First – Weatherford City Council’s ’09 Westward Annexation Attempt, then Brock, and now Zion Hill –

In the following Weatherford Democrat article, Cristin Coyone succinctly captures the essence of small-town tyrannical government officials attempting to run rough-shod over their neighbors.

How to defend against petty tyrants ~ STAND AND FIGHT !

_________________________________________

From the Weatherford Democrat –

Swancy-1.jpg

Swancy shuts down upset Zion Hill residents; Mayor later relented after first banning annexation comments

By Christin Coyne ccoyne@weatherforddemocrat.com, 08/24/17 –

 

Tensions between the City of Weatherford and Zion Hill residents boiled over Tuesday night during a regular city council meeting, causing Mayor Craig Swancy to briefly order the city council chamber emptied.

Facing dozens of Zion Hill residents Tuesday night, Swancy minutes after the meeting began shut down attempts by the group to address council members on the proposed annexation.

“Before we go to our consent agenda items, I want to address the crowd to let you know that we will not be addressing the Zion Hill annex,” Swancy said. “There will be no comments on it at all tonight. There are two dates that are already set aside for it. That’s Sept. 12 and Sept. 14 where you can come and make your public comments all you want to. Those dates are set aside specifically for this. Tonight is not that date.”

The city council typically allows residents who have filled out a card with information before the meeting to address the city council for three minutes on any city-related topic, including non-agenda items, during a time specifically set aside on the agenda for “citizen comments on non-agenda items.”

When asked why the council would not allow speakers on the topic, Swancy said, “Because we don’t want to.”

The crowd erupted in laughter and yelling at the council.

Swancy used his gavel and said, “If you cannot behave, I will ask this officer to empty the room.”

“Empty the room,” Swancy said when the crowd did not immediately quiet. “Please leave the room.”

“Shame on you!” and “Tyranny,” some yelled at Swancy as people left the room.

“Now those who wish to be civil and act accordingly are more than welcome to return to the room,” Swancy said after the room quieted. “I’m just not going to put up with any nonsense tonight.”

Many of those who’d hoped to speak stayed out in the foyer – which is equipped with a sound system allowing people to hear council discussions – during much of the meeting while others left.

Standing just outside the meeting, some Zion Hill community residents contacted an attorney and a television station about the interaction.

Approximately a half hour later, as Swancy called Weatherford resident Darwin Yeary to start the non-agenda item comment period, council member Kevin Cleveland asked for a recess to seek counsel from the city attorney on a non-agenda item.

Following the closed session discussion and statements from Yeary and Elizabeth Hunkele on other non-agenda topics, Swancy apologized.

“I’d like to apologize to you and the people of north of town and all that area,” Swancy said to Hunkele. “I’d like to hear them speak. But I don’t want to hear them speak and scream and yell and be rowdy. This is not the place to do that. But I’d like to apologize to you and ask you to convey that apology to the people of Zion Hill. If the people of Zion Hill would like to come back in and be orderly, I’ll hear them. But they have to do it in order.”

Swancy allowed Hunkele and five other representatives of the groups of affected residents in and near the proposed annexation areas to speak against the proposal.

“You will not only rob them of their rights as citizens but of their dreams that they have built, not only for themselves but for generations to come,” Melissa Schmidt, who owns property that could be annexed in October, said. “I implore you as a citizen possible of the city to reconsider this annexation because, yes, it isn’t a lucrative tax base. It is farmland. And if you don’t think we will fight to the bitter end for whatever we can, for the homesteads that we have built there, my question to you is, do you have the fight in you?”

Cleveland later asked for the city to schedule an informal town hall to answer questions and address misinformation he heard Tuesday night during the comments from Zion Hill community residents.

“I just feel like if we could have a town hall-style meeting where we could have a little better discussions, we might get some of these things smoothed over,” Cleveland said.

City Manager Sharon Hayes said they could pick a day the week before the public hearings for the town hall.

 

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4 responses

  1. Limiting the ability of an elected official to be able to serve only two terms in office should be the standard across the board for all our elected officials at every level of government. Our Founders never intended for the word career to be placed in front of the word politician when they wrote the Constitution. Stagnation, corruption, and tyranny are all reasons which serve underscore why the word career should never be used in conjunction with the word politician. Unfortunately, the people never really seem to sit up and take notice until the effects are felt in their pocket books. That is the truly sad part. Freedom is never free and must be consistently safeguarded by the people. It is my constant prayer that the Lord awaken the people and they stop taking the freedoms they have been given for granted before it is to late for our Constitutional Republic.

  2. To those saying or thinking “Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys” Just know, it is a traveling circus & one day it WILL be your monkeys.

  3. Do we think the mayor is showing his true colors? He apparently has so little regard for the citizens of Weatherford that he insults them, from the dais, in a city council meeting. His petulant comments are like a child that is afraid of not getting his way. The mayor obviously thinks the citizens are idiots, incapable of making their own decisions. He definitely “drank the Koolaid” when elected Mayor and is now convinced the citizens can’t possibly know what’s good for them.

    What, or whom, is behind this push for the Zion Hill annexation? That huge development at the corner of Zion Hill Road and the Ric Williamson is currently outside the city limits. Was the developer promised annexation to obtain city utilities for his homes? Who else wants to build what in this area? The attempted Brock annexation was a weird, gerry-mandered acreage. Again, who was wanting this land for what? “Follow the money” seems to be the course of action the Zion Hill residents need to pursue. This newest attempt at annexation must be pretty important for City Hall to be pushing as hard as they are. Why the rush? Who’s behind it? Who in the City stands to gain, financially, if the annexation is successful? What is being hidden from the public’s view?

  4. Helen Hearnsberger | Reply

    It was truly an awesome extremely heartbreaking experience. I felt like Rosa Parks as I did not leave. I hadn’t done anything or said anything, but, the environment felt hostile at his statement. We, as residents, were denied our rights to speak. Then, I felt extremely disrespected as I spoke on behalf of the Zion Hill Loop since I was the only one left who actually lives on the Loop.

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