Council meeting disrupted by protest

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-26 19:23:46-04

For the second week in a row the City Council cut public comments short to hear a presentation.

“They are putting corporations over people, which is not what the council is here to do,” said Andrea Montalvo-Hamid.

Last week’s presentation was from Port of Corpus Christi officials, this week, it was a presentation on the status of the Harbor Bridge Project.

However, going to the presentation didn’t sit well with people still waiting to comment.

“They said that they had to schedule them because those people presenting had to go back to work, we work too,” said Montalvo-Hamid.  We pay taxes, we are citizens of this community, we contribute.”

Montalvo-Hamid is part of a group called For the Greater Good.  Every week the group organizes speakers for public comment with a specific issue in mind.  This week, members were at the meeting to voice their concerns over proposed cuts to the city’s Parks & Recreation Department.

However, group members believe they’re being silenced by the council.

“They perhaps remember who we are, and they skip some names,” said Montalvo-Hamid.  “It happened to one of my comrades I think three weeks in a row.  That shouldn’t happen.  They say it wasn’t intentional but I feel it could have been.”

Mayor Joe McComb threatened to have disruptors removed from the council chamber more than once.

Montalvo-Hamid says her group was just trying to be heard.

“The city council is here to work for the people, they were elected to serve the people,” said Montalvo-Hamid.

Mayor McComb stopped by the KRIS 6 studios after council to respond to the group’s complaints.  He says he made it clear at the start of the meeting public comment would be suspended for the presentation.

The mayor also denies the council is trying to keep any person or group silent.

“There’s no intention of skipping anybody, we’re going to give everybody the right opportunity,” said Mayor McComb.  “Again, it’s one of those allegations you can’t respond to, but nobody’s been skipped intentionally.  I did make an oversight because I put a check mark by the wrong name.”

Mayor McComb added as soon as the presentation was over, he re-opened public comment.