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Mayor apologizes for City Council member calling citizen ‘toxic’ and ‘poison’

Posted: November 13, 2013 5:21 p.m.
Updated: November 13, 2013 5:21 p.m.
Santa Clarita City Councilman Frank Ferry Santa Clarita City Councilman Frank Ferry
Santa Clarita City Councilman Frank Ferry

SANTA CLARITA - Following a line of public speakers demanding an apology from City Councilman Frank Ferry, Mayor Bob Kellar apologized Tuesday night for the councilman calling a citizen “poison” and “toxic.”

Ferry’s outburst came during the Oct. 22 Santa Clarita City Council meeting and was aimed at longtime environmental advocate Cam Noltemeyer, who regularly appears before the council to query and criticize, but sometimes doesn't stay to hear the city’s responses.

Noltemeyer’s questioning about a waste-disposal issue, coupled with her early departure Oct. 22, sent Ferry into a tizzy.

“So everyone has to understand Cam Noltemeyer is poison and toxic,” Ferry said during his outburst.

Kellar explained Tuesday that his failure to rein in Ferry was due to his belief council members should not interrupt each other.

“I as the mayor, will apologize to Cam Noltemeyer and I do mean that with sincerity,” Kellar said. “I do apologize for any discomfort she has experienced as a result of this.”

Ferry left the Oct. 22 meeting after the confrontation and was not present Tuesday night.

Noltemeyer was among the speakers who addressed the issue at the beginning of the council meeting.

“No one except Councilman (TimBen) Boydston even attempted to stop the attack by Councilman Ferry,” Noltemeyer said.
Several other citizens demanded an apology for Ferry’s outburst, and some called for his resignation.

“Although you may not like some of the things she says to you or the ways she says them, you have an ethical responsibility to listen to the public,” said local resident Lynne Plambeck, who works with Noltemeyer in the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment.

“Hopefully Mr. Ferry will do us all a favor and step down,” said Valencia resident Larry McClements.

The Oct. 22 meeting wasn’t Ferry’s first outburst to draw public admonition. Ferry, a councilman since 1998, apologized at October’s State of the City luncheon for being at times brash and abrasive during his time on the council.

Those in attendance Tuesday got neither an apology nor a resignation from Ferry, as he was not at the meeting.
Ferry could not be reached via telephone or email for comment Wednesday.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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