Thornton Won't Be Banned From Meetings


June 09, 2006
If Kirkwood resident Charles "Cookie" Thornton is correct, Kirkwood City Council members could be hearing from him for a long time to come.

Thornton's contentious remarks over the years culminated in what Mayor Mike Swoboda called "one of the most embarrassing situations that I have experienced in my many years of public service.

"Because of his disruptive behavior, the Kirkwood Police Department had to forcibly remove him from the council chambers (on May 18)," Swoboda said at the June 1 meeting.

Due to his behavior, the council considered banning him either from meetings or from speaking altogether. They decided against either option.

The council decided that banning him from meetings would be inappropriate and banning him from speaking would be too drastic at this time, Swoboda said.

"The city council has decided that they will not lower themselves to Mr Thornton's level," Swoboda said. "We will act with integrity and continue to deal with him at these council proceedings. However we will not allow Mr. Thornton, or any other person, to disrupt these proceedings.

"Lastly, the city council has authorized me to prohibit someone from speaking on a subject that has been repeatedly presented to us time and again," Swoboda continued. He said if a citizen has brought up a subject before the council on at least 10 occasions, the mayor has the right to stop that speaker from making the same comments to the council again.

During public comments, Thornton asked the mayor for clarification. He asked if he could use such words as "lame jackass," or "displaying qualities of a jackass."

The mayor responded several times during Thornton's remarks that he must speak with respect.

With the new policy that residents may speak up to 10 instances on a topic, Thornton said he calculated he can speak for 60 years.

"I have been issued over 150 tickets. I can speak over 1,500 times," Thornton said.

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