By Sue Moore
Marc Boyer, a three year Vicksburg village council member, began posting videos on YouTube about two weeks ago which Bill Adams, village president, claims are false, slanderous, and unsupported.
A special meeting of the Village Council was called on Friday, August 1, to ask for Boyer’s resignation from the council, due to his unfounded accusations that Adams declared were hurting the village. “We need to bring closure to the inordinate time and money spent on proving his accusations are without merit,” he told the council members.
“By asking for his resignation, we lend credibility to the half-baked things he is saying,” Chris Newman, a council member stated. “He is saying he is a victim of a witch hunt. But with only three more months left on his term of office, he will be gone anyway, since he chose not to file for re-election. He is an elected official so only a voluntary resignation is appropriate.”
The Village Manager, Ken Schippers, feels that the village doesn’t need this kind of negative activity. “It’s not going to help us move forward. It’s hurting us and needs to stop. County and state agencies are trying to help the village [with grants] and if they see there are too many issues here, they will withdraw.”
Adams put forth a resolution asking the council to request Boyer’s voluntary resignation, which will be offered at the regular August meeting of the council. There seemed to be a consensus to support this resolution by the five members present at the special meeting. Boyer has answered
this request with another video saying he intends to serve out his term, even though he had earlier agreed to depart immediately in an earlier meeting on Monday, July 28.
At that meeting with Adams and Schippers, he was presented with evidence that clearly contradicted several of the purported transgressions by village staff in the earlier videos Boyer had posted. At the special meeting on Friday, Adams displayed a bird’s nest, removed from a pine tree approximately 30 feet high by the village DPW, across from Boyer’s home that he claimed in the video was a camera pointed at his daughter’s bedroom window.
Accusations made against the Vicksburg school system and Skip Knowles, board president in particular, were refuted by Steve Goss, assistant superintendent. Boyer had ranted in the video about the drain on school property that he felt was dammed up without a permit from the county
drain commissioner and Knowles personally had something to do with this. “These charges are ridiculous,” Goss said. “We have worked closely with the county drain commissioner during all of our construction work on the property. We have been good stewards. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Boyer’s main accusations have usually focused on Eric West, village police chief, primarily accusing him of several nefarious activities, all of which have been proven untrue, according to Adams. His usual diatribe concerns the purchase of a foreclosed house on Best Street for $1,600 on a tax sale by the County Treasurer, Mary Balkema, in 2009. She produced actual sale records for Ron Smith and Jeff Becker, council members who were investigating this charge. She said the sale was perfectly legal. “To imply that Balkema, one of the most respected elected officials in the county, is lying, is ridiculous,” Becker said. “He knows this but suggests otherwise in the videos.”
Boyer contended in one video that the blight ticket issued by the police chief was his doing, when in fact Boyer’s estranged wife, had requested the ticket be issued, Adams said.
“We could dismiss him for inappropriate conduct,” Adams said in response to a question from Becker on whether there is a statute that would allow the council to take such action. “He is baselessly defaming people. He does not speak for any of us and is hurting the village,” Becker said, but cautioned against taking legal action.
Boyer failed to attend the special meeting, saying in an email to Adams, that he was in great pain, couldn’t walk, and his heart was racing too fast to adequately carry on a debate, still contending that the village doesn’t treat him fairly.