Ruth Asmundson, Sue Greenwald
YOUTUBE: See the Davis City Council fracas that sent mayor to hospital
DAVIS, CA - Davis city politics moved into the realm of viral video Wednesday after a heated exchange between Davis mayor Ruth Asmundson and councilwoman Sue Greenwald at a Davis City Council meeting Tuesday sent Asmundson to the hospital and launched their confrontation to YouTube.
Asmundson was recuperating Wednesday after tempers flared during a contentious council meeting over city employee labor contracts.
The fireworks started after the pair disagreed about exactly what occurred during an earlier closed session vote on the issue.
"It would go a lot go a lot faster if you didn't lie, Ruth," Greenwald said. "Stop calling me a liar," Asmundson shot back.
As the argument escalated, Mayor Pro Tem Don Saylor tried to defuse the argument, asking Greenwald, "Do we have to have these degrade into personal attacks?...Councilwoman, we are out of order. Once again, we are out of discussion."
Greenwald disputed the claim, saying, "Don, I'm not out of order!"
David Greenwald, no relation to the councilwoman, is a local political blogger with the People's Vanguard of Davis and admitted to posting the video clip to YouTube.
"I thought the public needed to see for themselves in an uncensored way exactly what happened (Tuesday) night. They can make up their own mind as to who's to blame," Greenwald said.
As words were exchanged, the mayor fell ill.
"Since I've worked with Sue, I've been to the hospital four times," Asmundson explained. "It feels like I'm having an anxiety attack."
The Davis Enterprise reported Asmundson left the meeting and was taken to the hospital for observation. All city staffers would say was that Asmundson was home and recuperating Wednesday. Asmundson was unavailable for comment.
"I didn't call her a liar. I said she had lied about my vote. I cannot allow my vote to be misrepresented," Greenwald said. "I like Ruth personally and I feel sad she had spells apparently. I hope she recovers. But, I feel very strongly about having my vote in closed session not misrepresented in extreme form."
The council meeting was cut short because of the mayor's medical incident. The labor contract issue will be revisited at the council's next meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org