‘Skip’ fest an­noys Trenton coun­cil pres­i­dent

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - By Isaac Avilucea iav­[email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @IsaacAvilucea on Twit­ter

TRENTON >> In a com­i­cal and al­most child­ish throw­back to the el­e­men­tary days of fol­low-the-leader, coun­cil members sud­denly con­tracted a vi­cious case of the skip-sies dur­ing Thurs­day night’s meeting.

Jerell “Skip-to-my-Lou” Blake­ley in­spired the skip pa­rade that was in full swing, con­fus­ing city clerk Dwayne Har­ris as he tried to ref­eree over the coun­cil docket.

What started out as an un­de­cided Blake­ley ask­ing for the clerk to come back to him so he had more time to fig­ure out his vote quickly turned into an­other point of con­tention be­tween the youngest mem­ber of the leg­isla­tive body and the griz­zly vet­eran, coun­cil pres­i­dent Kathy McBride.

Ap­par­ently grow­ing tired of Blake­ley’s skip-scotch­ing, the leader of the leg­isla­tive body or­dered it to stop.

She told Blake­ley that if he skipped his vote again he would be giv­ing up his right to vote on that docket item.

McBride quickly hushed him like a over­sized kid when he tried to fire back.

But when there was a break in the ac­tion, Blake­ley made it “point of clar­i­fi­ca­tion” to ask the clerk whether he was al­lowed, per coun­cil rules, to skip his vote and have the clerk come back to him prior to McBride de­liv­er­ing her bal­lot.

The clerk agreed with Blake­ley that he was en­ti­tled to do so, bring­ing an end to McBride’s power trip.

And so, prac­ti­cally skip­ping with joy, Blake­ley pro­ceeded to skip darn near ev­ery sub­se­quent vote. He even showed off his lan­guage skills, pro­fess­ing to “skip” in Welsh, Swedish and other di­alects.

Pretty soon, coun­cil­men Joe Har­ri­son and Ge­orge Muschal joined in on the skip­ping fun, which caused McBride fur­ther an­noy­ance.

Blake­ley even tossed in a “yes” vote – oui – in French, ap­par­ently one step too far for the clerk who re­minded him he only spoke English and all his votes had to cast in such.

Fi­nally, Blake­ley re­lented from skip­ping his turn feel­ing he had “made my point.”

JOHN BERRY — TREN­TO­NIAN FILE PHO­TOS

Trenton City Coun­cilmem­bers talk with the mayor’s chief of staff Yoshi Manale at Thurs­day’s meeting.

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