The House That Roared : Seal Beach City Council Can’t Decide if Applause Should Be Allowed or Ruled Out

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To clap or not to clap? That was the question taken up by the City Council this week.

Buried in a resolution concerning the order of City Council agendas was a provision that clapping by the audience amounts to disorderly conduct that could result in being ejected from a public meeting.

After debating the issue for about half an hour, the council deadlocked on the matter--a decision that the audience greeted with loud applause.

Mayor Edna Wilson, who sided with Councilman Joe Hunt in opposing applause, repeatedly asked the audience to stop clapping during Monday night’s council meeting as she pounded her gavel.


Councilman Frank Laszlo said he thought it would be silly to restrict clapping.

Pro-applause Councilwoman Marilyn Bruce Hastings agreed with Laszlo, saying she finds clapping “refreshing” and uses it as a gauge of audience sentiment.

The applause debate is scheduled to resume at the council’s meeting on Feb. 25.