Wednesday, March 19, 2014

News You Can't Use: Bridgeport Man Faces Felony After Speaking Too Long at Township Board Meeting

In the first few years of your life everyone is trying to get you to speak. The remaining balance of your life is spent with everyone trying to get you to shut up. Please just listen passively and then quietly do whatever it was you were told. I don't think that's too much to ask, but it was for one man who refused to be silenced and in the process created the first non-boring township meeting in human history.

A Bridgeport man faces a felony charge after he was arrested by police at a township board meeting when he refused to stop talking past a three-minute time limit for public comment.

Because any opinion, no matter how complex and nuanced, can be communicated in 180 seconds. Think of it as a political shot clock, minus the loud buzzers and fans waving their hands in approximation of a seizure. Here it was just "time up, tell your story about zoning concerns walking" followed by All-American Gestapoism.

Mark A. Adams, 59, was arraigned Friday, March 14, by Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank on a felony charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer and a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

Since our prisons are completely full according to everything I've ever been told, we'll have to release a murderer or rapist to make room for this guy. It's worth it to keep people from trying to talk past that three minute limit. Imagine if we let them go for a full five? It would be anarchy. Put him in prison.

Adams was arrested during a March 4 Bridgeport Township meeting by three Bridgeport Township police officers after violating the township's three-minute time limit set for people making public comments and refusing to stop talking when township officials told him to.

Yes, it took three Stud Muffin Freedom Defenders to subdue some old guy that was rambling about redistricting or leash laws.

"Sir, have you been trying to use your First Amendment freedoms tonight?"

The arrest was on Adams' 59th birthday, according to public records. 

I'm not sure if this counts as a violation of the "Anything for the birthday boy!" rule or the correct enforcement of the "Birthday Beat-Down" policy. Enjoy the "spanking machine" at the local lock-up.

Adams handed a four-page document to members of the board and offered it to others at the meeting before he spoke. The document, typed with an Adams Oil logo and Adams' contact information at the top, outlines 21 grievances against Bridgeport Township officials and other government officials.

The modern day Martin Luther gets sent to the Green Bar Motel.

Among the grievances are alleged wrongdoings of various governmental bodies including violations of the state open meetings act and Freedom of Information Act, police harassment, corruption, hate crimes, trespassing, tax fraud and more.

Whoa, comrade. That sounds like Wrong Think.

The document describes some of the alleged activities as "Taliban" style.

No, that's not the one with the pudgy Korean rapper pretending to ride a horse.

Licht said Adams was escorted out two other times in the past but was not arrested. Tuesday, March 4, was different.

"It was different, man! He crossed the line!"

"Several times the supervisor asked him to take a seat and he refused and the police department asked him to have a seat and took him out of the building."

He never did take that seat.

The issues between Adams and the township have been going on for several years, Licht said, regarding vacant land he owns in Bridgeport Township and compliance with township ordinances.

Just reading that sentence made me drowsy. Imagine years of this guy going on and on about ordinances and vacant land. I'm surprised anyone was awake to arrest him.

Messages left for Adams seeking comment were not returned. Saginaw attorney Tom Frank confirmed earlier that Adams is his client, but had no comment.

It looks like he's learned to be quiet, now that it's too late to matter.

Bridgeport Township is in Saginaw County and had a population of 10,514 as of the 2010 U.S. Census.

It appears on most maps of the area.

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Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

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  1. Replies
    1. Hey Aaron, I would love to have you come speak at our next township board meeting! I don't think you would have to worry about being arrested, they would still be there scratching their heads trying to figure out what you said long after you were done and safely seated.