On Sept. 17, I received a flier advertising a “town hall meeting.” It was supposedly co-sponsored by beleagured West Point City Councilman Donald Gilliam and the West Point Voters League. The flier announcing the meeting said, “We’re inviting all citizens to attend.”
The flier reiterated the point a second time with “Please come out and voice your concerns.” The flier continued: “It’s time to hear from you, the citizens.”
Since I’m a West Point citizen, I attended. Then it got really weird.
Donald Gilliam told us all we had to leave. He was quite agitated. He told us we weren’t invited. He told us it was a closed meeting, open only to Mr. Gilliam and the so-called “co-sponsor,” the West Point Voters League, whatever that is.
The councilman was clearly calling all the shots for the meeting without consultation of other league members. It appears Councilman Gilliam is also the absolute leader of this suddenly secretive and unwelcoming “league” that invited us. Councilman Gilliam even denied ever inviting us, despite the flier that clearly invited all residents.
Most folks who showed up didn’t seem to care for being invited and then being told we weren’t welcome at all. Donald then reluctantly decided, under pressure from retired LaGrange High School history teacher Brenda Hart, to let the elected officials and candidates who had also shown up at the town hall meeting talk for a few minutes. Some did, though they were constantly interrupted by Donald Gilliam. Councilman Gilliam then began complaining about an email he was waving around, but was a little vague on the actual content.
Considering Councilman Gilliam’s lingering problems with voter fraud issues that simply won’t go away, I would think he might be reticent to call a secret meeting during a town hall meeting to secretly discuss election stuff with a chosen cadre.
The West Point Voters League: Who are they in league with? Apparently not this West Point voter. As near as I can tell, they are in league with Donald Gilliam, and only Donald Gilliam, since all the other candidates were told to leave along with the rest of us by Donald Gilliam.
I’m not sure I like a secret league of voters, who, in cahoots with a city councilman, invite me to a meeting, then make me and a bunch of other residents and officials leave the meeting. What did they discuss? I’m hoping not absentee ballots.
I read Councilman Gilliam’s “testimony” when he spoke about a month or so ago before the State Election Board about his part in a possible absentee-ballot-rigging scheme. His testimony, to put it mildly, was not particularly confidence-inspiring. Didn’t inspire the Board of Elections either. They did bind it over to the state attorney’s office unanimously with no objections from a soul.
In a nutshell, all I can say, as a voter in West Point, is when I consider the convoluted, erroneous and even possibly incriminating testimony Mr. Gilliam gave to the unconvinced Elections Board, and what I saw for myself first-hand at the town hall meeting where virtually all white people were booted out of by Mr. Gilliam,West Point cannot rid itself of this “politician” fast enough.
Rosemont Avenue, West Point