Atlanta/ Politics & Govt
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Published on March 05, 2024
College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom Files Federal Lawsuit Against Own City Council Over Reduced PowersSource: Google Street View

Mayor Bianca Motley Broome, who made history as the first female and Black leader of College Park, is taking her own city to court. The federal lawsuit against College Park alleges the city council has gagged her from engaging in legislative debates and diluted her powers as mayor. "The ostensible reason articulated by the Council for its action is that the presiding officer should remain neutral during the deliberations of the Body," Broome pointedly wrote in her lawsuit, obtained by FOX 5 Atlanta.

In a battle that seems to steadily escalate, Broome is determined to not only seek a temporary restraining order but also to permanently push for an injunction against the city's council. "It is apparent, if not crystal clear, that the City, acting through its elected Council, with the advice and consent of the City Attorney, has retaliated, and will continue to retaliate, against Mayor Motley Broome for her leadership and adherence to the Rule of Law thereby ‘building the community we deserve,’ as her campaign slogan puts it," said Broome, as reported by FOX 5 Atlanta.

The lawsuit is just the latest drama unfolding in College Park's city hall, a place that has grown accustomed to public disputes and legal tussles. Former city manager Stanley Hawthorne was controversially fired, and then rehired, only to be given nearly $140,000 as severance by the city—without a clear explanation given. Similarly, previous city manager Darnetta Tyus and deputy police chief Sharis McCrary have also filed a federal lawsuit accusing the city of sexual discrimination, according to FOX 5 Atlanta.

Mayor Motley Broom alleges that in January, the city council passed legislation to specifically exclude her from "speaking during the debate on legislative initiatives as presiding officer," a quote from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She's also claimed the city has tried to limit her ability to affectively issue proclamations, changing her role as the "CEO of the city." This move has set off a storm of conflict between the mayor and the city council, with legislation that she says aims to strip her abilities to properly run the council's meetings.

Caught in this political melee, residents of College Park are expressing concern about the opaque nature of the town's governance, with many taking issue that they are being left out of the loop on matters affecting their city. The mayor's contentious relationship with the city council has left many wondering what the future holds for College Park's leadership. City officials and Attorney Winston Denmark have so far refrained from commenting on the developing situation, putting the city's internal frictions in the spotlight for citizens and outsiders alike.