“No I won’t,” replied Dougherty. “I’m not prepared tonight.”
“Will I ever get an answer?” asked Eichenwald.
“I don’t know,” said Dougherty. “Probably not.”
“Probably not,” repeated Eichenwald. “OK.”
She added sarcastically: “Our tax dollars at work.”
Just before council adjourned, Eichenwald expressed her unhappiness with the way Dougherty responds to her questions.
She said he was not respectful when he told her she never was going to get an answer to her question.
“I have to argue with Mr. Dougherty every time I want a question answered,” said Eichenwald. “And you, my colleagues, never say anything in my defense. I have every right to be treated with respect.”
Eichenwald said she was in a quandary because her remarks had to do with Dougherty, but he had left the meeting before it ended.
“To my knowledge, this is the third meeting in which Mr. Dougherty has left early,” said Eichenwald. “Every time I want to say something, he’s not here.”
“It is incumbent that there be somebody here who represents the administration while we’re doing City Council business.”
She asked City Clerk Michael Hanlon to communicate her concerns to Dougherty via the meeting’s minutes, “since I don’t have the opportunity to speak with him, since he leaves early.”
In the past, Dougherty routinely stayed until council meetings ended.
And if he was not able to immediately answer a question, he often would write it down and promised to get an answer.
“I’m fine with not getting an answer the minute that I ask a question,” said Eichenwald Wednesday.
Dougherty also used to regularly give informative managing director’s reports during City Council meetings, but in recent months he often has had no report.
On Wednesday night, he told council he had no report, only “two notes of interest.”
One was that, at its next meeting, council will get a report on graffiti abatement in the city since winter.
The other was: “I think friend and foe will join me today in wishing the mayor a very happy birthday on his special day.”
Lack of respect from audience
Council also faces a lack of respect from members of the audience.
On Wednesday night, resident Rich Fegley shouted out “boo” or “boom” every time Eichenwald made a point about Dougherty.
When Guridy indicated Fegley should stop, Fegley replied: “He left; it’s disrespectful he left.”
Responded Guridy: “It’s disrespectful what you’re doing too.”