HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Minutes into the meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen said she was voting, with her feet.
"I'm going to get up and leave this meeting, because I believe this meeting itself is very irregular," she said.
She and some other council members pointed out the issue is in mediation and this could impact it, but committee chairman Dwight Boykins said they had to explore the issue of the ordinance's clarity.
He said many council members were unclear that a yes vote meant agreeing to demotions.
"If somewhere it mentioned demotions, chief, I guarantee you we'd have been having a different conversation last Wednesday," said Boykins. "It's clear that this is a confused document."
"That ordinance clearly, clearly states that the number of positions that would be reduced," said Chief Sam Peña.
Reduced as in reduction in rank, not laid off. Firefighters would not get pay cuts when they got demoted. 30 percent of those who got demoted would not get raises.
Council member Brenda Stardig also left the meeting, fed up with what she called political grandstanding.
"I talked about the administration doing it last week, trying to steer public opinion and now the firefighters are trying to steer public opinion. Let the process play out as it should," she said.