Thursday, October 20, 2016

"Mayor Nancy Vaughan completely lost control of another City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18."

"Once again Nelson Johnson and his followers took over.

Vaughan can't say no to Nelson Johnson even when he is yelling at her from the back of the City Council Chambers.  There is no decorum left at City Council meetings.

Early in Tuesday's meeting Councilmembers Tony Wilkins and Jamal Fox started yelling at each other.  Fox implying Wilkins was a racist and supported hate speech.

The loud, unseemly argument was over a resolution presented by Fox and Counclmember Marikay Abuzuaiter titled "Resolution Condemning violence and hate speech, expressing solidarity with Muslims and all those targeted for their ethnicity, race or religion."

Abuzuaiter's husband Isa is both Muslim and a pretty good guy

Can't say much nice things about his wife

...Wilkins expressed concern about one phrase in the resolution, which accused "elected government officials" of "hateful rhetoric against Muslims."  Wilkins said if Fox was going to accuse an elected government officials of that behavior Fox should have the "backbone" to name the elected officials he was talking about.

Fox responded, "Mr. Wilkins, if you want me to put your name in there I sure will."

Jamal appears to think Tony is a bigot

And then it was off to the races with the two yelling over each other so much it was hard to hear what either one was saying.

Vaughan said, "We are not going to insult each other."   And asked them both to show more decorum on the dais.

Wilkins had already lost one battle to Fox over how long to allow "speakers from the floor on non agenda items" to speak.  Vaughan had said they had 15 speakers signed up for the 30-minute time period established for speakers from the floor.  Wilkins suggested that they cut the time from the usual three minutes per speaker to two minutes to get all the speakers in.  Fox and Councilmember Sharon Hightower objected, so the time limit was left at three minutes and Vaughan simply let speakers keep speaking long past the 30-minute mark.

I can personally attest to Vaughan letting her cronies
have more time speaking than her critics

...Nelson Johnson asked that the City Council instruct the city manager and city attorney to release all the information [on our recent police issues].

He said, "You're playing with dynamite.  I don't know if you know that or not."

He added, "We're very fortunate in Greensboro that Greensboro hasn't exploded and it doesn't have to, but it will."

Nelson Johnson may be trying to get some national news
by agitating for racial violence in Greensboro

After the final speaker, Pitts and Johnson stood in the back of the chambers and yelled at the City Council.  The chambers were fairly full with followers of Nelson Johnson, many of them students who joined in yelling at the City Council...

...Vaughan asked people to, "Please, be quiet," but it had no effect.

Councilmember Mike Barber said, "The reason no one can hear anyone is that we have lost our way."
He said, "We have got to follow the agenda.  We don't allow people to stand in the back of the room and badger us."

Hightower, who speaks more at meetings than any other member of the City Council, accused Barber of interrupting her.

When the audience started shouting again, Barber said, "I will have you removed."

Vaughan said, "We don't allow speaking out from the floor.  Please just be quiet."

...So Nelson Johnson won another round by filling the council chambers with unruly students and yelling and threatening the City Council with dire consequences.

Vaughan gave in, again, which means the next meeting will likely be worse.  As long as Vaughan gives the people who should be removed from the meeting what they want, they are going to keep coming back and yelling at the City Council because that's how they win.

...It's amazing that so much controversy is being raised over the Yourse incident, where no weapons were used and where the only people injured were police officers.

At the end of the meeting the matter came up again.  Abuzuaiter wanted to know if it was legal for her to release information about why she voted the way she did in closed session, since the fact that she voted against releasing the information had been made public.

Abuzuaiter said, "When I took my oath I took it very seriously that I would not release what was in closed session."  Councilmembers take no such oath about closed sessions.

Carruthers explained that the only information that it would be illegal to divulge from a closed session is city employee personnel information.

Abuzuaiter said, "Are we going to continue to have closed sessions?"

I believe Marikay Abuzuaiter is functionally incompetent as a Council member 

...Barber, who is also an attorney, said, "I believe that we have already committed a misdemeanor here."  Barber didn't elaborate at the meeting, but after the meeting said, "I believe we did take a vote."

No one who controls the police department 
goes to jail in Greensboro 

There will be no investigation

Carruthers, also after the meeting, disagreed with Barber, saying that the council reached many decisions in closed session by consensus and that is what he perceived the action to be.

Abuzuaiter, who has been on the City Council since 2011, asked for information about closed sessions.  It is incredible that someone who has been an at-large member of the City Council for five years doesn't understand the basic laws governing closed sessions.  Abuzuaiter has participated in over a hundred closed sessions and from her statements believes that at some point in her tenure as a member of City Council took an oath not to reveal any information that was discussed in closed session.

...It is reportedly not unusual for business owners thinking of moving into an area to watch a couple of City Council meetings to learn something about the community.  If any developer or business owner who was thinking of coming to Greensboro watched this meeting, you can bet they crossed Greensboro off their list of potential sites."

Meanwhile, Hammer doesn't provide a pop up on the following;