Mayor takes it too far, won’t let Black Diamond council members speak | Letter to the Editor

Council member (Pat) Pepper asked "for the floor" to speak at the beginning and after each agenda item. The mayor (Carol Benson) obviously refused to call on her. The mayor may "preside" over the meeting, but she is not supposed to keep a council member from speaking. But she did. In contrast, the mayor's friend Council member (Janie) Edelman was able to talk at length.

  • Friday, June 17, 2016 4:30pm
  • Opinion

Council member (Pat) Pepper asked “for the floor” to speak at the beginning and after each agenda item. The mayor (Carol Benson) obviously refused to call on her. The mayor may “preside” over the meeting, but she is not supposed to keep a council member from speaking. But she did. In contrast, the mayor’s friend Council member (Janie) Edelman was able to talk at length.

When Council member Pepper or (Ericka) Morgan or (Brian) Weber opened their mouths, the mayor said she would remove them from the meeting. I have seen some strange things from this mayor so I researched this. The mayor should be calling on council members even if she disagrees with them – not running roughshod over them. She can’t remove council members from a meeting just for attempting to speak or for disagreeing with her!

Then on May 19th and May 25th, there was news about supposed council member “absences” from council meetings. Everyone should know that the council members were not absent. The Black Diamond council cancelled the meeting on May 19 because the agenda noticed to the public was so completely wrong. They tried to reschedule it for May 25. When the mayor issued the wrong agenda again, the May 25th meeting was cancelled as well.

Could the council update the agenda at the meeting? You would think so, but on May 5, the mayor said she could remove council members from the meeting when a council member tried to amend that night’s agenda. I don’t care what the mayor’s attorney says – that makes absolutely no sense.

So, the council can’t amend the agenda or they get “removed.” I would cancel the meeting too if it had the wrong agenda!

What happened next on June 2? The mayor rushed through another agenda item and called for a vote without recognizing Council member Pepper. As Pepper continued to try to get a chance to speak, the mayor told Council member Pepper she was removed. Council member Morgan tried to call “point of order” to question the ruling, and the mayor ordered Morgan to also leave! They got up and, not surprisingly, after the outrageous words of the mayor, Council member Weber got up also. The three of them left and the meeting was adjourned.

I commend Pepper, Morgan, and Weber for their courage. I hope the mayor will stop this soon. She may not. She may think she has it all figured out and appears to be planning to control both branches of government.

Lee Ann Garcia

Black Diamond

More in Opinion

State Dems may abandon caucus chaos in time for 2020

Washington also is considering becoming more significant by moving its primary to early March.

The four cornerstones of arguing irrationally

Don’t get caught up in the techniques people use to ignore rational arguments.

A taste of Krain history, from its dive-bar days

I first went in the place one winter’s evening when I was 8 or 9 years old.

Supreme Court resets the playing field

The ruling on the Masterpiece Bakery v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case wasn’t a win for the right or a loss for the left; it’s a chance to do things right the second time around.

Supreme Court ruling shows sanity, moderation

The 14th Amendment equal protection clause does not negate the First Amendment religious freedom clause.

Initiative signatures are the new greenbacks

As of Wednesday, June 6, petitions for four statewide initiatives were getting circulated.

Trump supporters see the president doing ‘God’s will on Earth’

Why did Truman recognize Israel so quickly and why do we care about modern Israel, enough to bring the ire of the Muslim world down upon us?

Eyman risking retirement funds on car tab initiative

Will the $500,000 investment be enough to get the initiative on a ballot?

U.S. isn’t the only nation flirting with trade wars

There’s another brewing between Alberta and British Columbia.

I wish I could stay in Enumclaw | Guest Columnist

There is a kindness and decency and desire to be a community in Enumclaw.

We live in frightening times

Our country is being torn apart from limb to limb, coast to coast.

Voting habits tied to feelings of security

The dangers of authoritarianism are a far greater threat to the nation than seeing rising racial equality and religious diversity brought about by immigration.