Public Comment: Shelby Trustees Harassed, Again, in 3 Minutes Flat

Shelby Township resident Grant Golasa speaks at Board of Trustees meeting Jan. 20, 2017.

by ANDREW NEAL
@NealSchmeal

To get up to speed, read the Gazette article from Dec 30, 2016 “Shelby Trustees Harassed with Abbreviated Insults During Public Comment

Another Shelby Township Board of Trustees meeting; another round of insults exchanged during public comment.

Much of the tone remained the same on Tuesday, Jan. 17, although Supervisor Stathakis mentioned several times throughout the three-hour meeting the need for residents to keep all public comments related to Township business rather than personal attacks. However, his efforts appeared to be in vain.

Ron Churchill referred to a resident he accused of personally attacking him at the previous Board meeting as “the fruitcake from the land of fruit and nuts, California.” He also expressed his disapproval of the three-minute time limit imposed on public comment.

“You bring up a good subject about personal attacks,” said Supervisor Stathakis. “There has been some situations in the past couple meetings where there have been personal attacks on board members and we really need to stop that. Each speaker is allowed three minutes to discuss business relevant to Shelby Township.”

At that point Churchill outburst that he wasn’t referring to board member attacks, an interruption that caused Stathakis to use his gavel to restore order.

“No one interrupted you and that’s exactly what we need to stop doing,” the Supervisor said.

Several other commenters, like Daniel Morris, expressed their disapproval over the time limit and restrictions to the scope of allowable public comment.

“I’ve been calling you people fascist pigs for the longest time. That has been very well amplified tonight,” Morris said.

Grant Golasa used his time to double down on previous accusations, focusing most of his attention on Treasurer Flynn.

“Can you just keep this to Township business please,” the Supervisor asked Golasa.

“This is Township business sir and please don’t interrupt me,” Golasa shot back. “It regards his character and he is allowed to attack me. You don’t stop him. Stop him next time.”

Grant swapped his red folder for a yellow one this time, with giant lettering that said “M.F.” on the cover. (Mr. Flynn? Middle Finger? More MF Folders?)

The folder contained photos allegedly showing Treasurer Flynn smoking cigars and drinking beer at Mae Stecker Park, a Tiger’s game, on a boat, and several unknown locations – photos Golasa says he obtained from someone on the Board.

As his time expired, Supervisor Stathakis said, “Ok thank you very much and Mr. Flynn, if you don’t mind, I know this is hard to do, but let’s just not respond.”

But Flynn could not resist, even so far as to talk over the Supervisor’s pleas to move on.

“They’re stalkers. I get it, he saw my Facebook page,” Flynn said. “And yes, it’s perfectly legal, I’m on the Parks and Rec committee, to drink in the park.”

“Who wants to go next?” Stathakis said.

Flynn continued. “I think I gave him a beer before he decided he wanted to sell out all his principles.”

As the next speaker made their way up to the podium, Flynn was seen putting an “L” on his forehead and his microphone was able to pick up a whisper under his breath: “What a loser.”