By Dale Jones
Monday night was not your typical Clay city council meeting. The agenda was bare. No public hearings. No resolutions, ordinances or other orders of business. It was basically a meeting for the mayor and council to give their reports. Councilman Kevin Small took advantage of the light slate to address the council and citizens in attendance, encouraging the community to come together.
At times Small was pleading, at others he was scolding, but his message was obvious.
While Small made it clear that he intentionally hasn’t always addressed certain issues via social media during his term, but since he has publicly announced that he would not be seeking re-election, he felt it necessary to make his feelings known.
“I think sometimes we get caught up in how national politics goes,” Small said, regarding Facebook posts and comments aimed at presidential candidates. “But when you get into a city like ours, and people say things that are hateful, it is affecting real people right here.”
Small spoke of citizens who had made unfounded accusations against city employees and elected officials.
“I want people to understand, it seems real cute to get on Facebook and call people names or make false accusations, and it’s one thing to have a political opinion and to have your idea of who should be running the city and who shouldn’t, but badgering city employees and their families is cowardice.”
Small said that there are people who have bragged about stirring up issues when it was completely unnecessary and baseless to do so, and he encouraged those in attendance to shut those individuals down.
According to Small, issues have been made about everything from signs, to paving roads, and said that individuals who questioned anything the city was doing should be bold enough to come and address city officials in person rather than verbally attacking city employees.
Mayor Charles Webster backed up Small with similar statements.
“If you have questions about anything, I am here everyday,” Webster said. “If you think there is money being misspent, all you have to do is come and ask the questions. Everything that we do, there are public records. You can come in here at any time, ask for any document, and you will get it.”
Webster said that he hoped the backstabbing from some citizens would stop and that the community would come together to help move things forward.
“I think I can speak for every council member up here, we are all Christians and we try to live that way every day. Everybody makes mistakes, but like Jesus said, if you are not guilty then you can cast the first stone. We’ve got people casting stones at us every single day, and I beg for you to please stop it.”
The next council meeting will be Monday, April 18 at 6:30.