The censure was for violating the city of Cedar Park's core values, strategic goals and item 3.1 from the City Council's Rules of Procedure, which states "Councilmembers shall show respect and courtesy to, and refrain from making disparaging comments about, fellow Councilmembers, the public, and City staff in the conduct of a City Council meeting, outside of Council meetings, in social settings, and on social media."
The motion passed with council members Dorian Chavez, Mike Guevara and Kelly in dissent. Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale, Mayor Pro Tem Mel Kirkland, Anne Duffy and Rodney Robinson voted for the censure.
Van Arsdale said terms of the censure may be discussed at a future meeting. About 75 people registered to speak at the meeting, which Van Arsdale estimated to be a city record.
Cedar Park residents, teachers from Leander ISD—the district which serves Cedar Park—and Cedar Park City Council members voiced their opposition to Kelly's July 22 Facebook post critical of educators reluctant to return to in-person instruction.
At least four speakers spoke in support of Kelly. Commenting on an online Washington Examiner opinion piece he shared, Kelly said "Stop catering to the leaches [sic]. Fire them and rehire new teachers."
Some speakers called for Kelly to resign or for City Council to remove Kelly, but City Council cannot recall a council member itself. According to the city charter, "The people of the City reserve the power to recall any elected officer of the City and may exercise the power by filing with the City Secretary a petition signed by qualified voters of the City equal in number to at least ten percent (10%) of all qualified voters of the City, demanding the removal of the elected officer."
Then, the City Council may order and hold a special election to determine the recall.
Mayor Pro Tem Mel Kirkland called the item and said he first requested a discussion of Kelly in April after Kelly disobeyed social distancing recommendations at a rally, according to social media posts, but did not pursue it due to the pandemic. He said Kelly has been "contentious with his supporters and critics" and has escalated his attacks.
“At every turn, his actions and behavior has gotten worse,” he said.
City Council's next regular meeting is scheduled for Aug. 13.