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Request by New Council Members for Private Orientation Rebuffed by Council Member Stephens; He plans

Maybe you can recall a time when you were starting a new job. You may have had a few questions that you didn't want to broadcast.

Thankfully, there is often a space for such inquiry. Generally, orientation is a time for new members of a team to get questions out of the way without embarrassment.

Monday before the council's work session, orientation for the new members of the Wildwood City council will take place.

In an email to the council (which is public record) newly-elected Dr. Kenneth Remy sent a request on behalf of new council members suggesting that the orientation be held in a private setting.

Hello Fellow City leaders,

At 515 there will be a new council orientation with city staff leadership. I have spoken with My new fellow council members and we would prefer if just the new members (Crystal, Lauren, and myself) attended this with the city employees so that we can have a more intimate time to ask questions etc. Thanks for the consideration.

Ken Remy

The request was not well-received by council member Niles Stephens. Stephens had campaigned for censured-member Tammy Shea, who Dr. Remy defeated in the last election in what was seen by many as a referendum for more civility in city government. Council member Stephens responded as follows:

Mr. Remy,

The new council orientation is a public meeting.

If the 3 newly elected council members wish to have a private meeting with staff, they are free to do so at a different time.

I’ll be there at

Thank you,

Niles Stephens

As a member of the council, I support city-authorized live-streaming of meetings. It makes us accountable and provides access to those unable to attend.

That said, we should also be welcoming of new council members and extend to them the courtesy of an informal orientation. Everyone should be given a first-day pass on the "obvious question".

Let's hope the new members of the council will bring more civility to city hall. The voters who sent them there expect it.

Paid for by Steve Taylor