Carthage Councilmember Walks Out of Heated Meeting Citing Health Concerns

Carthage City Councilmember Chris Taylor walked out of a special meeting on May 10, citing health concerns amid a dispute with Councilmember Tiffany Cossey over procedural rules. The council will reconvene on May 14 to discuss hiring a law firm and revisiting scooter rentals, among other issues.

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Carthage Councilmember Walks Out of Heated Meeting Citing Health Concerns

Carthage Councilmember Walks Out of Heated Meeting Citing Health Concerns

Carthage, Missouri Councilmember Chris Taylor abruptly left a special city council meeting on May 10, 2024, citing health concerns amid a tense dispute with Councilmember Tiffany Cossey over procedural rules and ordinances. The incident occurred about 20 minutes into what was the fourth special meeting since the April 2 election and the sixth meeting overall.

Tensions flared when Cossey accused former City Attorney Nate Dally, who had submitted his resignation in early April, of not doing his job. Taylor claimed that Cossey then "hijacked the meeting" and made illegal motions, disregarding the city's ordinances and procedures. "You all can do what you want. Excuse me, Mr. Mayor. I'm sorry for the problem because it's either I leave or I'm going to go to jail," Taylor stated before walking out.

Why this matters: The power struggle within the Carthage City Council has significant implications for the city's governance and decision-making processes. If left unresolved, these disputes could lead to further instability and negatively impact the city's ability to address pressing issues and provide services to its citizens.

Cossey repeatedly asserted that the council could suspend procedural rules, citing the precedent set by the former council. Taylor alleged that Cossey and newly elected Councilmember Jana Schramm made motions and tried to create ordinances that were not listed on the agenda, violating the Missouri Sunshine Law.

The stress of the meeting took a toll on Taylor's health. "I did watch a little bit, but just to be honest, I couldn't watch much of it, and I missed the news because my blood pressure was so high that I had to detach. I just had to detach," he explained on May 13.

A seventh meeting is scheduled for May 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Carthage City Hall. Councilmembers are expected to discuss the hiring of a law firm to determine if the council has the ability to fire City Administrator Greg Dagnan without the mayor's consent. They will also revisit scooter rental in the city and provide an update on last week's storm damages.

The contentious May 10 meeting highlighted the ongoing power struggle and procedural disputes within the Carthage City Council. As the council prepares to convene once again, the city awaits resolution on key issues and clarity on the council's authority to make personnel decisions without mayoral approval.

Key Takeaways

  • Carthage Councilmember Chris Taylor walked out of a meeting on May 10, citing health concerns amid a dispute with Councilmember Tiffany Cossey.
  • Taylor accused Cossey of "hijacking" the meeting and making illegal motions, disregarding city ordinances and procedures.
  • The dispute centers on procedural rules and the council's authority to make personnel decisions without mayoral approval.
  • The power struggle has significant implications for the city's governance and decision-making processes.
  • A seventh meeting is scheduled for May 14 to discuss key issues, including the hiring of a law firm and scooter rental in the city.