Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen, responding to a recent newspaper article, said at Monday's City Council meeting that things are going to change at city council . He said he will run a tighter ship when it comes to staying in charge of the council meeting. A recent article pointed to the many occasions since his election to the City Council that Drew Herzig has called for public comment when it was not appropriate to do so and the number of times he has spoken over the top of other council members. Even the Mayor.
For his part, Mayor Van Dusen said that he is deaf in one ear and that Herzig sits on that side of him. At times he doesn't hear Herzig. Van Dusen said, jokingly, sometimes he doesn't want to hear Herzig. The Mayor made it clear that he was taking control of the meetings in any case. There were times where the Mayor found himself stopping comments from the floor Monday evening and refusing to recognize those who did not follow procedure. Herzig said he is aware of the Mayor's disability and often finds himself having to speak up more aggressively to be heard. That doesn't explain why he would tell members of the public to come to the podium, or to stay there after the Mayor has asked them to wait for the public comment period.
Van Dusen had a similar problem with former City Councilor Tom Potter who also sat next to the Mayor's bad ear. Potter still managed to avoid over-stepping his position.