Council Battle Continues

The simmering dispute between Republican Rob Schilling and Democrats on City Council is continuing in the wake of Monday’s meltdown, John Yellig writes in today’s Progress. Check out this MP3 for the abridged, one and a half minute version of the dispute, which features Schilling speaking out of turn, Kendra Hamilton disagreeing with him, and Mayor David Brown trying to get control of the meeting.

The disagreement is partially over whether the school board should be elected by ward, partially partisan, and partially race-based — essentially a continuation of everything that made the Scottie Griffin saga so sordid, apparently unresolved by the removal of Griffin.

L’affair Ward started with Schilling’s e-mail to supporters accusing Democrats of holding a forum on whether to move to a ward-based election while having already sent a letter to the Department of Justice seeking permission to move to an at-large election system. Hamilton is upset that Schilling didn’t point out that the letter mentioned that the city would provide a post-hearing addendum, though she seems even more upset at Schilling’s portrayal of himself as a champion of the black community. Hamilton, as the only black member of council (and whose academic studies and career have been devoted to African-American history and culture), sees herself as the representative of what she terms “my people.”

The ward discussion may well continue at the next Council meeting. This is going to end in tears.

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