Alder Mark Clear, hoping to speed the evening along, moved to lump eight amendments to miscellaneous appropriations into one and place them on file.
An hour later, the council is embroiled in a very heated, very personal debate that occasionally focuses on the appropriations themselves, but more often than not has turned to allegations of "wastefulness," "grandstanding" and "holding the city council hostage." The debate is taking place largely along the council's invisible party lines, ironically with more "conservative" alders accusing the more "liberal" council members of making unnecessary cuts for the sake of showboating.
Those same conservative alders spent a grand total of twenty minutes on the council floor telling other alders they were wasting time.
A number of council members in the middle already seem exasperated by the debate.
"I'm disappointed with the way this evening is starting out," Alder Julia Kerr said. "We're all equals here... I really hope we would refrain from chastising one another and focus on the job."
Amendments 4, 16, 18, 22, 23, 24, 34 and 36 were placed on file at 7:01.