A Westport Town Hall incident in which a resident yelled obscenities during a public meeting and acted “in a threatening manner” brought a vow today from First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff that such behavior won’t be tolerated.
In a memo to department heads and chairs of boards and commissions, Joseloff said the incident occurred Tuesday night during a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting and resulted in police being called.
The first selectman gave no details of the incident and the person involved was not identified.
Joseloff said he has conferred with police officials and security measures for Town Hall meetings are under review.
The text of the memo as released by his office:
“On Tuesday night at a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, a member of the public became unruly, yelling obscenities at board members and acting in a threatening manner that resulted in police having to be called.
“The incident is deeply regrettable and only underscores that Westport is not immune from frightening and potentially violent outbursts at public meetings and in public places.
“I have conferred with the Westport Police Department and we will be reviewing security measures for Town Hall and for Town Hall meetings.
“I have already informed the ZBA and P&Z chairs that I and our police officials will be meeting with them and those commissioners who so desire to further discuss these measures. I will be happy to schedule similar meetings with others.
“In the meantime, I want you and all Westporters to know that from now on, we have zero tolerance for any threatening behavior in Town Hall or at public meetings.
“Clearly we will not attempt to infringe on anyone’s right to make their views known at public meetings. But it must be done in a non-threatening manner. Those who engage in such behavior will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”