Unquestionably, there is great division across the country, and there was evidence recently of some division within the Grand Junction City Council.

The issue centered on a recent council meeting that was attended by protestors. Several members of the council expressed displeasure that they weren't notified in advance of the protestor's planned presence. Councilmember Anna Stout responded by saying the group had notified police and the city manager that there would be protestors at the meeting. "This wasn't something that nobody knew was coming, and that came in an email from the city manager to the council in advance of that meeting,' Stout said.

Council Member Phillip Pe'a said having an emergency meeting or sitting down with them would have been nice and would have resulted in more support from the council. Stout responded by saying "I wasn't looking for council support. Why do I need council support to give a space that is a public hearing to members of our community who don't feel like they are traditionally heard or listened to or invited to the table? I invited them to the table. I simply told them where they were allowed to be and when."

Pe'a said it "could have been done better" saying "next time it happens I won't be as pleasant. It's gonna be hostile. Then what?"

As the nine-minute exchange continued there were disagreements over whether or not the protest was, in fact, peaceful. Mayor Duke Wortmann said protestors were "ranting and raving and screaming" and referred to the language used by some of the protestors which he felt was directed at the council. There were also some differences of opinion regarding the level of respect among council members.

The contentious exchange seemed to end without clear resolution but the Grand Junction City Council will be back at the table Wednesday evening.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app