Mayor seeks order in Ma­ri­etta Coun­cil

Rome News-Tribune - - NEWS - Ross Wil­liams, Ma­ri­etta Daily Jour­nal

— Some re­cent Ma­ri­etta City Coun­cil meet­ings have been less than or­derly.

In Jan­uary, Coun­cil­man Andy Mor­ris and Grif Chal­fant shouted “S*** you!” to each other, be­fore Mor­ris stormed out of the room fol­low­ing a dis­pute over the sched­ul­ing of a com­mit­tee meet­ing date.

In June, Coun­cil­man Reg­gie Copeland called the po­lice on Mor­ris af­ter a meet­ing, claim­ing Mor­ris got in his face and yelled at him in a threat­en­ing man­ner. Mor­ris de­nied the charges, and a Cobb Su­pe­rior Court Judge dis­missed the case.

Last month’s meet­ing de­scended into ac­cu­sa­tions of racism and the air­ing of pri­vate grudges over a pro­posed change to the city’s ethics code that could ex­pose Copeland to a pub­lic rep­ri­mand over his al­leged be­hav­ior at a city event.

At Mon­day night’s agenda work session, the coun­cil dis­cussed ways to stave off chaos in the coun­cil cham­ber.

One is the ap­point­ment of Coun­cil­woman Ch­eryl Richardson as par­lia­men­tar­ian for coun­cil and com­mit­tee meet­ings. In that role, she would be re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing par­lia­men­tary pro­ce­dure, re­mind­ing her col­leagues who has the floor and whether an item can be dis­cussed.

That mea­sure was pro­posed by Mayor Steve Tum­lin, and Richardson is ex­pected to be of­fi­cially ap­proved at Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing of the full coun­cil.

At Mon­day’s work session, Richardson brought her copy of Robert’s Rules of Order, the most pop­u­lar book of par­lia­men­tary pro­ce­dure in the coun­try, used by groups rang­ing from lo­cal gov­ern­ments to churches, busi­nesses and non­prof­its.

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