Ozark citizen calls on council to censure mayor for behavior in library debateRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Sep 10 2023 8:40 PM
OZARK: Ozark citizen Bryant Fontenot asked the Ozark City Council Tuesday night to consider a motion to censure Mayor Mark Blankenship.
Fontenot told the council that it should censure Blankenship due to the mayor’s contact with a citizen in connection with the community’s debate over Blankenship’s call to defund the Ozark Dale County Public Library unless it moved all LGBTQ+ books to the adult section.
“The First Amendment is first because it is supreme,” Fontenot told the council, and quoted a court opinion that “debate on public issues should be uninhibited” and that public discussion “may well include caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on public and government officials.”
Noting that the library called a special meeting after “an informal request” by the mayor to move the books, citizen Adam Kamerer made a request to Library Director Karen Speck under the authority of the Alabama Open Records Act for communications between she and the mayor, and any other public officials, regarding potential defunding of the library or moving LGBTQ+ books.