Last night’s City Council meeting took an unusual turn, during what is a usually mundane part of the council meeting. During council comments, where each member talks about what they have seen or done since the last meeting, comments became heated between Mayor Steve Ly and his three council counterparts, Darren Suen, Pat Hume and Stephanie Nguyen. Steve Detrick was absent. At the end of his comments Mayor Steve Ly brought up a community work force project, asked that the council set a future date for deliberations and public comment. There are two “ad hoc” committees dealing with the issues involved. Ly and Nguyen form one committee and Suen and Hume the other. All three council members stated that there was still much work to be done and setting a date was premature. Ly continued to press for a date and appeared to imply that the others did not care about the issue. At that point things became somewhat heated as the other council members took exception to Ly’s comments. Suen repeatedly asked Ly what he thought was the “road map” said he didn’t think Ly even read the document. The conversation lasted about 10 minutes.
This is not the first time that Ly and the other council members have clashed over topics at the council meetings. Several times Ly has attempted to try to bring an item back for discussion at a later time, and the others did not agree. It has led to some awkward moments as Ly has asked to bring an item back even after the others rejected the idea. It takes a majority to bring a topic back or direct staff on an issue.
In other council news, the council postponed a decision on an amendment to the Old Town Special Planning Area. The amendment would allow more restaurants and bars in the Old Town area to help revitalize the area. Some businesses would need to apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) so that the council and planning commission can review each application separately. The council will take up the issue again at the next meeting on September 26.