Several Democratic councilors during last night's council meeting displayed an incredible amount of disrespect to their Republican colleagues. Majority Leader Vernon Brown constantly interrupted Councilor Robert Lutz while Lutz was discussing one of the tax increases up for a vote last night. Later in the evening, At-Large Councilor Leroy Robinson and Councilor William Oliver interrupted Christine Scales while she was discussing a proposed TIF.
Lutz was taking issue with several Democrats' language in how Mayor Greg Ballard issued a line-item veto of several county agency budgets, all agencies held by elected Democrats. Lutz took issue with phrases such as "being held hostage". While I agree with the Democratic description, Lutz has the right to take issue with it. Brown interrupted him and accused him of "filibustering."
Later, Robinson interrupted Scales several times over while Scales was discussing two proposed TIFs and why two standards are set up for two different areas. Robinson was also acting as time keeper for Scales' testimony, even though no one asked him. Robinson's behavior was encouraged by Councilor Oliver, who spent a lot of time repeating phrases over and over again.
The entire Democratic caucus wasn't on bad behavior last night. Council President Maggie Lewis was doing her best to keep them in line and act in a respectful manner.
Councilors Robinson, Oliver, and Brown should issue a public apology at the next full council meeting for their obnoxious behavior. They should remember that they are there to work on behalf of the people, and the behavior displayed last night does nothing to advance that.