Committee to discuss anti-discrimination law Sept. 17

The Carmel City Council will hold a meeting of the Finance, Rules and Administration Committee at 5:30 p.m. Thursday Sept. 17 to discuss the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance.

The committee, which is comprised of city councilors, originally planned to discuss the ordinance at the end of August, but that meeting was canceled because Carmel City Attorney Doug Haney went on paid administrative leave.

Some had hoped that the Carmel City Council would have voted to suspend the rules and vote on the ordinance once it was introduced in August, but a unanimous vote is required to do that, so it was sent to committee instead.

Because the council’s first regular meeting in September is cancelled because of Labor Day, there’s more than a month between introduction of the proposed ordinance and the next chance to vote on it Sept. 21. Some councilors said they weren’t looking forward to a month of media coverage on the issue and thought the longer it took the more it might be perceived that Carmel was reluctant to pass the law.

City Council President Rick Sharp, who sets the agenda and supports the idea of the ordinance, said there’s no need to rush.

“I will have to be overruled by a majority of the council,” he said. “I am unmovable about that. There’s nothing special about this in terms of we’re not addressing an immediate, clear and present danger. It’s nothing that addresses public health, safety or welfare. And I would be and should be roundly criticized if council was seen to be steamrolling this forward. My expectation is that we follow the process of normal business.”

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said he hopes the ordinance is passed Sept. 21.

“It doesn’t need to be dragged out,” he said. “Everybody knows their position. It does need to be discussed in a committee meeting but it doesn’t need to be dragged out beyond that.”

The finance committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 17 at City Hall.

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