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Councilmember reprimanded


The Electric City Council reprimanded one of its own members for violating rules of procedure at its meeting last Tuesday night.

The complaint against Councilmember Birdie Hensley originated from an online posting she’d made that stated that Electric City parks planned to have a Christmas tree event at North Dam Park. But Hensley had not cleared that with the full city council.

The complaint was filed with the city clerk by Councilmember Richard McGuire and automatically placed on the council agenda.

The reprimand motion was passed, 3-2, with members Aaron Derr, McGuire and Brad Parrish voting for it. Hensley and Councilmember Lonna Bussert voted against it.

The complaint had also listed Bussert, but it was determined that Hensley had made the posting and included Bussert in the Christmas tree plan. Hensley told the council that it was her idea, thus relieving Bussert from the complaint.

Council rules state that the council must act as a whole. “Individual council members do not have the authority to act on behalf of the entire council or to represent the council unless the council has approved such activity by majority vote,” the rules state.

Hensley will now receive a letter of reprimand from the full council. She earlier received an admonition for writing a letter to another agency suggesting she was acting on behalf of the full council.

The rules of council procedure state that the first violation results in an admonition, the second and third violations get reprimands and the fourth results in dismissal from the council.

The council created its rules of operation in 2012.

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