San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams stepped into a city council meeting this evening to ask mayoral candidate Thomas Prentice to yield the floor after his speaking time had expired.
After Prentice had spent his allotted three minutes in part to denounce recently proposed residential subdivisions in eastern San Marcos, Mayor Daniel Guerrero told Prentice that he had used all his time and that he could not continue his comments.
At every council meeting, citizens can sign up to speak on the subject of their choice during a designated public comment period. Prentice began his remarks by chastising city council member Kim Porterfield for an earlier exchange in the meeting when the council member corrected a critic on what Porterfield called errors of fact.
By the time Prentice made it to his prepared remarks against Walton Development’s plans, the fuse on his three minutes was burning fast.
“You’re time’s actually up, sir,” Guerrero said.
“May I continue?” Prentice asked.
Guerrero told him he could not.
“Do you want to get into this, sir?” Prentice yelled several times, getting louder with each repetition. Guerrero repeated that his time had expired. Prentice paused for a moment and then stepped away from the podium as Williams and an officer approached and asked him to stand down.
Williams and other police command staff typically attend city council meetings and at least one officer is stationed in the City Hall lobby during regular council meetings. A larger-than-normal contingent of officers were on hand for tonight’s meeting, however, to hear council’s consideration of new labor contracts for police officers and firefighters.