Council ousts noisy citizen from meeting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Staff Witer

March 14, 2000 10 PM

George Balmer was quietly escorted out of the Troy City Council meeting after he refused to hold his tongue in the meeting.

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During the Monday night meeting, Balmer accused the Troy Police Department of not working to remove drugs from the community. He went as far as to say airplanes are flying into the municipal airport without going through customs.

"It’s the things I do know about that bother me," Balmer said.

In the middle of reading a letter to the council, Council President John Witherington asked Balmer to sit down because his allegations have no proof behind them and a council meeting is not to be used as a public forum for such matters.

As he was being escorted out of the council chambers, Balmer informed the council he would sue for $5 million because he was not allowed to finish speaking. He also accused the mayor and council of being "corrupt."

Witherington said he has spoken to Balmer and requested factual proof and has recieved none.

"Any citizen who has a problem is welcome," Witherington said, adding Balmer had gone too far.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said Balmer will be asked to submit questions in writing in the future.

"We don’t need to allow this to happen," Lunsford said. "We know we have a drug problem and those are being addressed every day."

Councilman Jason Reeves made some comments regarding Balmer’s outburst during the meeting.

"For Mr. Balmer to accuse him (Witherington) of corruption is ludicrous," Reeves said.

Councilwoman Wanda Moultry’s sentiments were similar.

"If there’s corruption going on, it’s not among these men here," she said referring to Witherington, Charles Meeks, Jose Henderson and Lunsford. "It’s an honor to serve with them."

In regards to the police department, Reeves said he knows officers and detectives are committed to getting the drug problem under control.