At the start of Monday’s City Council meeting, inspirational instrumental music played over the city’s sound system.
The music played just as Mayor Jennifer Roberts entered the meeting chamber, where she was met with thunderous applause from an audience that supported her refusal to discuss repealing the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.
The City Council was considering repealing the ordinance in hopes that the General Assembly would repeal House Bill 2. But Roberts said earlier in the day that wouldn’t be discussed, and she had called on the legislature to repeal the law, regardless of what the city did.
As the music continued and the crowd cheered, Roberts smiled and waved. When she took her seat, the music stopped.
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The next council member to enter the chamber was Claire Fallon, who walked to her seat as council members usually do – in silence.
The music is apparently not the start of a new trend, in which the city’s elected officials enter the building as though they were competing in professional wrestling.
Gregg Watkins, the mayor’s communications director, said he believes the music was played by mistake. When the city’s television station is waiting for the meeting to start, they often play instrumental music while they show the empty meeting chamber.
This time, the music was mistakenly played inside the building, Waktins said.
The city offers web streaming of meetings. But Roberts’ entrance is not included in the feed available on the city website Tuesday.