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Wildwood Mayor Attempts to Disallow Discussion of "Free Speech Amendment" in His Absence

In face of the Mayor of Wildwood disallowing even the discussion of a "Free Speech Amendment" in his absence, the Wildwood City Council seems poised to use its own authority to put the amendment back on the legislative rails.

On 9/11 the "Free Speech Amendment" which would roll back rules instituted by Mayor Bowlin that prohibits residents from asking direct questions of their elected officials passed the Administration / Public Work's Committee. It was on its way to the Council's 9/24 Work Session Agenda when it was diverted when the Mayor claimed that it would not be allowed on the next agenda since he was on vacation. Further, he stated that it may be "out of order" and thus indefinitely postponed. This unusual decision was appealed by various members of the council including, Councilmember Steve Taylor who is the author of the amendment, who wrote a memo outlining the irregular machinations leading to the current status of the amendment.

With various appeals by numerous councilmembers to place the amendment on the Work Session agenda of the 9/24 meeting (note the amendment would still have to first and second read at other meetings of the council) Councilman Taylor requested that he be allowed to address "the history of public participation" as it pertained to the amendment and its currents status. Such requests are usually perfunctory and are rarely if ever denied. Taylor's request was denied by Mayor Bowlin.

"Some of us are shocked that the Mayor wont even allow a discussion of the general status of the amendment, or the issue of public participation in his absence," said Taylor. "I have spoken with the Mayor pro tem, many members of the City Council and I believe we have the votes to place this matter on the agenda and give it the proper hearing that it deserves."

Paid for by Steve Taylor