Division among council members race based?

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) There were heated moments during Tuesday May 13’s city council meeting as Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson walked out.

Last week’s proposed appointment of Sam Jones to the MAWSS board had support from Fred Richardson, Levon Manzie, and C.J Small but not the four other council members.

This week, it was the opposite.

John Williams, Gina Gregory, Joel Daves and Bess Rich were supporting the appointment of two members to city boards but Richardson, Manzie, and Small abstained from the vote.

Some council members report they’ve been called racist because of how they’re voting in the city council.

FOX10 News went straight to the council members to find out.

“It is absolutely not based on race,” said Councilmember John Williams. “Occasionally, we’re going to see where conservative and liberal views are displayed in the manner. It’s purely coincidence, but it’s not based on race.”

Other council members echoed the same.

“I am the same race as any other human being I’m not calling no situation racist. It might be bigotry, it might be hatred but we’re all members of the human race,” Richardson said.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson said he hopes that’s not an issue.

“I would like to think that would not be a deciding factor in anybody’s mind in making decisions so I would like to give it the benefit of the doubt that its not race,” Mayor Stimpson said.

“I don’t think it’s a race issue I think it’s a strong philosophical difference on how were to move forward,” said Manzie.

But Manzie said the council members do need to communicate better.

“We’ve got to talk with one another. There’s a lack of communication there’s a distinct philosophical differences among council members about appointments on boards, commissions and authorities and I think we need to have a serious decisions,” Manzie said.

Mayor Stimpson said if there is going to be a quote “One Mobile” it starts with his staff members.


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