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LB Activist Ann Cantrell Blasts Mayor, Council, City Officialdom For Not Following City Law On Holding Council Meeting In 5th District in May

(May 29, 2002) -- LB activist and ELB resident Ann Cantrell delivered the following testimony during the public comment period reserved for non agenda items at the May 28, 2002 City Council meeting.

[begin text]

...As a...resident of the 5th district, I'm very disappointed that tonight's meeting wasn't held in the 5th district, as required by the city [Municipal] Code.

The Press-Telegram quoted our City Attorney as saying, "Frankly, it was late and frankly we forgot."

Well frankly, I can understand how this might have been forgotten when the agenda was prepared. And frankly, I can understand how it might have been forgotten because of the hour.

But frankly, I don't understand why it wasn't addressed when a member of the public, Bry Myown, pointed out this omission during her comments last week.

Frankly Mr. Shannon, there appears to be many portions of the code that you forget...And if indeed you forgot, what about the City Clerk, the Mayor and the City Councilmembers.

Councilmember Jackie Kell states she doesn't see any value in holding the meeting in the 5th district as there's nothing left to discuss on the airport, citing that this issue was discussed at various election debates.

I would like to remind you, Jackie, that only the candidates spoke at these meetings. The public had no chance to participate.

Jackie also indicated the only other reason for holding Council meetings at various districts was to honor volunteers, which could be done at City Hall for the deserving few. I agree, and in fact believe the commendations should be held at the end of Council meetings. These awards can often take up to an hour of time at the beginning of the meeting, resulting in the Council rushing through many important issues.

Another reason for having Council meetings in the district is to allow more citizens to attend, since the locations and the 6 p.m. starting time are more convenient for those that work.

[Addressing Kell] Since you husband [former Mayor] Ernie [Kell] created this opportunity to bring City Hall to the neighborhoods, Jackie, I think you'd be insisting on your district having its turn.

The fact that you didn't leaves many of your constituents wondering who convinced you to forego this opportunity, and why.

[end text]

The Mayor and Council sat stone faced as Ms. Cantrell spoke and said nothing in response.

For related LBReport.com coverage, see: Kell, Mayor, Council & City Attorney Silent As Council Fails To Set 5th District Council Meeting. And our editorial comment: Mayor & Council Thumb Noses At 5th Dist. Residents...and ELB Voters Should Respond At Ballot Box On June 4

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