STOUNTON – This was not the first time that 94-year-old Albinos “Albert” Foss was removed from council halls by police on duty during a meeting of the Staunton City Council.
He was first removed because he spoke beyond the time allowed. The second time he was removed from the halls of the council, Fossa was declared inoperable. Simply put, he spoke at the wrong time.
“I will come here and rustle people’s feathers,” he told council members the night before he was physically removed for the second time on January 27.
This is Fossa.
Whether you agree with what he has to say or not, there is no doubt that he cares. He takes care enough to show up so people in the room know he’s done three injections, while board members check to see if he has a mask and then ask how he manages to make sure he’s with him all right.
The communication between him and the members of the council during the break is friendly and familiar, which indicates that they met him.
On the night of January 27, Fossa objected to the tax assessment of his home he received. He came to the podium during a public hearing on the lease.
The council concluded its discussion of the lease. After that, public hearings were opened within the framework of the regular meeting of the city executive committee so that citizens would have an opportunity to comment on the lease agreement. Everyone outside of this topic has to wait their turn. In Fossa’s case it meant the end of the evening (which these days could mean 22 or 23 hours of the night) during public questions.
When Fossa spoke at the wrong time, Mayor Andrea Oaks told him this and repeatedly gave it to him. Fossa continued to speak, upset by the assessment. It didn’t look like he was ignoring her. Instead, he may not have actually heard her. According to advisor Brandi Mead, Fossa is hard of hearing.
Fossa told people in the rooms that sometimes it seems like he’s screaming, but he’s not screaming. That’s how he talks, he said at another board meeting.
“In two years, two people have been removed,” Mead said. “One woman who does not weigh 90 pounds. Activist. The second, a 94-year-old man. “
Before citizens can speak at Staunton City Council meetings, Mayor Andrea Oaks explains the rules, as a large stopwatch appears on the screen, ready for a five-minute countdown, the amount of time each person is allowed.
“At every city council meeting for two and a half minutes, we have to listen to how she (Oaks) threatens citizens,” Mead said. “Once she finishes threatening people, she greets people in the stands. I feel like it’s just intimidation. For me, this is a terrible, terrible thing for our city. “
Older people with disabilities are the only people who have been removed from the room, Mead said.
“To keep just threatening people with arrest? Why do you need it?” Said Mead.
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