This week, two City Council members have stayed away from meetings, with one publicly criticizing the mayor. Amid the controversy, a radio DJ played a recording of a wailing baby to poke fun at the two councilmen.
On Thursday, Mayor Tony Marquez presided over a meeting to create a draft strategic plan for the next two years. Councilman Morris Madrid was a no-show, while Councilman Cruz Roybal stayed for a half hour, saying he had another city meeting to attend.
Two days earlier, Madrid and Roybal showed up to a meeting called by the mayor to review city contracts and agreements. After a few minutes, the two walked out, with Roybal later contending that the mayor didn’t give them copies of the contracts beforehand and adequate notice for the meeting.
Madrid and Roybal supported Mayor Henry Sanchez in the March municipal election, but Marquez handily defeated the incumbent. The other two council members, Diane Moore and Andrew Feldman, both critics of the former mayor’s administration, have been Marquez allies.
Just before Thursday’s meeting, Roybal said in an interview that he would attend a meeting organized by the city’s utilities department about the city’s emergency preparedness procedures. And he took exception to a mayoral statement earlier in the week that the matter of notifying council members about meetings is left up to staff.
“The city manager should give direction to the staff. I think the city manager has failed to do that,” he said.
Shortly after the meeting began, Roybal let others know he would be going to the utilities meeting a half hour later.
“It’s about the safety of the residents of Las Vegas,” the councilman said.
Before he left, Roybal rejected suggestions by his colleagues to reduce the number of lawsuits.
“There is due process of law. We can’t violate it,” he said. “We shouldn’t be a dictator government.”
Roybal said before the meeting that he was upset with Charli Otero, a DJ with KMDZ.
“She’s entitled to her g- - - - - - opinion,” he said. “There are two sides to the story.”
Earlier Thursday, she played a recording of a crying baby, in a reference to Madrid and Roybal for not attending a council meeting Tuesday.
“They’re walking out of meetings. They’re paid to do that job. They need to suck it up and do it,” she said in a later interview. “They were being babies about it.”
She also took exception to the two council members’ complaints that they hadn’t been invited to a recent Arbor Day event.
Madrid hasn’t returned calls for comment. He has a full-time job at the state hospital, and that may be why he hasn’t been able to attend the meetings. Both of this week’s meetings lasted through much of the business day; it’s unusual for the council to have meetings during the middle of a weekday.