Simpsonville mayor kicks councilwoman out of meeting - FOX Carolina 21

Simpsonville mayor kicks councilwoman out of meeting

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Simpsonville City Council is once again making headlines after the mayor kicked a councilwoman out of Tuesday’s meeting.

Mayor Janice Curtis also threatened to kick out a councilman.

It’s only the second meeting led by Curtis who defeated the councilwoman she threw out of the meeting.

A disagreement over a curb led to the exchange of words. But councilman Taylor Graham said it’s much bigger than a disagreement.          

He says in all his years on Simpsonville City Council, with all the controversy and bickering, no one has ever been silenced.

Graham wanted to make a comment not on the agenda.

“I want to say thank y’all for picking up the ball and I know you approached me a couple years ago,” Graham said Tuesday before Curtis interrupted him.

“I'm making a comment,” Graham told the mayor.

“You're not,” she responded.

“ I want to make it known I support this…” Graham said.

“Stop it!” Curtis said.

Graham continued to talk as Curtis threatened to have him escorted from the meeting.

Things got even more testy when Mayor Curtis asked other council members if they had any comments.

She called on members one by one, then she reached Councilwoman Sylvia Lockaby.

“…I would like to know or can anyone tell me why I can comment but Mr. Graham cannot,” Lockaby asked.

“He's already had his comments,” Curtis responded to the same councilwoman who ran against her in November.

“He didn't get finished,” Lockaby said.

But Mayor Curtis said Graham was finished.

“I ruled he's finished,” she declared.

Lockaby asked city administrator David Dyrahug a question.

Then the moment came that no one saw coming.

Lockaby brought up storm water issue and Curtis accused her of arguing.

“I'm not arguing. I'm stating a fact. We have storm water issues all over the city. Is this opening a can of worms,” Lockaby said.

Curtis tells her to ask the attorney and the mayor and councilwoman exchanged more words before Curtis told Lockaby that she was finished speaking.

Curtis called for order a couple times.

“Are you going to throw me out?” Lockaby asked.

“Keep it up. You’ll find out,” Curtis said after calling for order.

A short time later, Curtis tells a police officer that she needs Lockaby out.

Councilman Graham thinks all of this sets a bad tone.

"In my opinion being set up as a dictatorship and trying to silence those who have an opinion or voice opposite of that what she believes," Graham said.

Lockaby agrees with Graham.

"She ran on unity, she ran on civility and ran on one Simpsonville. And I don't see any of it,” Lockaby said.

Curtis declined to be interviewed.

She provided the following statement:

“I am saddened that Mrs. Lockaby has not been able to accept me as Mayor and the fact that she lost.

She has demonstrated lack of respect for the entire community with the choice she made last night to not be called into order.

My community has been through such a sad, uncontrollable, unprofessional experience over the past few years. 

I was voted in office to bring order back and that began last night.”

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