By SUE SUCHYTA
HEIGHTS – The City Council abruptly adjourned its July 11 meeting during public comment time after some attendees started angrily shouting, while Police Chief Jerrod Hart tried unsuccessfully to calm the crowd.
The council meeting was the first since former Councilmember Zouher Abdel-Hak initiated a recall campaign against Mayor Bill Bazzi for an alleged violation of Michigan Act 78, which allows cities to establish a board of civil service commissioners to oversee full-time police and fire employees.
Abdel-Hak contends, Bazzi violated the city charter when the mayor suspended the commission following his dismissal of former Police Chief Mark Meyers after the commission voted to reinstate him.
The council chambers were packed, with standing room only, with a significant contingent of Bazzi’s supporters in attendance.
In recent months, council members and the public have been polarized about the status of the Warren Valley Golf Course renovations.
Toward the end of the meeting, Anthony Camilleri, who worked on the renovations, spoke during public comment time, angering some of the attendees, who became vocal in response.
Hart and three other police officers attempted to restore order while the council paused the meeting.
Wesam Issa, part of the Warren Valley Golf Course redevelopment, briefly went to the podium, shouting angrily in response to Camilleri’s comments and other perceived inequities that he felt occurred during the meeting.
When the council abruptly adjourned the meeting, ending public comment before all who wished to participate had spoken, some attendees expressed their frustration.
Political activist Hassan Aoun threw his hands up in frustration, and when a folder he held left his hand, it inadvertently dislodged a ceiling tile in the council chambers, after which he was encouraged to leave the room to dissipate his frustration.