Man evicted, 2 denied admittance to meeting
April 26, 2012 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
At least two people were denied admittance and one man was forcibly evicted from the Plymouth Lake Pointe Subdivision Homeowners Association meeting last Wednesday afternoon.
According to accounts of the meeting, at which Plymouth Township Supervisor Richard Reaume was the scheduled speaker, association president Mike Balow denied access to anyone attempting to attend the meeting whose name was not on a list of dues paying association members who were “in good standing.”
Postcards were mailed to Lake Pointe residents and a meeting notice was on the homeowners association website announcing the meeting at the Friendship Station on Schoolcraft Road. The announcements this year, however, included the provision that the meeting would only be open to Lake Pointe residents only with association dues paid up to date.
Guy Villet, a laid off Plymouth Township firefighter paramedic attended the first portion of the meeting as the guest of a former association board member. When Villet attempted to question some of Reaume’s statements regarding patient safety and emergency response times of the 911 service since cutbacks in the department,
Reaume responded by asking Villet, “Who do you work for?”
At the same time, Balow began pounding forcefully on a table and shouting at Villet, “You will not speak at this meeting,” and association vice president Ted Barker and another man began forcefully ushering Villet to the door.
“Do you want me to call the officer from outside? Balow shouted at Villett.
As Villet was being evicted, Balow continued shouting at one member of the audience who videotaped the incident.
Witnesses reported that a township police car was, in fact, patrolling the parking area during the scheduled meeting.
Villett said later that he “just wanted to ask a question. I couldn’t even get three words out before they grabbed at me. I was shocked. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
According to several subdivision residents, the annual meetings are usually open to the public and identification has never been checked at the door of meetings since the association was chartered in 1958.
This year, four of the six current board members were positioned at the entry into the meeting sitting at registration tables, checking identifications and status of those who entered. At least one man, who explained that he was there to observe only and listen to Reaume, was turned away by Balow. Balow said at the beginning of the meeting that he had turned away two people at the door and asked that anyone who was not a Lake Pointe resident in good standing leave.
Reaume’s statements regarding the level of emergency medical and fire service were challenged by Lake Pointe resident Susan Bondy. She responded to Reaume’s statement that residents were “getting better protection now.” Bondy asked Reaume, “Are you aware of how many missed calls there are on the township records for HVA (Huron Valley Ambulance)?
Reaume said that he did not have the answers, “…but our dispatchers cannot answer questions for patients like HVA can.”
The fire department reports of missed calls has been obtained by Bondy who also asked Reaume to discuss the 1-mill special assessment to support the fire, emergency medical and advance life support services 4,000 residents petitioned to have on a ballot for a public vote.
“In essence, Mr. Reaume, you were in court four times and when ordered by the court to place the fire department services on the ballot you changed the ballot language to 10 mills. I just want everyone here to know that,” Bondy said.
(Richard Reaume did not return a phone request for comment at press time.)