Councilman Larry Stevenson Epitomizes Unprofessionalism at Sedalia City Council Meeting [OPINION] [VIDEO]
I would like to state first, that this is a personal opinion, and anyone who disagrees with me on the content should feel free to leave a response. As a newsman, I use opinion pieces sparingly and only if I feel they are justified.
At last night’s Sedalia City Council meeting (May 24), I witnessed what I feel was some very unprofessional behavior by newly elected 4th Ward Councilman Larry Stevenson. It is the first time since I have been covering the meetings that a council member has been ordered to sit down and be quiet numerous times. This happened last night in both the pre-council and the regular council meeting.
In the pre-council meeting, Stevenson started the night pointing out the proper parliamentary procedures the council should be following called “Robert’s Rule,” which is the basic rules of parliamentary procedure. Stevenson then proceeded to break the rules by interrupting those who had the floor.
At one point, Stevenson passed out a typed proposal to the press and people in the audience on a motion that he was going to place before the council on the smoking ban. The proposal had not been approved by the mayor’s office prior to the meeting in accordance with the rules.
During the regular council meeting, a citizen came to the microphone to complain about the treatment he received while dealing with Stevenson on the phone. Stevenson loudly denied the accusations, and while only he and his accuser are the only ones who are fully aware of all the facts, Stevenson kept interrupting the man and demanded to make a statement. Mayor Elain Horn and City Administrator Gary Edwards told Councilman Stevenson they do not answer a citizen complaining about them in that forum, and recommended he do so in another forum. At that point Stevenson rose again, and wanted to go to the microphone himself for rebuttal, and was told to retake his seat.
Following the meeting, Stevenson was involved in a heated discussion outside the city council chamber with the citizen. The argument was captured in the following video and posted on Facebook.
Perhaps it is time for a reorientation of Mr. Stevenson to ensure the integrity of the council is upheld by all of its members.