Mumpower storms out of Council meeting in protest of water vote

Asheville City Council member Carl Mumpower walked out of Council chambers in the middle of last night’s meeting to protest the discussion and vote on a resolution seeking a compromise on the Sullivan Acts.

The resolution (see it here) , introduced by Council member Brownie Newman, came up during discussion of the legislative agenda currently making its way through the N.C. General Assembly, and largely mirrored a resolution passed by Council in March seeking some leeway for the city’s control of its water assets, water revenue and annexation.

But Mumpower, who maintains that the compromise constitutes a “surrender document,” objected on the grounds that Newman’s updated resolution was not on the agenda or listed in the staff reports prepared for the meeting.

“I think it’s extremely inappropriate to offer a last-minute proposal outside the scheduled Council agenda and I challenge Councilman Newman on that,” Mumpower said.

Newman responded that the water issue was part of the larger scheduled discussion on the legislative agenda and noted that he alerted Council members and media outlets via e-mail earlier that day.

Nonetheless, Mumpower repeatedly tried to squelch the discussion, eventually asking city attorney Bob Oast for advice.

“Are there any formal procedures for me to intercept what’s about to happen?” he asked.

Oast responded that, beyond the vocal protest the Council member had already made, there was no avenue to block the vote.

“What I can do, and what I will do, is walk out of the room,” Mumpower responded. “This is absolutely reprehensible.”

Then the Council member, keys jangling, walked out.

After a short continuation of the discussion, Council held its vote. Because Mumpower did not ask to be excused, Council rules dictate that his vote on the matter, as well as all other remaining votes for the evening, be logged as “yes” votes. The final count was 6-1 with Council member Bill Russell voting against.

Brian Postelle, staff writer



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12 thoughts on “Mumpower storms out of Council meeting in protest of water vote

  1. With the exception of Carl forgetting to excuse himself, so what?

    Both Carl & Brownie are doing the right thing –
    Trying to move forward when they know the state has done our city just plain wrong.
    I agree with Carl, we should hang ’em up by their toes & demand our rights & liberties to manage our water!
    On the other hand, if we don’t try to move forward, at any cost, we might just get totally stuck with the mud – and Brownie is smart enough to know this.

    Well, at least no one can say that politikin in Asheville is boring.

  2. Jeff

    Maybe we should call Carl a waaaaaamublance.

    Can’t we find a more mature, stable person to manage our public business? Someone who’s not so NEEDY for special attention?

  3. LOKEL

    Is this how Mummy will act when (not a chance in Heck), he is our Congressman?

  4. nuvue

    Maybe one of the few “yes” votes I have read about Mumpower registering. More often than not he is Dr. No.
    Doc, was it the procedure that pissed you off or the water issue?

  5. Rob Close

    Walking out of the room isn’t backbone – it’s a cry for attention. Whether that cry is childish or clever, I don’t know. But there are other ways of getting your point across that don’t seem so rash and immature – like challenging opponents to a public debate, truly opening your thoughts up to the community for dissection. Instead, we get antics and antics get attention.

  6. JOHN-C

    I agree with you Rob Close…

    It’s obvious Carl was challenged by his emotions when he walked out…

    We need someone who can “Stand Tall” in the face of tough decisions.

  7. nuvue

    If he was so against it, it is not like him to not stay and vote “no”. That is what he is elected to do. I want folks in there looking after the people’s biz and be our voice. He normally voices his opinion’s with not so much drama.

  8. waylon wood

    Once again, Mr. Mumpower’s childish attempts to enter the arena of politics backfires. I call for his immediate resignation from city council. He is no longer representing those who voted him into office. A “yes” vote by walking out. You are now only representing your own selfish ego.

  9. T100C-1970

    I saw the TV broadcast of Councilman Mumpower exiting the meeting. Even some of my liberal friends were impressed that he NEVER raised his voice. He simply expressed his opinion in his quiet way and departed.

    The first line of the article even says “walked out”
    but the headline says “Stormed out”. Agenda here?

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