I attended the Sept. 27 Asheville City Council meeting in anticipation of speaking in favor of the Blue Ridge Pride event being granted a proclamation signed and read by the mayor, as many other proclamations have been. Imagine my surprise to find out, mere hours prior to the meeting, that the mayor had met with the organizers of the Pride event and issued them a proclamation after all! There's just one major problem, however.
The mayor neglected, for reasons of "not being able to amend the printed agenda” to read the proclamation with the others. At the beginning of the meeting, she hastily remarked that the Blue Ridge Pride Day proclamation item on the agenda was to be disregarded. She then read and presented proclamations for Food Day, Fire Prevention Month and the Salute to Families Celebration.
Rather than behaving in a manner that respects and uplifts the event from the standpoint of the local government, Mayor Bellamy made the proclamation a side item, or tried to, in any case.
Why didn't the mayor read the proclamation? She signed it with her own hand, she met with the organizers, she worked together with them — admirable, given her behavior regarding LGBTQ matters prior. Why all the shady back and forth?
Further, as someone who is partially familiar with Robert's Rules of Order, it is unseemly to me that the mayor would deny the ability to amend the proclamations portion of the meeting to be able to include the Blue Ridge Pride Day, but without opposition amended the new business to strike discussion of the proclamation from the agenda, moving any and all discussion around the topic as a whole to the public comments portion of the meeting.
I am displeased with what I see to be backhanded behavior on the part of our mayor, but at the same time, I'm thankful that a reasonable result came from this controversial debacle surrounding the proclamation. I appreciate the efforts of the Council and the mayor to make steps toward unifying Asheville and providing the broad range of events that display the city's incredible diversity.
— Charlotte Anderson