Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline has accused city councilors of trying to silence him.
At issue is a proposed amendment to the council’s rules that would prohibit mayors from participating during debates unless they first relinquish their role as presiding officer, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal. Mayors would resume that role following the discussion.
Council Chair Lee Clement told the Sun Journal that Sheline has made “snide and disparaging” remarks during debates, but noted the amendment only seeks to clarify the mayor’s role in discussions in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.
Specifically, Clement said no council member should have undue weight in discussion, and that would be best achieved if Sheline or any other mayor remain neutral in the capacity of presiding officer.
The city attorney has cleared the amendment.
But Sheline said that boards with fewer than 12 members have flexibility under Robert’s Rules of Order, according to the Sun Journal.
He called the amendment a political issue, pointing to his opposition to the council’s recent vote to approve new restrictions targeting people experiencing homelessness in Lewiston.
Sheline said the amendment would “deny the duly elected mayor’s first amendment rights” and restrict his ability to represent Lewiston voters, the Sun Journal reported.
The City Council will vote Tuesday night whether to approve the amendment.