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‘… And that goes for Obama and the Pope’

‘… And that goes for Obama and the Pope’


‘… And that goes for Obama and the Pope’

Earle mayor continues quest for ‘ respect’ from council

Civility prevailed at the July Earle City Council meeting — for the most part, anyway.

Mayor Carolyn Jones reiterated at the beginning of the meeting that she was going to insist that the discussion be kept civil with no arguing and name calling and that the office of mayor be respected.

“I have been called the facilitator – which I am, But I am also the mayor and you will respect me as such,” Jones said. “And that goes for Obama and the Pope.”

The May council meeting was marred by a squabble with between Jones and Councilman Kenneth Cross.

Cross was ruled out of order for attempting to ask questions of department heads and things deteriorated even further after he led the effort to restrict the use of the mayor’s city car to city business only.

Jones again reminded the council that they needed to address any questions through her and be recognized first in order to speak or that she would have them removed from the building.

Things almost got out of hand after Cross began asking questions about the bills but was ignored by Jones because he did not address her first to be recognized.

“I have a question,” Cross said.

“Mr. Cross, you are out of order,” Jones replied.

“I said I have a question,” Cross said again.

“You need to address the chair,” Jones answered.

“I have a question,” Cross tried again.

“Who are you talking to?”

Jones asked.

“I’m looking at you,” Cross said.

“I don’t know who you are talking to,” Jones replied.

“I’m not going to argue with you.”

“I’m not arguing,” Cross pressed on. “I have a question.”

“You did not address the chair,” Jones maintained.

Jones then ruled Cross out of order and asked Police Chief John Couch to remove him from the building.

“I told him three times he was out of order,” Jones said. “I want you to ask him to leave.”

“You said you were the chair,” Cross responded.

“I said to address the chair,” Jones answered.

“Sir, I’m trying to be in compliance,” Cross told Capt. Couch. “I asked her a question.”

Couch came forward and addressed the council members and advised them to follow proper protocol during the meeting.

“If you are supposed to address the chair, you need to address the chair,” Couch said. “Nitpicking and this back and forth stuff is not going to help us at all.”

Couch pointed out that other governing bodies address

the chair as ‘Madame

Chair’ or ‘Mayor’ when asking to speak.

Cross said he agreed — as long as the rules are applied to everyone fairly.

“I agree,” Cross said. “I’m just asking a question.”

Cross then said to Jones, ‘Mayor, I have a question.”

Jones allowed Cross to ask his questions and the meeting proceeded in an orderly manner for the remainder of the evening.

The meeting lasted over two and a half hours as the council discussed the possibility of installing new water meters, the status of its garbage truck, and other

pressing matters.

By Mark Randall

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