Meeting substance violated county ordinance, policy

Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 11:21 AM.

In addition to a highly controversial decision on a land use variance, the Board of County Commissioners violated a recently-passed ordinance on public speaking in meetings and its own policy on “civil” debate among commissioners.

When commissioners allowed Billy Traylor to directly address Commissioner Joanna Bryan, approach the podium again without being acknowledged and permitted “insulting” comments to be directed to Bryan by Traylor and other commissioners, they were in violation of an ordinance approved last October.

And when commissioners directed “insulting” and derogatory comments toward Bryan they were in violation of their own “Pledge of Civility” policy approved more than a year ago.

Commission chair Ward McDaniel attempted in January to set a new tone for a board that was embroiled in heated meetings for the last three months of 2013.

He sought to move beyond the final months of 2013 when the board was roiled by heated arguments among staff.

Saying that what he proposed was only a reflection of state law, McDaniel said, “This year will be different. I will conduct the meetings differently than they have in the past.”

He said he wanted discussion among commissioners, staff and the public to be “professional, kind and courteous” and said the meeting room was no place to air “dirty laundry.”

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