BOWIE (KFDX/KJTL) — When new faces were elected to the city council in Bowie in November, some residents may have hoped it would usher in a return to order and business in city hall, and an end to the controversy and legal issues.
So far, that hasn’t been the trend. With a profanity-laced shouting and an alleged pushing match breaking out in city hall last week between one councilor and the mayor.
It was an email sent from one Bowie city councilor to her fellow members when one councilor confronted the mayor about it, things got out of hand, and it was captured on a recording device.
On Dec. 11, 2019, Bowie City Councilor Tami Buckmaster sent an email to her fellow council members and two city officials about the appointment of a potential City Charter Commission to revise the City Charter.
In the email, Buckmaster said if former Mayor Burris was on that commission, it would not have her support because she said Burris was voted out and needs to stay out of city government. She goes on to say, the people have spoken, they do not want her, we have a new mayor.
This led City Councilor Jason Love to set up a meeting with Mayor Bill Miller on Dec. 12, 2019, at city hall, contending Buckmaster’s email broke open meeting laws.
“Bill do you have a choice to do something about it or we do,” Love said.
“Well I’ll look into it Jason,” Miller said.
“Well, I hope so because the last couple of things I’ve asked you to do you haven’t done,” Love said.
That’s when things got heated because Love felt this was falling on deaf ears as he believes had happened with a couple of other things he had brought to the mayor’s attention.
“I’m going to tell you something right now, you better do something about this because I will make sure people know you didn’t do anything about it,” Love said.
“Don’t threaten me,” Miller said.
“I’m not threatening you, I’m promising you, Bill,” Love said.
“Instead of going out and drinking coffee and bullshit with people at Dairy Queen and shaking hands and all things. Oh yeah, being mayor is great. I think we need to get in here and get some god-damn work done.”
Love then goes to exit the room.
“Out of my way,” Love said.
“Get the hell out of my way, Bill. Bill get out of my way. Listen, you are such a piece of shit dude. You really are.”
“Listen, you don’t call me that,” Miller said.
“Yes, I will,” Love said. You don’t sit there and push me in the damn doorway. You are being a damn child.”
“No, I’m not,” Miller said.
“I said get out of my way,” Love said.
“I was standing there and you pushed me out of the way,” Miller said.
“Bullshit, Bill,” Love said. “Do your damn job. Do your damn job, Bill.”
“Hey, you are threatening me,” Miller said.
“I’m doing my job, you need to do yours,” Love said.
That’s when City Manager Bert Cunningham steps out into the hallway and tells Love to leave, which he did.
Love sent this statement to us about the incident: “Yes, our conversation got heated and emotional, but it’s the way I felt. We just need to communicate more effectively. Should I have said what I said to Bill, no and I want to apologize for cussing at him. I take this job very seriously and feel the others should as well, we just had a difference of opinion and that’s not a bad thing. I have worked with the mayor in the past and will continue to do so and feel it’s important for us to move forward past this, we owe it to the community.”
Miller decided not to comment at this time as he is contemplating legal action.