Thursday, December 6, 2018

Council Member Calls Colleagues' Absence "Embarrassing"

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2018 at 5:02 PM

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At its third consecutive meeting this week, the Memphis City Council was unable to reach a quorum and the council members who have been present all week are growing impatient. 

After four council members supporting Rhonda Logan’s bid for the vacant District 1 seat walked out of Tuesday’s meeting, the remaining six members instated a standing daily meeting until there is a quorum so that the council could vote on December 4th agenda’s 56 items.

Of the six council members who did not walk out Tuesday, only Worth Morgan, J Ford Canale, Frank Colvett Jr., and Kemp Conrad were in attendance at the Thursday meeting. Council members Reid Hedgepeth and Berlin Boyd, as well as the four who walked out, Patrice Robinson, Jamita Swearegen, Joe Brown, and Martavious Jones were not present.

Colvett said the boycotting members' absence and the inability for the council to vote on other business is “embarrassing.” The business of the city is “grinding to a halt over one vote,” meaning the city could miss out on grant funds for police body armor and sky-cops already paid for by neighborhoods aren’t being installed, Colvett said.

Colvett said the council members not present should put aside their thoughts and feelings

“It is my opinion that there has been every single effort possible that says we are willing to have a conversation,” Colvett said. “We want to have a conversation. We need to have a conversation.

“I would like to say to my colleagues that are not with us, put away your thoughts and feelings and come back so we can have a conversation."

Canale said “quite frankly it makes me sick,” calling the situation “unfair” and “sad.”

“Here we go again,” Canale said. “It’s the third straight day of holding up city business. We’re all taking time away from our jobs to be here. I don’t know what other people in this room think, but what is this saying to the citizens about us?”

Canale said he is ready for discussion and a resolution, as the “people of Memphis deserve it.”

“We have elected officials that have chosen not to show and do their job because they didn’t get their way,” Canale said. “What does that say? It does not send a good lesson to our youth about sticking around when things get tough and working it out together.”

Colvett ensured the audience and his colleagues that the council will “figure this out somehow, someway.”

Meanwhile, the council is slated to meet again Friday at 4 p.m. in another attempt to reach a quorum of seven members, and the 10-member council still has three vacancies to fill at its last meeting of the year on Tuesday, December 18th.

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