Mar 12, 2012 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
An incident erupted last Wednesday, March 7, at the Baldwinsville Public Library.
The Lysander Republican Committee was holding candidate interviews for the position of town councilor in the 2012 Lysander election at the library when Fred Burtch, a candidate in last September’s race for the republican nomination for Lysander supervisor (in which he lost by a narrow margin) showed up and caused a scene.
Earlier in the day, Burtch had contacted LRC Chairman Mike Bishoff and said he wanted to interview for the position, but was told he could not. Bishoff, however, said Burtch wanted to observe the proceedings and was asked not to because Burtch has verbally abused several LRC members in the past and also has a reputation of being disruptive.
“I was under the impression he wanted to attend the meeting, not that he wanted to interview for a position,” Bishoff said adding Burtch had not filed any paperwork needed for consideration.
After learning of Burtch’s interest in the town councilor position, Bishoff and the rest of the committee decided to let Burtch interview. This was after Burtch showed up at the meeting with a video recorder and a group of supporters. It is also library policy that any meeting held in reserved room must be open to the public.
According to Bishoff, Burtch was admitted to the meeting, at which point he did not answer any of the committee’s questions, but rather began accusing the LRC of being corrupt.
“He was there to be a disruption,” Bishoff said.
Burtch was eventually escorted out of the meeting by a member, who also happened to be a sheriff.
Once in the general area of the library, where there was an art reception being held for works by Ray Middle School and Durgee Junior High School students, Butch began swearing and yelling.
According to Librarian Meg Van Patten, Burtch was being unruly.
“He was speaking quite loudly and at one point used a foul word,” Van Patten said about Burtch’s behavior before entering the meeting. “When he came back out [of the room] he was quite loud again and used multiple foul words.”
At this point, Van Patten asked Burtch to leave as he was in violation of the library’s patron code of conduct.
“He was the only one being confrontational. He was very loud and indignant sounding,” she said.
Despite the disruption, the LRC was able to conclude interviews for the town councilor position.
“We are trying to bring a level of civility back to a rational level in this town,” Bishoff said of the LRC’s goals. He added that the committee welcomes members of the Lysander community to get involved with the LRC. Those interested can email Bishoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Burtch discussed the matter prior to the incident, attempts made to reach him afterward were unsuccessful.