Asheville City Council member Carl Mumpower resigned from the city’s Public Safety Committee Tuesday night during a discussion of a gun buy-back program intended to stave off gang violence. The announcement came quickly after Mayor Terry Bellamy criticized the committee and said she would like to see it disbanded.
Mumpower said he thought the issue should have come before the committee for a recommendation before it came up for deliberation by council. If, he said, such procedure isn’t followed, such committees may as well not exist.
“I am definitely going to recommend it be disbanded,” Bellamy responded, citing issues with how the committee’s agenda is created and its early-morning meeting time. “Then, effective tonight,” Mumpower said, “I will resign from that committee and resolve your concern.”
Mumpower followed up with an e-mail later that evening that announced he is leaving not only that post, but also his seat on the Revenue and Finance Committee.
“In view of the selective application of our policies and procedures by the Council majority, I no longer see constructive purpose in participating in the Council Committee structure,” Mumpower says in the e-mail.
The text of Mumpower’s e-mail is reprinted below.
—Brian Postelle, staff writer.
11/13/2007 9:28:00 PM
~from the desk of~
Carl Mumpower, Ph.D.
Councilman ~ City of Asheville
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Subject ~ City Council Public Safety and Finance Committees
Per discussion this evening where you and two other Council members endorsed sidestepping established procedure requiring preliminary review by respective Council Committees on all policy decisions and initiatives, it is apparent that the well intended Council Committee structure you created is no longer supported. The specific willingness by a 6-1 majority to sidestep preliminary review of a $50,000 gun buyback program with no attached urgency was an affirmation of that reality.
In view of the selective application of our policies and procedures by the Council majority, I no longer see constructive purpose in participating in the Council Committee structure. Effective immediately, I respectfully tender my resignation as Chair of the Public Safety Committee and membership on the Finance Committee. I wish you every success with these good efforts going forward.
Asheville City Council