Members of city council continue to deliberate how best to settle the feud that has embroiled on of their elected colleagues and the city manager. Much needed work is being sidetracked and we're hearing a lot of mumbling from constituents, the term dysfunctional being tossed about.
With ongoing tension between council members, some are worried about their ability to manage some important and upcoming tasks. Councilwoman Karen Gibson and councilman Todd Klein spoke to FOX 34 about the issue.
"The public's opinion is that we can't get anything done," Gibson said.
Gibson also said the attention on council's problems outweighs the affect it is having on their productivity.
"We have a lot going on in this city, other than the Victor Hernandez, Lee Ann Dumbauld situation," Gibson said. "That seems to be what the public is focusing on and that is not the major thing that's going on right now."
"It can certainly be the big consuming issue, and the challenge is for it not to be," Klein said. "We were elected to take care of routine business and we can't lose sight of that as we deal with these other issues."
Some of the major topics on council's plate: the budget, a possible bond election and much more.
"We've got police station, fire station, we've got big projects, we've got all these community centers we've got to get taken care of," Gibson said.
Klein said an institution needs strong credibility to take on big issues.
"Whenever it seems like there's a lot of consumption of distraction, it erodes our confidence, we've got to make sure we restore it," he said.
Gibson doesn't want time to confuse citizens about why some of these decisions aren't being made. She said council wants to make sure the correct choices are being made for the city, so time should be taken. As long as it is spent wisely.
"We have the budget that is coming up that is extremely important," she said. "We don't have time to be messing with nit-picky challenges."
Gibson added that council will be able to finalize a budget even in the absence of a city manager because systems are in place to account for that possibility. Council has the Dumbauld-Hernandez problem on its next agenda May 9, as well as some of the more pressing issues.