Joy Cooper Confronts Audience at Hallandale Beach Puppy Store Hearing (VIDEO)
The final vote is on April 18.
Now, to what you really want to know: how Mayor Joy Cooper handled the crowd of animal activists at said meeting. Oh yeah, there's video.
Still, from this one, you can see Don Anthony of ARFF standing at the podium trying to speak while Cooper fends off jeers from the crowd after she walked over to the city clerk to ask a question instead of sitting and listening to Anthony's public comment. Representatives from the Humane Society and the Broward animal shelter, as well as longtime puppy-store-ban proponent Michele Lazarow, had already spoken, according to Nathan Pim, who attended the meeting.
"Someone in the crowd started shouting, 'Mayor, why don't you pay attention?'" says Pim. The mayor responded that she was trying to ask the clerk a question, but she quickly became agitated, threatening to "clear the chambers" and saying, "I have never seen a group of rudest people in my life."
Cooper's anger comes after months of facing ire for her increasingly unpopular stand against a blanket ban of puppy mills. She clearly saw everyone in the audience as antagonists. "Excuse me," she said. "You're excused," said Anthony.
Eventually, Cooper threw the issue to her fellow commission members, who favored the ordinance, for a vote just to get the hearing over with. Commission Member Keith London criticized her openly. "Excuse me, Mayor, you can interrupt and bang the gavel all day long; that doesn't make you right," said London, who is challenging Cooper in this year's mayoral election.
After the ordinance was voted through, Cooper stood up to leave. "The ordinance passed," she said, while waving away the people in the room.
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