'Reckless and irresponsible'
Kennedy flexes muscles at first council meeting
By André Coleman 05/30/2013
John Kennedy wasted no time making his presence felt on the Pasadena City Council.
On May 20, just one day after nearly 400 people attended an event at the Pasadena Public Library in which the newly elected council member was sworn in by Democratic Congresswoman Judy Chu, Kennedy took umbrage with remarks made by Mayor Bill Bogaard, then demanded roll calls on several votes, which seemed to rankle Councilman Steve Madison.
During the meeting, Kennedy took it upon himself to remind Bogaard about the power of words after Bogaard said voting to allow a restaurant in Old Pasadena to become a nightclub, as both Kennedy and Councilwoman Jacque Robinson did, “could be viewed in the future as reckless and irresponsible.”
The permit would have allowed New York Deli on Raymond Avenue to charge admission, sell and display alcohol until 2 a.m. and allow dancing.
“You chose to use the words ‘irresponsible’ and ‘reckless’ as it relates to a possible vote,” Kennedy said to Bogaard from the dais. The permit was denied by a 5-2 vote. Councilman Terry Tornek did not attend.
“I suspect it could be the lateness of the hour or the fact that the previous matter has been before the City Council on numerous occasions, and obviously a lot of meaningful thought and discussion has gone into it, but I would hope my time on the City Council would not be reckless on any actions,” Kennedy said.
Bogaard said he respected Kennedy’s comments and was not attacking anyone personally when he made the remark.
“I can only say that my hope in this case was to bring the discussion to a conclusion after the hours that we have spent here,” Bogaard said. “And I certainly did not suggest anyone’s comments were irresponsible or reckless.”
But that wasn’t the only dustup of the evening. Earlier in the meeting, after Kennedy demanded several roll call votes, Madison reminded the new council member of the late hour and asked him why he was asking for roll call votes. The meeting lasted five hours and thirty minutes, ending at around midnight.