Council members react to Mayor walking out

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson wanted to set the record straight Tuesday, May 13 about why he stormed out of a city council meeting.

He got up and left after city council members Fred Richardson, Levon Manzie, and C.J Small all abstained from voting for two appointments to city boards. They also abstained from voting for a proposal to buy and install decorative street sign posts, a typical council issue that usually passes with ease. But not Tuesday. Mayor Stimpson protested the gridlock by walking out of the council meeting and his administrative followed.

“I was disappointed watching what was going on. I was frustrated and I’m sure the citizens are frustrated by the process,” Mayor Stimpson said.

These proposed appointments come one week after the four other members of the council: John Williams, Gina Gregory, Joel Daves and Bess Rich voted down former Mayor Sam Jones to the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System’s board. An appointment proposed by Fred Richardson.

“We have two cities, we have two Mobiles. He (the mayor) had nothing to say last week when four people decided my nominee wouldn’t serve on the water board,” Richardson said.

With one appointment struck down last week and two this week, why did the mayor walk out today? Mayor Stimpson said it has nothing to do with the political appointments rather, it’s about general business.

“Today was the first time involving the business of the city addressing a problem in a neighborhood that affected our citizens. The rest of it was political appointments,” Mayor Stimpson said. “It was only when they crossed the line and started affecting the services of the citizens when I had enough.”

“If he walked out out of protest he needs to get him some walking shoes because if things don’t get better he’s going to be doing some walking,” Richardson said.

Richardson wouldn’t comment on why he abstained from voting for the street sign proposal.

The mayor says he’s tired of the politics.

“Being involved in political banter that’s slowing down progress of the city, that’s frustrating,” he said.

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