By Robert Tomlinson
Editor’s note: This article contains strong language.
THREE RIVERS — Following the multiple outbursts by At-Large Three Rivers City Commissioner Lucas Allen at the March 7 Three Rivers City Commission meeting, the commission will be considering a resolution for censure for Allen at their Tuesday, March 21 meeting.
The resolution would formally condemn Allen’s behavior from the March 7 meeting, and according to the background information by city staff, would lay out expectations for how Allen “should conduct himself in the future.”
On March 7, Allen had repeated verbal outbursts during the commission meeting, interrupting proceedings multiple times, and had multiple verbal back-and-forths with Mayor Tom Lowry and other commissioners. At one point, after Lowry gaveled him down for interrupting a citizen during public comment, he threatened Lowry during the ensuing back-and-forth, saying, “if you don’t shut your fat ass up, I’ll beat your f—ing ass.”
Allen was nearly removed from the meeting when he had another outburst later on, but was ultimately not removed from the meeting. He also had other verbal outbursts toward other commissioners and city staff during the meeting, including At-Large Commissioner Torrey Brown, City Attorney TJ Reed, DDA Director Cameron Mains, Police Chief Scott Boling and Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Taylor Davis during other items on the agenda.
At the end of the meeting, Allen said, “I’d like to say I apologize for anything I say, but let’s be honest, I don’t,” and while he apologized to Lowry, he said if he didn’t receive an apology from Lowry for gaveling him down, he’d consider it a “personal f— you.” No such apology was given by Lowry.
The proposed resolution condemns Allen’s actions “in the strongest of terms,” and lists out the disorderly conduct shown by Allen during the meeting, including “repeated verbal outbursts while others had the right to speak, repeated use of profanity, threatening behavior, refusal to comply with the Duties of the Mayor to conduct the meeting, personal verbal attacks against members of the Commission, and antagonizing and demeaning comments towards City Staff.” Allen’s conduct, according to the resolution, “has damaged the reputation of the City of Three Rivers, and diminished the goodwill between the Commission, and the citizens.”
A list of expectations for Allen’s behavior in future interactions is also laid out in the proposed resolution. These include refraining from the use of profanity and personal attacks against anyone participating in a meeting, observing Roberts Rules of Order and not disrupting the conduction of a meeting, remaining respectful to staff as they present requests, and “maintaining the highest standard of personal integrity and working with the City Commission and staff to further the work of the City that benefits all residents, visitors and businesses.”
If Allen’s behavior does not follow these guidelines, according to the resolution, it will “result in removal from the meeting by the Sergeant of arms and investigated for any perceived violation of any criminal law that may have been broken.”
A majority vote of the city commission is needed to pass the resolution.
Other items being discussed on Tuesday’s City Commission agenda include a public hearing on ordinance amendments for special exception use procedures and marijuana ordinance provisions, a public hearing on the vacation of a portion of South Street near the old Three Rivers Public Library, approval of 2023 street sweeping services, and approval of a Michigan Department of Natural Resources recreation grant for new pickleball courts at Armstrong Park.
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Three Rivers City Hall at 333 W. Michigan Ave.
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.