MOUNT CARMEL — Mayor Chris Jones called for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to work together and put their differences aside during Thursday's meeting, but not before two aldermen verbally jabbed each other in an ugly exchange.
The incident began after Alderman Pat Stilwell accused Alderman Jim Gilliam of calling her and the other two female board members “witches.”
At the end of each monthly BMA meeting, the city administrator, city attorney, aldermen and mayor are each invited to make comments on any subject.
During her time, Stilwell asked Gilliam if he has anything against the three women on the BMA, including herself, Vice Mayor Jennifer Williams and Alderman Wanda Davidson.
Gilliam replied, “Why would you ask that? Because I don't like you?”
Stilwell said she was told be a city employee that Gilliam had made the statement, “We need to get rid of the three witches.”
Gilliam said Stilwell should bring the accuser forward.
“It's an employee, and I don't want to,” Stillwell said.
“I'd like to say that if we don't put some of this animosity (aside) and keep our mouths shut about name calling and all that, we're not going to be effective as a board and the town is going to go backwards,” Davidson said. “We're all adults, and we all have our opinion, and we should respect each others’. ”
“Every action that we take up here on this board, every comment that we make on this board, reflects on this town as a whole. We have business people who are watching every move that we make, every comment we make, and we need to work together. We try to have meetings together and try to get some of this stuff put behind us, but y'all need to put your differences behind you, and you need to work towards the betterment of the town. Put your political agendas behind you. … Make your political comments after the meetings. Don't attack everybody. Don't attack everything,” Jones said.