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By Hilde Kate Lysiak
Selinsgrove Police were called to last Monday’s Borough Council meeting to stop a local journalist from speaking beyond the five minutes that the rules would allow.
An officer from the Police Department arrived after reporter Vincent Stoops, who publishes the news site Selinsgrove Concerned Citizens, continued speaking even after passing the five minutes the Borough said he was allowed to speak.
The officer arrived at the scene handmade no arrests.
“He [Borough Council President Marvin Rudnitsky] interrupted me at the four minute mark saying I had a minute left and I told him that I would speak until I was done, and that the more he interrupted me, the longer it would take me to finish,” Stoops told the Orange Street News.
In April, the Selinsgrove Borough Council made changes to the ‘Public Participation Rules’ to limit public comments to five minutes.
But a member of the Borough Council told the OSN that the police needed to be called because the rules on time limits need to be respected.
“He [Stoops] talked over the five minute mark and so they struck the gavel two times and he still would not stop,” Borough Manager Paul Williams who called the police, told the OSN.
But Stoops says he has the video to prove that the Council was out of line and will soon make the post public. The OSN has yet to review the video footage.
Police arrived at the scene saying that, “there’s no one to arrest,” according to Stoops. \
UPDATE: The video (below) seen by the Orange Street News showed that Vincent Stoops began speaking at 1 hour 4 minutes and 20 seconds into the meeting and wasn’t interrupted until 1 hour 12 minute. That meant he was allowed to speak for nearly 8 minutes before being interrupted. Seconds later the Borough President could be seen saying “Call 911.” The video also showed that other speakers were allowed to speak for over ten minutes without being interrupted.