Mayor Notte on March 16, 2010
Recent statements made by Mayor Notte at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant calling the the plant’s renewal “better than sex” brings to mind another incident that was less humorous. From the City Council meeting on March 16, 2010…
Now, in fairness, the mayor offered a partial apology for this tirade at the following City Council meeting. And once again, I want everyone to understand that I don’t find the mayor’s profanity particularly offensive. My problem is more with the other things he had to say.
The legitimate question that comes from the mayor’s public behavior: is this the guy we need to lead Sterling Heights into 2012 and beyond?
My experience with the mayor in City Council meetings is that he is impatient with viewpoints that he doesn’t agree with. Although he’s obliged to hear everyone speak, he attempts to use the authority of his position to intimidate people expressing viewpoints different from his own into silence. It has happened to me more than once, and it happens regularly to other folks as well.
The recent tactic of limiting discussion by cutting speakers off at the 4 minute mark during the public comments on the Pit Bull ordinance seems to me a harbinger of even more limited tolerance for different viewpoints.
As you can see in the video, when Mayor Notte encounters significant opposition to something that he really wants — like a 1.9mil property tax increase — his behavior becomes questionable. In some cases, this is relatively minor — his participation in a counter-protest against folks protesting tax increases comes to mind. In other cases, the man comes unglued, to put it politely, and starts ranting and raving before Council.
Although this video shows events that took place months ago, the key take-away for me is that we have a guy in the mayor’s seat who is not a stable, calming influence on the city. He is not the guy who can mediate a discussion between different viewpoints without showing his own bias. And he expects fellow members of the council to be in lock-step with him on the important issues. Most of them are. That clearly needs to change.