"Pulled a Jeanne Harris"

At a recent Woodland City Council meeting, Councilman Benjamin Fredricks became the target of an angry citizen’s attack.

A woman stood before the council and accused Fredricks of violating state law by using his power as a councilman to secure special privileges for another resident. She claimed he was biased and called on the council to investigate Fredricks’ actions.

When a Columbian reporter asked Fredricks about the confrontation, he said he chose to allow the woman to single him out rather than take a more infamous approach.

“I could have pulled a Jeanne Harris in Woodland at that meeting,” he said.

He was, of course, referring to Vancouver Councilwoman Jeanne Harris’ meltdown at a city council meeting when she ordered Mayor Tim Leavitt to “gavel down” a citizen speaking during public comment. The incident was caught on video and went viral on YouTube.

In addition to providing fodder for news outlets across the country, the incident gave members of other city councils a catchy way of saying, “I handle criticism better than you.”

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