Earlier in the evening, during the general public comment period, notorious churl William Fitzgerald surprised veteran Anaheim City Council watchers by getting through an entire rant without really calling anyone a name.

A few minutes ago, during public comments on the Anaheim Convention Center expansion, Fitzgerald doubled down, reprising his gutter insults from last week and – if possible — descending further into the grotesque with comments directed at the three female councimembers that I am not sure I am willing to repeat here.

Mayor Tait pounded the gavel and interrupted Fitzgerald repeatedly in an attempt to get him to quit, in the Mayor’s words, “being a jerk” but Fitzgerald was not to be deterred.

It may be true that nothing can be done in the face of Fitzgerald vicious rhetoric. I concede to not knowing the answer. Common sense tells me that turning off the mike is no greater interference with a speaker than banging the gavel and repeated interruptions to ask for civility. In response to comments by Councilwoman Lucille Kring, City Attorney Michael Houston pledged to report back to council with research that leads him to believe turning off the microphone is not an “appropriate response.”