Garden City mayor cracks down on 'misbehavior' at City Council meetings

By Roger Weber, Local 4 Reporter, @RogerWLocal4, rogerw@wdiv.com
Published On: Jul 23 2012 06:07:40 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2012 06:50:10 PM EDT

The mayor of Garden City has had enough of what he calls misbehavior at City Council meetings.

GARDEN CITY, Mich. -

Garden City Mayor Randy Walker The mayor of Garden City has had enough of what he calls misbehavior at City Council meetings.

Mayor Randy Walker said he is through with seeing the meetings disrupted by residents who take freedom of speech too far.

Walker is cracking down on people who have been calling their public officials derogatory nicknames and heckling others at the podium.

"There is a fine line between freedom of speech and personal abuse, and personal attacks, and I am not going to put up with it," Walker said.

At a 5-hour meeting earlier this month, the mayor ordered two people removed from the meeting. One of them was Buddy Wallace. Wallace says he does his homework on issues in Garden City and has a constitutional right to be heard.

"I hope that he enforces the same rules about bullying on himself as he does the public," Wallace said.

Winnie Wiacek, 84, also was thrown out of the meeting by Walker. Moreover, on another occasion, Walker ejected Wiacek's husband, Ray. Ray Wiacek said the mayor already is too aggressive in enforcing time limits.

"The mayor is so rude that if you're speaking and you come to a 5-minute time, if you're in the middle of the sentence, he hits that gavel and tells you you're through," said Ray Wiacek.

Walker will lay out new rules Monday night. People will receive one warning for misbehavior and if there is any more they will be dismissed from the meeting.

"They don't have to like the seven people at the meeting, but they have to respect the position," said Walker.

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