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December 22, 2014

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City councilman really angry — just don’t ask about what

Was it just politics, grandstanding during Black History Month at a time when his constituents are voicing increasing frustration at his representation or did something really bad happen between Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow and City Manager Doug Selby?

During today's council meeting, Barlow took the extraordinary step of throwing down the gauntlet and publicly calling out Selby.

It made for a strange morning, indeed.

As part of recognizing Black History Month, Barlow earlier in the meeting handed out the Crystal Goddess of the Universe Corporate Award to local members of Alpha Kappa Sorority, the oldest Greek organization established by black women.

A few items later, Selby addressed the council to make his usual presentation about emerging issues. When he finished, Barlow, in a quiet seethe, made it clear he was very unhappy about something -- though exactly what that something is remained unspecified.

"Yesterday in our staff briefing, I brought something to your attention," Barlow said. "And the response I received was insufficient as far as I'm concerned and ... disrespectful on your behalf."

"I would just ask in the future that when I bring something to your attention asking your direction on something that you at least give me enough respect to give me a better response than what you provided.

Barlow added that episode "really bothered me."

Selby, whose job is based upon the whim of the council, stuttered for words.

"I, uh, purely unintentional, I'm sorry, I don't -- I look forward to

talking to you about it," he said.

"What the heck was that all about?" one city staffer was overheard saying.

Though Barlow felt comfortable enough to broadcast his anger and embarrass Selby in public, he refused to talk about it after the morning half of the council meeting.

"No comment," Barlow said when asked to explain his outburst. When told that he opened the door to the questions by bringing up such a sensitive issue in public, he turned and walked away.

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