Text of the resolution asking Mr. Smith to step down
Below is the text of the resolution authored and read into the record on 08-AUG-2012 by Mayor Pro-Tem Michael C. Taylor asking Paul Smith to step down from his elected post on City Council. The measure passed 6-1, with Smith casting the “no” vote.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Smith stated that he felt he had nothing to defend himself for during the council’s deliberations on this resolution. It is apparent that he has no intentions of stepping down, nor any intention of repudiating the sentiments displayed on the signs visible in the YouTube video.
Mr. Smith, you just don’t get it. You fail to understand your role as a Councilman and you have disgraced the office you hold. By passing this resolution, the legislative body of the city has officially told you that your services are no longer required and it would be best for everyone concerned — yourself included — for you to make your exit now.
I encourage readers of this blog to contact Mr. Smith directly to encourage him to do the honorable thing by resigning his post immediately.
His telephone number is: (810) 499-5585, and he can be reached via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This Resolution was made and adopted at a meeting of the City Council of the City of Sterling Heights, Macomb County, Michigan, held at the City Center on the 8th day of August, 2012.
The following preamble and resolution was offered by Member ______________ and
supported by Member ________________.
A. The City of Sterling Heights (the “City”) has worked diligently over the course of the past 45 years to build a community of inclusiveness and a culture of acceptance.
B. The City acknowledges that the first amendment right to freedom of speech is a cherished and important principle that must be vigorously protected to ensure the continued strength of our democracy and the democratic process.
C. The City also understands that in order to foster the best possible representative democracy for its residents, members of the City Council must conduct themselves within certain ethical guidelines, which have been codified by the City as the Council Rules and Ethics.
D. The Council Rules and Ethics state that public officials must conduct themselves according to the highest principles of honesty, integrity and in a manner worthy of respect, trust, and support; that public officials should safeguard public confidence in the integrity of government by being honest, fair, and respectful; that public officials should conduct their personal lives so as to reveal character traits, and judgments that are worthy of honor, respect, and demonstrate fitness for public office; and should avoid engaging in conduct which is likely to bring discredit on themselves and the governmental bodies in which they serve.
E. Councilman Paul Smith has repeatedly violated the above provisions of the
Council Rules and Ethics by failing to conduct himself with honesty and integrity; engaging in conduct unbefitting a public official; failing to conduct his personal life so as to reveal character traits, attitudes and judgments that are worthy of honor and respect; failing to demonstrate fitness for public office; and engaging in conduct which is likely to bring discredit on himself and the Sterling Heights City Council by association.
F. Specifically, Mr. Smith has violated the Council Rules and Ethics by his numerous and repeated verbal and written attacks on City employees, City board members, City commissioners and fellow Council members.
G. Furthermore, Mr. Smith has violated the Council Rules and Ethics by publicly and recklessly accusing City Manager Mark Vanderpool, on numerous occasions, and without justification, evidence or proof, of untruthfulness, incompetence, unethical and/or illegal activity and other unfounded claims meant solely to discredit, insult, and embarrass Mr. Vanderpool.
H. Furthermore, Mr. Smith has violated the Council Rules and Ethics by repeatedly and publicly harassing, embarrassing, insulting and otherwise degrading Sterling Heights businesses and business owners, including businesses that have come before the City with rezoning requests, variance requests, liquor license transfer requests, property tax abatement requests, and other such requests.
I. Furthermore, Mr. Smith has violated the Council Rules and Ethics by accusing a local Sterling Heights business of engaging in criminal activity by attempting to “buy influence” with City Council members in exchange for the granting of a property tax abatement.
J. Furthermore, Mr. Smith has violated the Council Rules and Ethics by publicly and recklessly accusing fellow council members, without justification, evidence or proof, of engaging in criminal activity by accepting bribes from a local business owner in exchange for the granting of a property tax abatement.
K. Furthermore, Mr. Smith has violated the Council Rules and Ethics by publicly and recklessly accusing a multinational company, without justification, evidence or proof, of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to obtain a liquor license from the City under false pretenses.
L. Furthermore, Mr. Smith has violated the Council Rules and Ethics by making
allegedly defamatory statements regarding a local business owner that caused the business owner to retain counsel and threaten legal action against the City.
M. Furthermore, Mr. Smith has violated the Council Rules and Ethics by refusing to repudiate his behavior and comments while appearing at a rally holding multiple signs depicting graphic, vile, and disturbing images of sadism and violence against public officials, including but not limited to: (i) depicting the President of the United States of America beheaded with a stake through his head; (ii) depicting the former Governor of the State of Michigan beheaded and hanging from a noose; (iii) depicting a prominent member of Congress with
bullet holes throughout her face; (iv) containing racial and homophobic slurs;
and (v) containing other images, descriptions and messages that are shocking and offensive to the residents of the City.
N. Based on Mr. Smith’s continued and repeated violations of the Council Rules
and Ethics, and Mr. Smith’s failure to acknowledge his continued and repeated
violations of the Council Rules and Ethics, the City hereby expresses no
confidence in Mr. Smith’s ability to conduct himself in a manner befitting of a
public official and to continue serving the interests of the City and its residents in his capacity as a member of the Sterling Heights City Council.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT
1. The City hereby urges Councilman Paul Smith to immediately resign from his
position as a Sterling Heights City Council member and forfeit all rights and titles included therewith.
2. In the event that Mr. Smith should refuse to resign his office, the City hereby
urges Mr. Smith to immediately and publicly repudiate the comments, images and depictions contained on the signs he held at the rally, as described above.
3. Further, in the event that Mr. Smith should refuse to resign his office, the
City hereby urges Mr. Smith to immediately cease and desist from any further
behavior that is inconsistent with the Council Rules and Ethics and conduct
himself in a manner befitting a public official. Specifically, that Mr. Smith
should henceforth avoid making derogatory, insulting, harassing and/or shameful comments to City employees, including Mr. Vanderpool; that Mr. Smith should avoid making derogatory, insulting, harassing, and/or shameful comments to City businesses and/or their owners; that Mr. Smith should avoid accusations of unethical and/or criminal behavior against fellow council members, City employees and/or City businesses without precise and definite proof of such behavior; and that Mr. Smith should avoid associating himself with graphic images of violence against public officials and racially derogatory comments.