During an intense city hall meeting about the COVID-19 pandemic, a city commissioner in Palm Beach County called out the mayor of Lake Worth Beach over her poor response to the coronavirus outbreak.
City Commissioner Omari Hardy gave Lake Worth Beach Mayor Pam Triolo a dressing down for allowing people’s utilities to get cut off during the coronavirus crisis.
At the two-hour meeting in a city hall conference room, Hardy accused city manager Michael Bornstein of turning off people’s lights. Hardy also accused Mayor Triolo of being complicit because she declined to call an emergency meeting earlier to discuss urgent issues related to the pandemic, The Root reported.
“This is a banana republic is what you’re turning this place into with your so-called leadership,” Hardy yelled at Triolo during a recess.
Lake Worth Beach is located about six miles south of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
“We cut people’s utilities this week and made them pay—with what could have been their last check—to turn their lights off in a global health pandemic,” Hardy said. “But you don’t care about that! You didn’t want to meet!”
Commissioner Hardy did not stop there.
“You care more about your relationship with (Bornstein) than you do about the people that are out there working,” he said.
Triolo responded by telling Hardy he was out of order. “Out of order. You’re done. You’re gone,” she said.
According to Hardy, Triolo gave Bornstein emergency powers to run the city even though Lake Worth Beach hadn’t declared a state of emergency.
Bornstein did admit that 50 customers had their power turned off a day before the city discontinued shutoffs.
A video of the heated exchange was later posted to YouTube.
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“And my colleagues didn’t want to discuss it all, didn’t want to acknowledge what we had done, and I lost my cool,” Hardy said. “But sometimes you have to get into trouble to stand up for what’s right. That’s called #GoodTrouble.”
“Good trouble” is a motto of civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
The session adjourned but not before Hardy and Bornstein got into another heated shouting match. “At one point, the two men drew closer to each other before staffers prodded Bornstein to leave the room,” The Palm Beach Post reported.
City staffers escorted Bornstein out of the conference room.