Violating the Charter: Council Walkout

The Englewood city charter requires that council members present vote on all ordinances, resolutions and motions:

Article 5-37 –¬†Every member, when present, must vote upon ordinances, resolutions and motions, except he shall be excused from voting on matters involving the consideration of his own official conduct or when his personal or financial interest is involved.

In violation of this provision of the charter, three council members, including Ms. Barrentine, refused to vote on a motion to reconsider council management and walked out of the January 17, 2017 meeting.

Needless to say, denying council quorum does not constitute a legal means to shut down a vote. In fact, according to charter provision 1-5-2-4, under such circumstances, council has the power to “compel the attendance of absent members.”

Here’s an excerpt from the Englewood Herald describing the situation:

The Jan. 17 Englewood City Council meeting ended abruptly when three members left the meeting because they refused to vote on a proposal that could have resulted in the immediate election of a new mayor and mayor pro tem….

There were some heated exchanges and, when a vote was called on the proposal, at-large Councilmember Rita Russell walked out, as did Jefferson and District 3 Councilmember Laurett Barrentine, meaning no formal action could be taken due to lack of a quorum. Gillit then adjourned the meeting.

Read the full article here.