New Jersey mayor decides public cannot ask questions at council meetings

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A southern New Jersey mayor has banned its residents from asking questions at meetings after getting into a confrontation with a man.

Eversham Mayor Randy Brown started the policy this year after getting into an argument with 81-year-old resident Kenneth Mills about tax abatement. Brown, an assistant coach for the Baltimore Ravens, used his loud voice to speak over Mills.

“You’re acting like a jerk,” Mills said to Brown after the confrontation.

Mills told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Brown argued with him and another resident at the Dec. 16 meeting. The other resident questioned by Brown abstained on several votes and Brown would not give an answer.

Since then, Brown assured residents that council meetings would be different. Brown said the public would not be allowed to ask questions at meetings, just make comments.

Brown told the paper the comments only come from “five or six” political opponents that try to “stoke me into an argument.”

Residents who speak at meetings “try to turn it into the Spanish Inquisition,” Brown said.

The Republican mayor has said he may run for governor in 2017. He told the paper most residents ask him questions in different settings other than a council meeting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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