It happened at an April 9, 2007 Collinsville, Illinois City Council meeting. Mayor, Stan Schaeffer, was taking input from “residents”. This is the part of the meeting where the City entertains comments and concerns from those in the community. I had spoken a number of times in the past, mainly challenging the City’s authority to implement a business license ordinance and other things. At this particular meeting I was in possession of a campaign flyer paid for by “The Committee to Elect Stan Schaeffer”. This flyer is similar to possibly thousands that were direct-mailed to potential voters.
The purpose of my having this flyer was the conspicuous display of Mr. Schaeffer’s City office phone number and his City provided cell phone. These services are paid through tax dollars, which makes them the property of the Citizens. Mr. Schaeffer was advertising tax payer funded resources in his bid for re-election, thereby using the money of those who may have been aggrieved or in opposition to Mr. Schaeffer’s bid for re-election. I spoke not only for myself, but for other Citizens who express their displeasure with the City’s progress, or lack thereof, but who are afraid of reprisal from the City, Mr. Schaeffer and other assembled councilpersons included.
In my address, I made reference to my speaking in agency for those apprehensive voices. I did not say that these persons are afraid of Mr. Schaeffer directly or personally, but intimidated by the potential abuse of the City’s resources, i.e., police, code enforcement,…etc, as can be illustrated historically and anecdotally. People have made it known to me their personal experiences that, taken in the context of a Citizen speaking out about government abuse or waste, there was a corresponding negative consequence timed conspicuously close to the dissent of the Citizen.
When I addressed the Council I made it clear that this faction of the population was also being represented in my address. Mr. Schaeffer is seen to clearly snicker and cover his mouth upon my mention of those who fear retribution for their dissent. I became very angry upon seeing this disrespectful act by Mr. Schaeffer, but managed to maintain my composure and complete my address. Mr. Schaeffer also attempted to limit my address to the arbitrary limit of 4 minutes, as set by ordinance, and I refused to relinquish the floor until after I had finished my thought. A minor display of professional petulance ensued and the matter defused after a short while.
In my address I used the word “cabal” in referencing the Mayor and his campaign-supporting constituency. He makes a point to define the word for the assemblage and the future viewing public, I presume because having possibly been educated in a Collinsville Public School they may not possess the lexical aptitude to understand a polysyllabic word like “cabal”. I chose that word very carefully because I believe that Mr. Schaeffer’s bid for re-election is just that, a cabal. The people are the authority, and government is the reaction to our action of forming a government for the security of our rights and property. Mr. Schaeffer and his cabal of special interests, developers, and privileged status are, through attempting to keep Mr. Schaeffer in office, conspiring to subvert the People’s will and reduce them to peonage by having their property taxed, confiscated, or developed against their will. Yes, Mr. Schaeffer…it is a cabal.
I may update this later, but I wanted to get the video out for those who wish to witness a callous display for the justified, albeit unnecessary, apprehension of other Citizens to publicly confront what they believe to be oppressive, unresponsive government. More to come…..