Council may use censure votes to discharge Powell

By Paul Wagner

DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow said Tuesday that the city council might use more censure votes to remove 7th Ward Alderman Mark Powell from meetings if he continues to be unruly.

Monday the council ejected Powell from a closed-door session through a censure vote after the alderman became disruptive in demanding a roll call vote on the city manager’s salary, Sparrow said.

Powell has continually demanded roll call votes, Sparrow said. The action to raise manager Mark Stevens’ salary from $53,293 to $56,539 annually required a roll call vote when it became official and public, the mayor said. It was unnecessary for Powell to demand the roll call during the first vote, he said.

Since the council failed to take action on a recall provision, Sparrow said censures against Powell “may be a lot more frequent and quicker. That’s the measure we’ll follow.”

Monday was the second time Powell has been removed from a city council meeting. A similar vote was taken June 27. Sparrow said Monday’s censure vote was not a result of Powell’s request for the roll call vote but his “disorderly and disruptive” conduct in demanding the vote. “He was disruptive from early on,” Sparrow said, adding that two council members tried to censure Powell earlier in the closed session.

Powell said the move was an attempt to stop political opposition.

“If he doesn’t like my ruling, the procedure is to appeal the rule of the chairman,” Sparrow said.