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June 15, 2013

Viewpoint: Theatrics displayed in County Council's wheel tax vote

Theatrics displayed in Council's wheel tax vote

I was present at the Madison County Council meeting on May 13 to discuss reinstating the wheel tax. I was both amused and amazed by the theatrics that transpired and by the lack of competence and yet arrogance by the council president. He reminded me of a dictator when he stated, “I said two minutes! Now order in the council chamber!” (I’ll explain later.)

At the end of the meeting, he did not even know how to phrase a motion; he had to ask the attorney. He even had to ask the attorney if he could vote on the tax. It seems, at least to this casual observer, that this should be knowledge the council president should possess. There was one council member who was very professional, had facts and statistics and presented them very well. Too bad they fell on deaf ears.

When it was time to take comments/questions from the audience, the dictator laid down some ground rules. One was — each person would get two minutes to speak. Another council member asked to change that to three, and the dictator became loud and angry and made the above statement. Bam! He then hit the gavel. Then, he further stated, “I’m gonna go across each aisle and give each person a chance to talk, from front to back, until every person has had a chance to talk.” What does he do next? He violates his very own dictate. He states, “Where is John Paugh? John, come on down here. You get to go first.” All I could think was, “You hypocrite!” He asked all the ‘important’ people to come down and speak before we “common folk” got our chance. He gave the “important people” all the time they needed, but for the “common people,” when their two minutes were up, bam went the gavel.

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