NEW protocol. He said allowed public comment as a courtesy, to which I responded even the courtesy is bound by parameters outlined in the charter.
Sec 2.14 – “Rules of procedure. The council shall adopt its rules of procedure and order of business consistent with the provisions of this Charter and shall provide for keeping a journal of its proceedings, which shall be public record.”
It goes on: “An ordinance may be introduced by any member of the council and read at a regular or special meeting of the council. Ordinances shall be considered and adopted or rejected by the council in accordance with the rules which it shall establish; provided, however, ordinances, except emergency ordinances, shall not be adopted until the next regular meeting of the council following the meeting of their initial introduction. Upon introduction of any ordinance, the clerk shall distribute a copy to the mayor, and to each councilman, and shall file a reasonable number of copies in the office of the clerk and at such other public places as the council may designate.”
About two-thirds of the way through, you can hear Councilman John Wingate turn to former state representative Delvis Dutton and say, “I’m coming after you!”
More back and forth ensues between myself and Mayor Rewis before he is left without words.
At the end of the audio, Mayor Rewis looks to city attorney Van Cheney, the benefactor of the land purchase for a city hall, and asks him what he thinks they should do. Mr. Cheney says twice, “I think we should proceed.”
I encourage you to listen to the three minutes of audio to hear the back and forth between the mayor and the city attorney, and myself.
City of Reidsville Mayor argues merit or operating outside of city Charter.
Posted by Jessica Szilagyi on Tuesday, October 13, 2015
**Audio is available now. Video coming soon.