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Parliament funkadelic

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True to form, Mayor Hood arrived at a parliamentary training class last week smiling as if City's Hall's ninth floor were her own living room. She introduced the parliamentarian, Randi Sutphin, who taught Hood how to run a committee, the mayor said, more than 20 years ago. "She does such an excellent job," Hood told about 35 people representing the city's various advisory boards.

Then Hood left.

Which is too bad.

Hood could have used the training; most of Sutphin's two-hour seminar spoke directly to problems that continue to afflict the Orlando City Council.

Chief among them is Hood's constant interruption of others and her refusal to allow democratic discussions.

Time and again, Sutphin returned to the idea that a committee chairman should let everyone speak without interruption. The chairman should even encourage silent members to join in.

"It's important that people speak and are really heard, so that even if they are against [an issue], they will not try to sabotage it," Sutphin said.

The question is, will anyone get the mayor to listen to Sutphin's advice?


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