Council contemplates ‘general civility’ at City Hall

City Council News Briefs

Mayor Pro Tem Tom Parker asked the council and Olney Police Chief Dan Birbeck to consider ways to promote “general civility” at City Hall after he witnessed several incidents of rudeness by members of the public toward city workers.

The Council discussed ideas for creating a more harmonious atmosphere in the public service area and municipal court but took no action.

“Some people come in here loaded for bear,” Mr. Parker told the Council at their Nov. 14 meeting. “The way people are talking to the front-of-house women is not civil. If we don’t put some semblance of civility with a stick behind it … if people can’t be civil we will have to put some rules in place.”

Chief Birbeck said that extreme rudeness or threats “falls more into disorderly conduct or [making] threats to a public servant.” He said police can’t do much about online comments, such as those on the Facebook page Olney Rants and Raves because “that falls under free speech.”

“They can be asked to depart and if they don’t, we can charge them with disorderly conduct,” he said.

City Attorney Bill Myers said the city should post a sign “that disorderly conduct will be charged.”