A little while ago, I received a phone call from Dr. John Palmer. Dr. Palmer informed me that he’d just been kicked out of the St. Cloud City Council meeting after attempting to speak about Costco’s proposed purchase of land on the west end of St. Cloud.

Dr. Palmer is putting an article describing what happened. I will publish that article verbatim when I receive it. I won’t edit it. I want LFR readers to learn what happened that led up to this tyranny. Before he started writing his article, though, Dr. Palmer wrote this email to the St. Cloud City Council:

I guess I should have insisted on my 1st amendment rights even thou I was not disrupting the meeting. Maybe next time I should toss a chair?

I do believe I am owed a public and formal apology. I was waiting for the council members to finish their discussion as suggested by my 1st Ward councilman when I was ordered to leave and given no reason. Each council member present could have defended my rights but you ignored the unlawful actions of the city attorney. When you read the post regarding the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling on public meetings you will understand my reference to chair tossing.

As a citizen of the City of St. Cloud, I am offended by your failure to act to protect a citizens rights. This was not the Administration’s meeting; it was your council meeting. What message did your inaction send to the Citizens of St. Cloud. You lost the opportunity to be better informed by not allowing me to address the council regarding the sale of the Heritage Park land. I followed your rules respectfully, listened to Dave Master’s wise counsel and then was removed from the council chambers. What are you afraid of that prevented you from allowing a citizen to exercise their constitutional rights. What choice did I have in the face of unreasonable use of police force? Based on what was happen nothing would have prevented an escalation of police action. What would you have done if the officer started to handcuff me and perp walk me out of the chamber? I certainly did not want the trouble of having to defend my rights in a court of law or spend a night in jail and that is why I did not stand my ground and assert my rights. Just because people in authority can abuse their power does not mean others should allow this to happen.

Here’s the article written about the court case to which Dr. Palmer is referring. Here’s the part pertinent to Monday night’s tyrannical actions:

It’s no longer illegal in Minnesota to disturb a public meeting, the state Supreme Court has ruled, reversing the conviction of a Little Falls woman who was charged with disorderly conduct for protesting before the City Council.

The 54-year-old law was deemed overly broad and potentially criminalized free speech, the court ruled Wednesday. “I feel like justice was finally served,” said Robin Hensel, whose refusal to move her chair at a 2013 Little Falls City Council meeting was at the heart of the court’s decision.

This ruling is directly on point to what happened with Dr. Palmer Monday night.

This isn’t the first time Council President Lewis has ignored the Council’s rules. She ignored the Council’s rules during the Nov. 6 meeting when she adjourned the meeting while an open motion still hadn’t been voted on. She adjourned the meeting after getting upset with City Councilman Jeff Johnson.

If Council President Lewis thinks that the gavel gives her unlimited authority, which she apparently thinks, she needs a refresher course in civil rights. Her actions were those of a tyrant, not of a public servant.

One Response to “LFR Exclusive: City Council tyranny”

  • Justice Forall says:

    Saint Cloud City Council Member & Local Attorney – This so called attorney is arrogant and condescending. Carol Lewis claims on her website that she is personal, caring and professional…. what a joke…she misleads ailing and incapacitated individuals who are desperately seeking legal help and advice with their SSA disability claim. She claims other practicing SSA disability law firms are part of the SSA Disability processing paperwork/rubber-stamp “Mill” ! When you ask her a question, she often will not reply or when replying she offers an offensive sarcastic remark. STAY FAR AWAY – FIND ANOTHER ATTORNEY/LAW FIRM !!!

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