Archive for September 14th, 2010

September 14, 2010

Jeanne Harris Throws Yet Another Tantrum, Must Go

by lewwaters

UPDATE: Vancouver City Council Ethics Panel Decision HERE

Unscientific poll on Harris’ fate HERE

Vancouver Progressive city council member Jeanne Harris has once again erupted in anger and vitriol aimed towards a citizen during the Citizen Communications segment of the City Council Meeting.

Just weeks ago she lambasted Larry Patella over his right to free speech during the council meeting, resulting in a confrontation between her and fellow council member, Jeanne Stewart.

Jeannes spar twice during Council meeting

Ms Harris is also one of the three council members, joining Mayor Leavitt and Bart Hansen, who saw no problem with passing an ordinance restricting our right to free speech in political gatherings by placing prior notice limitations on such gatherings, even though no problems have ever occurred during such gatherings held be either left-wing or right-wing groups.

That ordinance did not pass as such and was rewritten to exclude political gatherings, which Ms. Harris clearly disagreed with: Free Speech Gains a Short Reprieve from the Vancouver City Council.

I was in attendance at both meetings and Ms. Harris appeared visibly upset that she did not get her way to place limitations on gatherings that pertain to free speech rights for all.

At a subsequent town hall she once again became visibly upset with citizens over confronting Mayor Leavitt for his switch on campaigning on no tolls, admonishing the audience, most a bit older than she, as if they were third graders.

And now, once again, it is reported that not only did she throw a tantrum towards a citizen during the Citizen Communications segment, but that she stormed out of the council meeting and afterwards, angrily confronted fellow council member Jeanne Stewart in the hallway. As reported to me by a friend present at last night’s council meeting,

Tonight was a sad night for the citizens of Vancouver, WA.

During tonight’s City Council Meeting, Mr. David Madore was called to speak during public comment time. When he began to speak he was viciously attacked by City Councilwoman Jeanne Harris who basically tried to shut him down. When Mr. Madore spoke about his freedom of speech, she told him he didn’t have any in the City Council meeting because THEY controlled the subject. Ms. Harris felt that Mr. Madore’s discussion about tolls and light rail coming into Vancouver was not the concern of the city. She was rude, disrespectful and extremely combative.

When City Councilwoman Jeanne Stewart spoke up in defense of Mr. Madore, Ms. Harris yelled out something about how Jeanne is defending him because we (speaking about those who oppose tolls and light rail) are her friends.

Another gentleman got up to speak and challenged Ms. Harris on his First Amendment Right. She became extremely angry and shouted at him to sit down. He said he has his three minute right to speak when she began yelling for him to get out of the building. Ms. Stewart told Ms. Harris that she didn’t have the right to throw out a citizen who wanted to speak and Ms. Harris got upset and began demanding that the mayor hit his gavel. When the mayor refused, and tried to calm Ms. Harris down, she jumped up from her seat and stomped away angry.

City Councilwoman Stewart told the mayor and other city council members that City Councilwoman Harris had no right to accuse her of “being friends” with the no tolls people. Later, City Council woman Harris came out from the back after the meeting and began a shouting match with Ms. Stewart. As she was walking away, she turned and shouted at Ms. Stewart to “SHUT UP”!

The rest of the City Council members sat there without defending the citizens! The City Attorney who was present only responded when Ms Stewart insisted he said something. He basically sided with Ms. Harris silencing citizens because as far as they are concerned: TOLLS and the I-5 Bridge is not a Vancouver issue. HELLO!!

We need to protest this behavior! It is totally inappropriate and clearly a violation of our freedom of speech! I need everyone to get involved with me to protest this misbehavior and show these bullies that they do not have the right to harass citizens!”

Ms. Harris appears to be out of control and should not be on the city council if she cannot sit during a short 3-minute presentation of a citizen. After all, aren’t council members elected to “listen” to the citizens, not dictate to us?

I know Mr. Madore and he is one of the most reasoned, rational speakers I have ever heard. Regardless, unless he is verbally attacking or engaging in untoward conduct and speech, doesn’t he have a right to speak his mind during a “citizen communications” in the council meeting?

I have sat during council meetings and listened to other citizens get up and speak of things I disagree with totally. If I interrupted their time to shut any of them up, I would rightfully be ousted from the meeting.

Ms. Harris has once again shown she should not be sitting on the Vancouver City Council. She apparently does not have the demeanor to listen to what she might not agree with when citizens speak freely. I hate to tell her, but we have not yet become Obamastan where she and she alone is entitled to decide who may or may not speak.

Calling for her resignation would fall upon deaf ears, I am afraid. Her arrogance would block hearing such words.

To that end, I urge Mayor Tim Leavitt and the rest of the City Council to conduct an emergency meeting at the earliest possible date with the intent of ousting her from the council to be replaced by someone selected through the normal process that will willingly sit and listen to citizens respectfully, as the rest of you have done repeatedly.

An admonishment or an apology is not enough as I doubt it would change her demeanor towards citizens. I imagine it would just anger her more.

Citizens of Vancouver, Washington deserve better and Ms. Jeanne Harris must step down or be ousted. Her brash, rude vitriol towards citizens and fellow council members can no longer be tolerated.

Jeanne Harris must go!

CVTV Video (begins about 8 minutes in)