WASHINGTON, Ga. (WJBF) – A city council meeting took an unexpected turn Monday night. Council members did not approve the agenda after debating it for several minutes.
“Nobody seems to care. What is a city council for?” questioned Susan Abramson.
It was a packed house at the Pope Center for the city council meeting. Many citizens say their voices aren’t being heard.
Councilman Marceo Mahoney said, “These issues are unpopular with our current administration. Three white council members and a white mayor, they don’t want to hear it. They censor the agenda.”
One item Mahoney had on the agenda was to discuss an ethics complaint filed against him and Councilman Nathaniel Cullars by Mayor Bill DeGolian but the motion to approve the June 14th agenda failed.
Mahoney claimed, “Right now, you don’t have any trust in city politics here in Washington. This is the reason why people have no trust in the politics here.”
“We initially didn’t want all of this stuff in the agenda. I said fine, let’s do the whole thing. We’ll talk the whole thing out, that wasn’t good enough,” said Mayor DeGolian.
The complaint comes after Cullars wore a George Floyd memorial shirt to a photoshoot for portraits to be hung in city hall. Cullars dressed in the same shirt for Monday’s meeting.
“George Floyd is a martyr but for a portrait of a public official on the wall of city hall in my judgement, it should not be that sort of thing. It should be neutral colors,” said the mayor.
Angela Booker explained, “To me, it’s different than if someone were to wear a memorial for a loved one who had passed because they make them a lot and people wear them so I don’t see where there is a difference.”
The shirt incident led to a heated exchange between Cullars and the mayor.
Cullars encouraged his fellow council members to consider his topics of discussion on the agenda including the mayor’s resignation and the termination of city attorney Barry Flemming but none made the cut.
“I’ve already told him, look, you can put the picture up. It doesn’t matter. You can put the picture up let’s move forward but that’s still not good enough,” said DeGolian.
“If my constituents’ voices are no longer going to be heard then we’re going to protest until our issues are on the table and our city is going to take action on,” said Mahoney.
Abramson added, “The mayor got his feelings hurt and he’s a big boy. He should be able to meet with the council members, discuss the issues and move on.”
Mayor DeGolian tells NewsChannel 6’s Wes Cooper a special called meeting will be scheduled for later this week.