Citizens group requesting that Ozark mayor be censured
OZARK, Ala. (WTVY) - In Ozark, the City Council President decided to step in while city residents voiced their reasonings as to why Mayor Mark Blankenship should be censured.
The council received a request to censure Blankenship from Bryant Fontenot with the citizen’s group We the People, Dale County at the last council meeting.
The group wants him to be censured due to his behavior regarding the Ozark Dale County library and LGBTQ+ books in the young adult section.
In tonight’s meeting. Brenda Simechak stopped people from what she called crossing a line into personal attacks on Mayor Blankenship during the public comment portion of the council meeting.
Fontenot and other members attended the meeting to request he be censured once again. However, Simechak said that in order to retain order, those who have already publicly stated their claims against or about Blankenship would have to present those comments in an executive session instead and would not be allowed to attack Blankenhsip’s name in a public forum.
Simechack said, “it is all in the temperature of what you are saying and how you are saying it.” in regards to what makes a comment a personal attack.
On the other hand, Fontenot said that since Blankenship holds a public office, he and others should be able to express those concerns. He added that their only motivation was to get the city council to issue a formal disproval because of the behaviors such as harassment against citizens that the mayor is accused of.
Fontenot added that, “We have no personal issue with Mr. Blankenship but we have every right to question how he conducts business on our behalf.”
The council President stated that people are still allowed to voice their concerns to the council as long as it is not deemed as an attack on an individual.
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