Home Dutchess County Meeting gets disorderly; council adjourns before any business (VIDEO)

Meeting gets disorderly; council adjourns before any business (VIDEO)

PUCKHKEEPSIE In what has become a regular occurrence at city council sessions, audience members got rowdy. The council adjourned Tuesday night’s meeting without debating or voting on any of the city business that was on the agenda, setting a new precedent for the meeting. This happened after 45 minutes of public discussion.

A resolution sponsored by Councilmembers Deichler, Menist, Patterson, Thompson, and Grant drew a resounding majority of speakers during public comment. It asks President Biden to mediate a lasting cease-fire in Gaza, the release of all hostages taken during the conflict, and other measures that are well outside the purview or mandate of the city’s common council. The non-binding wishlist resolution has been pushed for by speakers at the last few council meetings, which has limited the council’s capacity to discuss any important matters that directly impact the community.

While those in attendance demanded that the law be passed, others voiced their disgust with the length of time spent on what one opponent referred to as a poorly drafted and pointless resolution. The same speaker begged the council to concentrate on the tasks for which you were chosen and to concentrate on our community.

Two bond resolutions for city sewer repairs and scheduling a public hearing for a senior citizen tax exemption for qualified residents were added to the meeting agenda along with the cease-fire resolution. The council did not discuss any of those matters. Rather, the 45-minute public discussion period—during which each speaker was given three minutes—was concluded by Council Chairman Da Ron Wilson. Wilson called for a return to decorum as the gallerygoers started yelling at one another and raising their voices. After his request for an adjournment was denied, he made one more plea. It was moved, seconded, and adopted. The council members sprang up and bounded out of the room with their gavels.

Vice-Chairman of the Council Nathan Shook gave an explanation for calling the meeting to a close without discussing any city business. He told Mid-Hudson News on Wednesday, “Unfortunately, we had to adjourn the meeting at the end of the public comment period.” The throng that had gathered to support the ceasefire resolution turned extremely rowdy at the end of the 45-minute public participation, yelling and not even trying to obey the Chair’s orders to come to order, he added. We made the decision to adjourn in the best interests of everyone’s safety, including the protection of the police officers present.

a selection of videos showing how rude and impolite the audience was to the speakers:


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