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Sparks again fly in Sumner: verbal dispute centers on Councilman Matt Richardson
The Oct. 18 Sumner City Council meeting was suddenly recessed by Mayor Dave Enslow while a verbal dispute escalated.
Councilmember Matt Richardson had attempted to defend himself against what he said were accusations about his past made by Chris Clifford, a citizen who used to work for Pam Roach.
Roach and Richardson are in a hotly contested race for Roach's Senate seat in the 31st District.
During an Oct. 4 meeting Clifford spoke during the public comment portion, claiming Richardson misrepresented himself by saying he has a clean record and claiming he is endorsed by former supporters who later requested Richardson remove any mention of endorsement.
Following Clifford's speaking time Richardson said Clifford is the campaign manager for Roach, which is untrue.
Clifford appeared before the council again on Oct. 18, he said, to clear up this misrepresentation.
Before the public comment section began, Enslow read a list of rules regarding the forum. Among them was a stipulation that the public comment forum not be used for political campaigning.
Personal attacks also are forbidden during the public comment portion, Councilmember Randy Hynek said.
"To turn this council into a circus is not what this is about," he said.
Clifford opened by stating Richardson's description of him as Roach's campaign manager is false. He then proceeded to make allegations about Richardson's past.
"I object," Richardson said.
Enslow said Clifford had the right to continue speaking and Richardson continued to object. The council then voted on whether to affirm Enslow's decision to allow Clifford to speak. Richardson gave the only vote against the mayor's decision and Clifford finished his comments.
Enslow called for a for a five-minute recess when Richardson continued to rebut the comments after Enslow asked that he stop talking. Regular business resumed when council returned to chambers.