Mayor Notte Verbally Attacks Paul Smith
Mayor Notte verbally attacked Paul Smith, candidate for City Council, over a campaign sign placement issue during the November 1, 2011 Regular Meeting of City Council. Notte revealed during the heated exchange that he has been responsible for the removal of Mr. Smith’s campaign signs because Smith supports Notte’s opponent for mayor, David Magliulo.
Appearing alternately enraged and calm, Notte seemingly had a tenuous grasp on his self control during the exchange, during which two Sterling Heights Police Officers were sent to the scene. Screaming “hold on!” to Mr. Smith and repeatedly banging his gavel, Notte shouted down Smith while detailing his recent actions in ordering his supporters to remove Smith’s signs from their properties.
The exchange was apparently a continuation of a private discussion that took place between the two men the previous week during Mayor Notte’s public office hours, in which Mr. Smith allegedly complained that Mayor Notte was having his signs removed. The exchange at the council meeting appears to be confirmation that this indeed is the case.
No arrests were made in the incident, which was broadcast live on SHTV. A replay of the portion of the meeting where this occurred is available via Youtube.
During the exchange, Notte described making contact with at least three individuals with whom he claimed a long association, telling them to remove Mr. Smith’s campaign signs which were allegedly placed near his own signs. He further explained how he told the property owners to “put (the signs) away”, and to either return them if Mr. Smith came to retrieve them, or discard them after the election.
During the exchange, it was also implied that Mayor Notte has sent other people out to ask for Smith’s signs to be taken down when they are placed near his own signs. A Mr. Spica, a frequent supporter of Mr. Notte’s during council meetings, loudly began exclaiming that Mr. Smith was lying in part of his response as to why a particular sign was taken down. Mr. Spica was apparently involved in the removal of that sign, although it was not made clear by Notte or Mr. Smith whose property was involved.
A transcript of the exchange between Notte and Smith can be found here.