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Somebody on the City Council may be taking the bully pulpit thing too literally

City Council President Ed Flynn today submitted a proposed ordinance barring councilors and others who work in council offices from attacking and bullying council staffers.

At the council meeting, Flynn was unusually specific about just how many hearings and "working sessions" he plans to hold on the measure - he said he will hold at least two working sessions and while he can't force any councilors to show up, he told them he expects to see all of them at at least one of the meetings. At hearings, the public is allowed to give testimony. Working sessions are generally where councilors hash out the specific language of proposed ordinances for consideration by the council as a whole.

Flynn vowed he will get the measure passed while he holds office. "We should have had this in place 30 years ago."

Flynn did not specify why he felt the need to come out against bullying now. But he began today's regular council meeting with an even longer warning for civility than usual - in addition to warning members of the public not to wave signs or chant or clap or anything as he always does, he also warned council members that he expects civility from them as well, and that he will no longer brook colleagues talking when he has not called on them.

Councilor Liz Breadon (Allston/Brightpn), whom Councilor Frank Baker not so long ago charged was a Northern Irish Protestant out to destroy Catholics in Boston, agreed that while politics involves a certain "rough and tumble in the dialog between colleagues," said Flynn's proposal is "long overdue." She said no council staff should face threatening or even physical abuse.

Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson (Roxbury) said she appreciates the gruffness of open debate and blamed the media for blowing things out of proportion too often, even as she said she welcomed the opportunity to address the ways in which Flynn has been less than fair sometimes.

PDF icon Proposed ordinance285.8 KB


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Marshmallow soft

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Aren't there laws that address this already?

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But "expects" (i.e., to coerce) to see them at least at one meeting:

bul·ly /ˈbo͝olē/
gerund or present participle: bullying
seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable).

He's on violation of his own efforts...

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I'm sure some people out there know which councilor it is, and who is the recipient of their allegedly bad behavior. I would guess Baker, but that's too easy.

Anyone? Just between you and me of course.

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