City councilor Jovita Mendoza this week called for the condemnation of fellow city councilor Tony Ehrmans for his actions at the last meeting.
During a meeting on April 25, Mr. Allremans had a heated exchange with Mayor Joel Bryant, after which he briefly walked out of the meeting. The exchange occurred when city council members tried to take out two Consent Calendar items while another motion was already on the floor, after which the motion was put forward and passed unanimously.
Mr. Olelemans was outraged when he heard that a deal he had wanted to back down — a contract to build a noise barrier and reimburse the costs of a police dispatch system — had been approved, accusing the mayor of unfairly pushing the deal.
“You don’t understand anything. I’m fed up with your ability to push… you’re going to sit here look me in the face and say, “Oh, that was a mistake.” it’s garbage. It’s garbage,” said Ehrmans, pushing the mic away.
“That’s the stupidest word I’ve ever heard,” he continued, asking for a break and walking away. “That’s pathetic. This is the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
On Tuesday, several residents called for Ehrmans to either denounce the incident or resign.
Ehrmans did not comment on his actions at either board meeting and, when contacted by phone, said he had no comment.
On Tuesday, resident Rod Flor said it was clear the mayor had read the motion, but both Allremans and City Councilman Patinisha Pearson seemed confused about what to vote for.
Flor also said he was concerned that former police officer Olelemans was in possession of a weapon. Although the state’s concealed carry law allows for it with a permit, Mr. Flor said he felt comfortable speaking up at the conference, and although it’s unclear whether he actually owns a firearm, lawmakers will bring a firearm to the conference. asked to voluntarily refrain from
Flor has since called on Orelemans to resign or have the city council condemn him, and urged the mayor not to condone the “outrageous behavior” of city councilors.
Resident Danny Dorman played a video of the exchange during public comment.
“Your Majesty, you proved a threat not because you disrespected the mayor with your childish accusations…not because you acted like a disgruntled child out of your control, but because you were annoyed. No, you are a threat because you could easily come back with your weapon and take matters into your own hands.”
Dorman said Olemans, a former police officer, was “likely in possession of a weapon” and feared what might happen.
“There are only three options,” he added. “You will resign, but I know you will not. You will be recalled, but it is too expensive. You are being blamed.”
Dorman added that he expects city council action to be taken and will go to the district attorney if nothing is taken.
Meanwhile, Braden Haena accused the council of having double standards.
“If it was another councilor who Danny (Dorman) agreed with who uttered the same rant as Ms. Ollemans, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It’s okay.”
“Tony was just trying to be transparent,” Haena said. “There was a problem with the agenda at the last meeting, and clearly he had the right to sway.”
However, Mendoza city councilors have requested that a future meeting discuss Mr. Ehrmans’ accusations.
“We need to discuss the accusations of City Councilman Tony Alllemans,” she said. “I wasn’t sure about that, but after today’s public comments, I think there should be a bigger discussion about what to do about this.”
Deputy Mayor Susannah Meyer backed the case and urged the city to consider the possibility of sanctions, which are less lenient than condemnation.
Meanwhile, assistant city attorney Katherine Wissinski said she has city policy on the matter and will follow up with Mendoza later.
It’s unclear when the item will be put back for consideration this week, but city manager Tom Ogen said officials are “working within policy” to bring the option back to the city council.
Although rare, at the City Council last November Licensed City Councilman Johnny Rodriguez is accused of violating the city’s ethics and conduct policy by sharing confidential information from a closed-door meeting with his wife. Ojeng said the council could have elected to question the outgoing city council members, but there was not enough time to conduct the independent investigations and hearings required before leaving.
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