Rosenberg City Council member Kevin Raines left Tuesday night’s city council meeting before it began because he was verbally accosted by a colleague, he told The Herald on Wednesday.
The council met to consider a proposal to censure council member Isaac Davila, in part for verbally attacking and using profanity toward his colleagues.
Mayor Bill Benton and council members Richard Olson and Steve DeGregorio delayed the meeting for 30 minutes until council member Jacob Balderas arrived.
Despite having a quorum of council members present, Benton, Olson and DeGregorio left their seats at the dais and waited in a back room.
After 20 minutes of waiting, Raines went into the back room, leaving Davila alone at the dais.
Seconds later, Raines returned to the dais, snatched up his belongings and left the meeting hall with his wife.
The Herald reached out to Raines on Wednesday and asked him why he didn’t hang around to discuss the censure measure and cast a vote.
“I went into the back to let the mayor know we need to start or adjourn the meeting,” said Raines, who serves as mayor pro tem.
“While speaking to the mayor and in the presence of the city attorney, a council member who was highly agitated began to verbally berate me with profanity. I respect my peers and try to maintain a professional demeanor while representing the city of Rosenberg (and) I felt the confrontation was not warranted and very disrespectful.”
At that point, Raines said he decided to leave the meeting.
“The die had been cast against Councilor Davila and my vote would have not made a difference,” he explained on Wednesday. “My one regret is not apologizing to the citizens in the chamber prior to my departure. I do respect them and value their input.”
Raines noted the irony of being cursed at during a meeting in which another council member was being publicly scolded for cursing.
“I believe that if one is held accountable for their actions then we all should be as well,” Raines said.
“I would just say that isn’t it ironic that while I’m being censured for my conduct that councilor Olson would curse out our Mayor Pro Tem for trying to get the meeting started,” he told The Herald on Wednesday.
Mayor Benton did not indicate at Tuesday’s meeting whether Olson would be censured in the future.