Just days after the city council on a vote of 6-2 passed the states first non-discrimination ordinance to protect LGBT persons in Fayetteville, there is a push to gather nearly 5,000 signatures in order to get a referendum before the voters on whether or not to allow this measure to become the law of Fayetteville.
I went through and edited the city council meeting to extract the final comments of the council members who voiced their opinions before the vote was taken and after hours of public comment from Fayetteville residents and other from across the state.
As residents of the 3rd largest city in the state are being asked to sign a petition, I thought it would good to remind these people who they elected to the city council where their job is to make the hard decisions for the community.
Allow me to paraphrase one resident who spoke during the public comment period about the amendment to put this decision to a vote ( which failed 6-2 )he said, "This council just voted to spend over 1 million dollars on a city park. This was not put forward for the residents to vote on." We live in a society that has a constitutionally limited representative democracy as a form of government. If we are not going to allow those we elect to make the hard choices then we need to scrap the representative part and go for a straight democracy where every eligible voter is called upon to give their assent or denial to every aspect of civil governance.
The first clip that I have extracted is from the Alderman who introduced the ordinance Mr. Matthew Petty:
Following Mr. Petty was Alderman Justin Tennant who ultimately voted no along with his fellow councilman Martin Schoppmeyer Jr. I will leave it an exercise of those reading this to determine the veracity of Mr Tennant's claim to harbor no discrimination in his heart towards the LGBT community.
The next council member to comment was Mr Mark Kinion
City council member Adella Gray was the next to deliver her final comments before the vote.
The final member of the city council to address the body was Sarah Marsh.
Finally with all the members of the city council having addressed the body with their final thoughts, it was time for the Mayor, Lioneld Jordan who leads the meeting, but doesn't vote except in the case of a tie, to call for the councils vote. But as we saw in an earlier post he had a few things of his own to say on the matter. What follows are his comments and the vote of the council.
If you know anyone in Fayetteville who is unsure of whether or not to sign the referendum petition, send them over here to watch their duly elected city representatives doing the hard work of governing a city to the best advantage of everyone concerned, and remind them of the shear folly of ever placing the civil rights of a minority to the will of the majority.