MAJORITY LEADER DAVID DOUGHERTY
(SCHULMAN DEFENDS DOUGHERTY)
DOUGHERTY HAS HIS SAY;
PRESTON GETS THE LAST WORD IN
In a blog of February 8th, this is what The Report had this to say about the majority leader's conduct of the Public Speaks portion of the meeting:
Understanding time considerations (about 18 people on the list to speak) Dougherty himself last night was in the view of the SCPR unnecessarily brusque and caustic with citizens appearing before Council (not just on the feral animal issue) who spoke more than the 3 minutes allowed by Council rules.
Dougherty was sitting on the timer as if he was timing the finish of a highly competitive 100 yard dash.
The Report has been at a number of Council meetings in recent years and is well taken with how Council President Allen Schulman handles the exact same situation with diplomacy and classy treatment of offenders.
Dougherty would do well to take lessons from Schulman or defer to another councilmember (when Schulman is absent) who has better skills in interacting with citizens addressing Council.Yours truly, unfortunately, was not at Council's meeting of a couple of weeks ago when Mr. Harold Smith of Massillon who owns rental property in Canton appeared before Canton's legislative body in the agenda item entitled "Public Speaks."
Smith needed another minute (beyond the allotted three minutes) to finish up.
And Council's rules impliedly provide for the presiding officer at the meeting to allow extra time up to six minutes (Reference: Rule 15H)
But no way with David Dougherty.
Undoubtedly, the guy is a "the rules are the rules" man and he was sitting all over Smith at the three minute mark to cut him off, to wit:
Apparently, Canton citizen Henry Preston, who also availed himself of the opportunity to speak to Council during the Public Speaks portion of the meeting, was offended at how Dougherty conducted the "Public Speaks" portion of the August 12th meeting.
Last night he came ready to lecture Dougherty on how to conduct a "civil" meeting.
Allen Schulman was back last night and he showed once again how one should run a meeting balancing the opportunity for citizens to get their essential points made while moving the meeting along efficiently and in a civil, respectful manner.
As the above video, Schulman being the diplomat that he is and Dougherty clearly is not, was quick to jump to Dougherty's defense.
It is a credit to Schulman that he did so. It is a discredit to Dougherty that was a need for him to have to do so.
Of course, no one can be sure whether or not Schulman would have granted Smith an extra minute. But it is clear to the SCPR that he would have handled the dialogue much more skillfully that Dougherty did.
So how did Dougherty receive Preston's admonishment?
Take a look at both his "in your face-esque" response and then Preston's rejoinder.
One does have to agree with Dougherty, he is no Allen Schulman.
However, he would do well by himself and in engendering mutual respect if he were to put off his "bulldog" attitude and take on a more attentive and respective demeanor in the manner of Schulman and most other members of Council.
One has to wonder whether or not a Dougherty and his attitude is not a product of one-party-rule in Canton and the fact that he has had no opposition whatsoever going back through the 2007 Canton City Council elections.
And in 2005, he had a walk-in-the-park over Republican, Bill Glenn.
The SCPR would not go so far as to accuse Dougherty of being uncivil in his handling of the August 12th meeting, but yours truly thinks he was rude and brusque in manner vis-a-vis the Public Speaks folks thereby does a disservice to Canton City Council and to the Canton Public.
The kicker was in his videotaped comments he in essence said (paraphrase) "I am the way I am and I ain't about to change."
Dougherty, by his own words, is not about to take lessons from Schulman or anybody else.
After all, "He is the man!"
Just a terrific example of mature leadership, no?
We all should hope that the composition of Council will change as a consequence of November's election results and that Dougherty will no longer be majority leader and therefore not in a position to be the first substitute when President Schulman cannot be present.