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The Indiana Daily Student

City council discusses potential removal of Traffic Commission member for obscene comments

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The Feb. 1 city council meeting was absorbed by discussions about the tweets of a Traffic Commission member and whether or not to remove him. The meeting also included comments from the city clerk encouraging people to attend Black History Month events and a public comment promoting a rally in support of the Asian America and Pacific Islander community on Feb. 4.  

Public comment section discusses Black History Month and a rally in support of the AAPI community 

City Clerk Nicole Bolden encouraged people to attend Black History Month events. She said she enjoyed the city’s Black History Month Kickoff Event on Monday and emphasized the importance of celebration during this month in the wake of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols and other Black men at the hands of police brutality.  

“We have to find the joy,” she said. “This is part of what this month is all about.” 

Later, during the public comment section, Attorney Steve Lucas read aloud a comment advertising a rally in support of Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders following the racially motivated attack of an Asian student. The rally will take place at 2 p.m. on Feb. 4 in Dunn Meadow. 

The council considers removing a member of the Traffic Commission 

Before the first ordinance was read, Councilmember Dave Rollo made a motion to remove Greg Alexander from the Traffic Commission due to obscene comments online. Rollo was referring to several controversial statements made by Alexander on Twitter criticizing the council and residents of Elm Heights. His tweets, which sometimes contain profanity, were condemned in the public comment section of last week’s meeting.  

Councilmember Stephen Volan quickly followed up the motion with his own motion to refer the issue to the Special Commission due to its unprecedented nature.  

“We have never removed someone from the commission for cause since I’ve been on council,” Volan said. “The action, I believe, is extremely political.” 

Councilmembers Ron Smith and Susan Sandberg called Alexander’s language “threatening” and said it used language of sexual violence, referring to a tweet. The tweet was a response to former City Clerk Regina Moore who referred to the proposed traffic calming devices, like speedbumps, on Hawthorne Street as “punching through” the street.  

Alexander addressed his comments at the end of the meeting and apologized for making people feel threatened by his tweets.  

The council voted to refer the issue to a special committee that will send a recommendation no later than March 1.  

The council votes to make technical changes to the Human Rights Commission 

The council voted unanimously for an ordinance that moved the Human Rights Commission from the Legal Department to the Community and Family Resources Department. The ordinance is part of the mayor’s plan to create a joint Human Rights Commission between the city and the county, which is still being worked out.  

The ordinance also involved expanding human rights education and community engagement on human rights.  

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