Councilman Questions City Leadership - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/5/07

Councilman Questions City Leadership

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Lubbock City Councilman John Leonard says the city is using questionable tactics against those who don't follow the majority.  Now, he's calling for new leadership to do what he says is right.

Leonard says he's been asked to leave several committee meetings, so other council members could sit in. By law, only three members can be at an un-posted meeting, otherwise a majority is present, and that violates the Texas Open Meetings Act. He says that's not the only abuse he's seen at city hall.

"There have been several times I've been the first at a meeting and then been asked, hey would you mind, you know, the mayor would like to sit in on this. And the first time I said sure, I would give my seat up, and let the mayor sit in, but then when I realized it was me that was being asked every time to leave the meeting, so I said no, I'm not going to do that," Leonard said. 

He says he had to pull out city charter to stay in an audit committee meeting.

"When I went back in and saw the mayor and the city attorney sitting in the same meeting that the council had been asked not to be in, that's when I pulled out the city charter and said show me where it says we can't be in this meeting," Leonard said. 

That's not the only time where Leonard felt favoritism was shown at City Hall.

"I'd hate to think what would happen if John Leonard would have sent that e-mail to all the rest of council. I don't think I would have enjoyed the same protection that Councilwoman DeLeon is enjoying right now," Leonard said. 

He's referring to an e-mail DeLeon sent to all council members asking Councilman Todd Klein to remove the issue of a migrant memorial from council's agenda. Leonard calls DeLeon along with council members Phyllis Jones and Floyd Price, along with Mayor David Miller the "gang of four."

Four is a majority vote on city council.

"If you're in this gang of four, you're covered, you're protected.  If you disagree, then you're alienated, you're minimized; if that doesn't work, troops are brought in to slander you and other things," Leonard said. 

He says it's time for a change.

"We need leadership; we need leadership to right the ship and get us productive on the things that we should be doing and keep us out of the things that we shouldn't be doing," Leonard said. 

We did speak with Mayor Miller Monday afternoon. He told us that he did not want to talk about this issue Monday, but that he plans to make comments later. We'll bring you that part of the story when it happens.

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