Chico Leaders React to Tense City Council Meeting

The Chico City Council voted on a controversial ordinance this week and it wasn't without push back.

Posted: Sep 5, 2018 6:26 PM
Updated: Sep 5, 2018 6:28 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- The Chico City Council voted on a controversial ordinance this week and it wasn't without push back.

Last night's city council meeting was met with anger and outbursts from the public. In response, Chico Mayor Sean Morgan made a rare decision.

Morgan cleared the chambers after several outbursts not related to the sit-lie ordinance disrupted the meeting.

The tension took center stage instead of the vote on the controversial ordinance which has to do with where citizens are allowed to dwell on public property, many argue it targets the homeless.

Action News Now asked Council Member Karl Ory what his reaction was to the disruption during Tuesday night's meeting.

"It was one of the worst moments in my 40 years of being involved in municipal elections. It could have been avoided, but you see it build up in the year and a half," said Ory.

Action News Now spoke with Chico Mayor Sean Morgan about his decision to clear the chambers.

"There was no way I could look out and say well that person was disruptive, that person and that person. There's just no way. We've had one person be disruptive and they were escorted out, wasn't a problem, it's happened before that," said Morgan.

Eventually, the council voted 4-3 to have the city attorney review and redraft the ordinance.

The attorney was also directed to examine Tuesday's decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals that determined it was unconstitutional to ban people from sleeping outside if there was no shelter nearby.

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