At a time when the City Council is taking up an anti-discrimination bill, some council members are charging the council is discriminating itself by not appointing black members to key positions.
Council members Denise Lee, Warren Jones, Johnny Gaffney and Kimberly Daniels held a special meeting Thursday to talk about appointments made by upcoming council President Bill Bishop.
As president, Bishop can select chairs for five important committees. The council members are upset because all of his choices were white members.
"I, too, am very disappointed and extremely concerned about the incoming leadership and the moves that the leadership has made as of today," Lee said in audio recorded from Thursday's meeting.
During the meeting, the three members discussed problems they had with Bishop and why they think they are are being discriminated against, particularly with committee assignments.
"Not one of those chairpersons is a minority, a black person," Jones said. "And then you look at the two most influential committees, which is finance and rules committee. Two committees that have the largest impact on this community, and there is only token representation, only one black on those committees."
Bishop said in a phone interview Friday that he does not discriminate and will have more to say next week. That's because the council members have called another special meeting, and this time he was asked to attend.
"This is something that can't be shaken off, and it's not going to go away," Daniels said.