Wednesday, April 5, 2017

City Council Meeting Erupts in Shouting

Kevin Surbaugh

The April 4, 2017 meeting of the Baldwin City convened with approval of the cities consent agenda, but only after a special use permit for a car show was moved to old business.
Jeanette Blackmar, Executive Director of the Baldwin City Chamber, told the council that the Chamber supports the car show because it promotes social and economic vitality to the city.
Baldwin City resident, Staci Simpson addressed, concerns about pin-ups, saying that back in the 40's and 50's the pin-ups were much more risque, but now, she said, "it is more empowering." She thinks it is a matter of opinion whether it was demeaning and degrading to women.
Afterwards, Council-Member Steve Bauer moved that the council approve the special use permit for the Pistons and Pin-Ups Car Show's third year in Baldwin City.  When no second was heard, a member of the audience, Brian Pitts, stood and shouted that it was ridiculous.  Eighty percent of the cities businesses signed a petition in support of the car show, and the council is ignoring them, he shouted.
Supporters of a car show packed the room.
photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Mayor Pearse had to use her gavel to try to regain order, saying she could not have anarchy in the meeting. Council-Member Kathy Gerstner said that she was not opposed to the car show in of itself, but that her concern was with  the marketing of it as the "Piston and Pin-Ups" Car Show.  Pin-Ups was demeaning to women and sexualized them.
Both her and Council-Member Tony Brown explained that there was a double meaning to the word piston, The word didn't only refer to car parts, but also to male genitalia.  "Sex sales," Brown said, "but not in my house." Brown wasn't concerned what the intent may be, he didn't want the city to have the wrong image from those outside of the community.

In Other Business:

  • Jay Zimmerscied presented a modified version of the site plan for the new public works building, using the existing access road for the new entrance, moving he secure gate, which he says will be a win win to both sides of the equation.
    Council-Member David Simmons moved to approve and Bauer seconded. The plan passed this time around, with Gerstner casting the lone dissenting vote. 
  • Approved moving the second half of the cities franchise fee from September 1 to April 1. 
  • To help those on fixed incomes The council also approved an abatement of the 2.5 percent for those whose April bill is below $250, provided they bring it into city hall and ask from the abatement.
  • Heard from Tom Farmer, who said he was the Committee  Chair for Boy Scout Troop 65. He asked the council to consider expanding the parking between the city pool, across the creek and to the Scout Cabin. Currently, the scouts parents and others in attendance are forced to park in the grass on Monday nights, which creates a problem when it is raining. He said the cabin and pool is in a city park, with the cabin being leased and maintained by the Scouts.

    1. I think Kevin should learn to spell.

      1. Thank you for your input. Please be specific. If by chance you mean, "sexualized" even though it is often used, the word doesn't actually exist, according to spell-checker (and online dictionaries). Other then that, the only words flagged by spell check, are peoples names.


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