Mayor Nancy Vaughan virtually attended the city council meeting on Tuesday, May 18, and Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson chaired the meeting.
Johnson, who was mayor from 2007 to 2009 and has been mayor since the 1990s, has a style of holding meetings of her own.
Johnson began the meeting by saying, “The mayor is on Zoom. She has a little stomach problem which is why she is not here. “This statement sparked a lot of laughter from their fellow councilors and the few staff members in the audience and set the tone for the meeting.
Johnson also began the meeting by asking Councilor Michelle Kennedy to lead the council on pledge of allegiance. Kennedy refuses to make the promise of allegiance even though it stands. So Kennedy refused, and Councilor Justin Outling led the pledge.
This meeting was hybrid, meaning that some, but not necessarily all of the council members are in the chamber and the public is attending Zoom. Vaughan and Councilor Marikay Abuzuaiter attended this meeting virtually. However, as it was a hybrid meeting, all votes cast by the Council should be roll-call votes, which are lengthy and time-consuming. Johnson, who likes to keep the meetings moving, decided that they could vote by show of hands on some items and by voting on others.
Johnson also throws much of the formalities of meetings out the window. When calling for votes, Johnson usually asked for a vote from “Mayor Vaughan” followed by “Abuzuaiter”, not “Councilor Abuzuaiter” or “Ms. Abuzuaiter” or even “Marikay Abuzuaiter”, but simply “Abuzuaiter”. For one vote, Johnson called all council members by their first names, with the exception of Mayor Nancy Vaughan, who had to be distinguished from council member Nancy Hoffmann.
Johnson, who, as noted, likes to keep the meeting moving, also voted on items 24 and 25 before hosting the public hearing, which confused everyone for a while. City Manager David Parrish eventually stepped in and set things up again. The public hearing took place after the vote.
The city council also voted to continue a point setting the date for the city council elections on November 2, 2021, and then heard the two speakers who had signed up to address the point.
On a routine item that was $ 2,551,355.68, Johnson said, “Can we just round this to 70 cents?” . If you can’t laugh, you’re in bad shape. “