Gulfport Council President Concerned About Meeting Behavior

Recent meetings of the Gulfport City Council have included angry exchanges, bickering and dissension.

This week's election of  new leaders was one example.  Council members Richard Rose and Ricky Dombrowski clashed before a vote was taken for the new council president.

That exchange is one example of the kind of behavior that's attracting public attention at City Hall.

Current council president Dombrowski admits he's embarrassed by the council's behavior.

Some observers might suggest order has been noticeably missing at recent Gulfport city council meetings.

Dombrowski admits it's a problem.

"I'm definitely embarrassed by it. I think we need to act more responsible."

The council president says it all boils down to respect. Respect for different personalities and opposing ideas.

"If you respect each other you're going to honor each other's opinions and you can still disagree but you're going to do it in a manner that you forget about it after you disagree. And I don't think that's where we're at right now," said Dombrowski.

Chuck Teston says he too is embarrassed and disturbed by what's occurred at recent meetings. He wants the incoming president, Richard Rose, to call a closed door meeting of the council to clear the air among members.

"And then we should have a book of Roberts Rules of Order presented to us. And told this is the procedure and process we will use. If we violate those Roberts Rules of Order we should immediately be censured by the city council publicly," said Teston.

Council president Dombrowski told WLOX News it was jokingly suggested that perhaps the city council should attend an anger management class. We wanted to find out what advice and concerns Gulfport residents have about the city council's recent behavior.

"Try to see something good in each opinion," was the simple advice offered by one man.

Another resident told us council members need to consider what's at stake.

"And the city council get together and instead of arguing every time they have a meeting and do something to help the city progress," he explained.

Another Gulfport resident echoed those concerns.

"But I just do think that they should put others before themselves. Do their job," she said.

The council president expects improvement.

"It's unfortunate. Hopefully we'll improve. And I'm thinking we will," said Dombrowski.

Ricky Dombrowski says he opposed Richard Rose as council president because of Rose's record of missing meetings. Rose was elected council president by a six to one vote. Dombrowski was the lone dissenter.