O Cleta, Where Art Thou? Winslow Misses 38% of Council Meetings (UPDATE 1)
(APN) ATLANTA — Atlanta City Councilwoman Cleta Winslow (District 4) has been absent from 38 percent of her City Council and committee meetings since the start of the year in January 2015, based on records available on the City’s website reviewed by Atlanta Progressive News.
This is at least the second time in recent years she has essentially disappeared from City Hall. Winslow has a reputation of disappearing and then reemerging for weeks or months at a time.
As previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, Winslow has been struggling with alcohol issues, having recently admitted to a DUI incident (driving under the influence of alcohol).
She is also facing her fourth ethics investigation and talk of possible removal from office.
Atlanta Progressive News is concerned because Winslow’s cell phone voicemail has also been full for weeks, and because according to a friend of Winslow’s, her home phone number has been “temporarily disconnected.”
APN reached out to Councilwoman Winslow via email, and on her cell and office phone numbers, but has not heard back.
A call to the chairperson of one of the Neighborhood Planning Units Winslow’s District led to a conversation with Bishop Murjan A. Rasheed, President of Graymont Drive Neighborhood Association.
Mr. Rasheed defended Councilor Winslow, citing illness as the reason she has been unable to attend so many meetings this year.
“We as residents over here, we haven’t found anything wrong,” Rasheed said.
“No, there hasn’t been any lapse whatsoever, and her service has continued on because we have continued to get the service we ask for. Anytime I call her office I can get whatever I need, whether she’s there or not,” Mr. Rasheed said.
BOND ALSO HAS SEVERAL ABSENCES
Councilman Michael Julian Bond (Post 1-at-large) has also missed several meetings, including Full Council meetings and Cmte meetings, this year, nearly as many of Councilwoman Winslow.
Bond said, however, that many of the absences in recent months have been in connection with several funerals and memorial services he attended for his father, former State Sen. Julian Bond (D-Atlanta).
APN was able to confirm two of these events on Facebook:
October 06, 2015 – Memorial service.
August 23, 2015 – Spreading of Bond’s remains in the Gulf of Mexico during a private ceremony.
Councilman Bond missed 34 percent of the meetings this year, APN found.
Municipal Clerk Rhonda Dauphin Johnson did not return a call and an email to her office today regarding the six missing meeting records online.
Councilwoman Winslow missed the Full Council meetings on:
October 5, 2015
September 21, 2015
July 20, 2015
May 18, 2015
February 2, 2015
January 20, 2015
January 5, 2015.
Councilman Bond missed the Full Council meetings on:
October 5, 2015
August 17, 2015
and a Special Call Meeting on June 10, 2015.
Councilman Bond missed fourteen Committee Meetings, and Councilwoman Winslow missed eleven.
Councilman Bond missed four of the past eleven Public Safety/Legal Administration Committee Meetings (PS/LA) for which records exist, on: September 15, 2015, August 25, 2015, May 26, 2015, and January 13,2015.
Councilor Winslow missed PS/LA meetings on three dates: September 29, 2015, September 15, 2015, and August 25, 2015.
Of the eleven Community Development and Human Resources Committee meetings, Councilmembers Bond and Winslow each missed four meetings.
Councilman Bond was absent from the September 15, 2015, August 25, 2015, July 28, 2015, and June 23, 2015 meetings.
Councilwoman Winslow was absent from the September 15, 2015, August 25, 2015, January 27, 2015, and January 13, 2015 meetings.
As for the Committee on Council, Councilman Bond missed six of these and Winslow missed four.
Bond was absent from the September 21, 2015, September 8, 2015, August 17, 2015, June 6, 2015, June 1, 2015, and May 18, 2015 meetings.
Winslow was absent from the September 21, 2015, September 8, 2015, July 7, 2015, and May 18, 2015 meetings.
UPDATE 1: Councilman Bond further responded to this article by noting that most of his absences were of Cmte Meetings. “Committee Meetings are separate and do not rise to the level of the Full Council meeting. We’re required to be at the Full Council meeting,” Bond said. Bond noted that he has a private consulting practice outside of his Council position, and that the time of CD/HR–the lunch hour Tuesday–is the prime time during the week to have consulting meetings. He also said that some of the meetings where he was listed as absent, that he in fact was there but had arrived late.
FULL DISCLOSURE: The editor of this article, Matthew Charles Cardinale, is currently doing contract work for the Office of Councilman Bond, specifically, helping create content for the Councilman’s constituent newsletter.