How can I say these men have no shame?
Well...I could have said it back on July 31st, when they called a special session to try to change the rules to help Frank Willis hang onto his job. At that meeting, the only item on the agenda was changing the certification date for the primary results, because they all realized Frank would not be able to get any "new" results certified in time.
Or I could have said they had no shame when they allowed one of their own, Robinson, to call the Democratic Mayoral Nominee racist at their council meeting last week. How Robinson can argue Wukela would create "racial disparities" when he won the Democratic primary by winning all the predominantly black precincts is beyond rationalization, but who says Ed Robinson is rational.
I could have said they had no shame after their Septemer 8th meeting, when they failed to address the public outcry over their failure to properly account for the allocation of funds (specifically the $7600.00 given to Robinson for a Juneteenth festival that didn't happen until August, after the rest of the media followed Larry Smith and the Community Times questioning of what happened to the money). What they did instead was give the Downtown Development corporation $300,000 to purchase the old Kimbrell's building without having it appraised at all.
I could have said they had no shame after their October 13th meeting, when Councilman Brand proposed a first reading of making the municipal elections non-partisan. Why was this potentially shameful? Isn't nonpartisan a good thing? It can be. But that's not why they proposed it. No, if you want an explanation, look no further than their own words.
“What happened to us was because of partisan (elections),” Woodard said.
Woodard also said that his and Willis’ support was split because of separate
party primaries — “It had nothing to do with being a Republican or a Democrat.”
That's right, they want to change the rules because they lost. But we already know these guys will do whatever they can to stay in office.
Do I think they have no shame because at today's (once again "special") meeting, they voted themselves a pay increase (Brand and Holland voted against the pay increase)? No. I mean, these are the same guys that voted to extend their own terms when the voted to align the muni elections with the general.
No...today I have been moved to say they have no shame, because the believe the people of Florence will forget what came out of their mouths just seven days ago. The SCNow articles from today's meeting and the meeting from last week are linked below. Look at their own comments from the Oct. 13th meeting. You almost feel sorry for Billy D. Where was the workshop? Where was the Public Hearing?
What the articles don't show is the bullshit Brand, Woodard and Willis gave Billy at the hearing. No, no...nobody's trying to fast track anything. We just want to go ahead and get the first reading out of the way. We'll have plenty of time to go over it. I'm going to guess not much time was devoted to going over that 6 single-member district info.
Listen, I've got my own reasons for liking the partisan approach, not the least of which is history and some of the tricks that were used around these parts to disenfranchise minorities. Plus, its a simple fact that we are smack dab in gerrymandering country (just take a look at Leatherman's district on a map). It's a little harder (or at least eventually more expensive) to redraw municipality lines. You do have to provide services to those folks. But the reasons behind these yahoos pushing this and the ham-handed way they go about it is shameful.
I am anxiously awaiting November 4th and the change we will have to this council. I mean, afterall, isn't Florence supposed to be a "city of character?"
SCNow article on today's meeting: