|Published:||Aug 15, 2012 6:04 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 15, 2012 6:42 PM EDT|
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - A Bonita Springs councilwoman is under fire, accused of behavior unbecoming of her office.
Councilwoman Martha Simons, of District 5, was the center of discussion at Wednesday's city council meeting, as her colleagues deliberated whether to publicly reprimand her for those allegations.
Mayor Ben Nelson drafted an outline of Simons behavior, which included interrupting and storming out of council meetings, repeating her position numerous times, and using her position to influence city employees.
Nelson asked council if Simons should be censured.
"If you've got somebody that takes over the conversation, or goes round and round and round, or after someone speaks, (they) insist on speaking, that gets disruptive," Nelson said.
After being confronted during the meeting, Simons said her style could sometimes be "irritating," but it was only because she became passionate about certain topics and liked to ask many questions.
"City council is obligated to inform and be informed, to make inquiries, to evaluate, to discuss, to make independent decisions, to trust but verify," Simons said.
In a 4-3 vote, council eventually postponed formal sanctions for 6 months. Those voting for censuring Simons included council members McIntosh, Martin, and Slachta, and Mayor Ben Nelson.
Council members Simons, Lonkart, and Simmons voted for no censure.
Meantime Simons is committed to working together with her colleagues.
"We have a great city, and we want to make it even better," Simons said. "Our council is going to continue to work together and move forward. I'm very grateful and I respect my colleagues."
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