A Georgetown man has launched a protest in front of the Civic Centre after receiving a notice Friday banning him indefinitely from all Town facilities and properties. "Senior Citizen Has Rights Taken by Town Hall," reads the sign Derrick Williams had by his side Friday in front of the municipal building. His protest continued Monday and he picketed again yesterday (Tuesday). Williams, 69, believes the Town is bullying him because he has long been an outspoken critic of Halton Hills council who asks tough questions and is "going after them (council members) at election time." But Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette says that's not the reason for the Notice of Trespass that was hand-delivered to Williams Friday morning. "This is about our Town employees and councillors coming here to do their work and not having to feel threatened or badgered," said Bonnette. "Asking questions is part of the political process." Town of Halton Hills CAO Dennis Perlin said the notice relates to "rude and insulting, and offensive remarks that have been made to councillors, staff and visitors at the Civic Centre," between 2005 and Sept. 2006. Perlin said it is also based on a report of a "remark of a serious, threatening nature," allegedly made by Williams at the Civic Centre Tuesday, Sept. 5 directed at a female councillor. "It's been building over a long period of time," said Perlin. Citing legal advice, Bonnette would not disclose what Williams is alleged to have said. "Anyone who has a mother, wife or daughter would be thoroughly disgusted with this uttered threat and it's a threat that council takes seriously," said Bonnette about the Sept, 5 incident. Ward 2 Councillor Joan Robson called the comment "vulgar and threatening," and the "straw that broke the camel's back." "This is not the first time he's uttered a threat. Six years ago he (Williams) left a voice mail for one of our councillors (Clark Somerville) threatening him," said Bonnette. No charges were laid against Williams in that incident, and Staff Sgt. Don Cousens confirmed Monday that Halton Police received a complaint regarding the alleged comment made last month by Williams. Cousens said police have determined the comment was not of "a criminal nature," and "the matter's been concluded." "He (Williams) has been spoken to about the matter," said Cousens. Williams denies making a threatening comment. "I didn't threaten a female councillor. I respect women's rights, and I respect everyone's rights," said Williams. Bonnette said, however, that female employees in the Civic Centre have complained about William's "belligerent behaviour toward them." Williams denies he has been belligerent saying, "that's insulting (to him) and very stupid." "What Rick Bonnette is doing is trying to save his political career but if I take legal action he can gag me from saying anything else." Williams, who served six years in the Canadian army, is upset that as a result of the Trespass Notice he won't be able to attend the Remembrance Day ceremony held in a Town-owned park in Georgetown and he can't watch his grandchildren play hockey in any of the Town arenas. He can't enter any Town facility or property without written consent from Perlin but will be allowed to enter a Town facility to vote in the Nov. 13 municipal election. If Williams does enter any Town properties he will be charged with trespassing, according to the notice. "I think banning him from the facilities is very minor compared to what he has suggested be done to a councillor," said Robson. "It's nothing to do with senior citizens. It's everything to do with a controlling, demeaning, violent threat against a woman." When asked if he thought it was fair to ban Williams from all facilities and Town properties, Bonnette said that councillors do go to arenas, and suggested Williams should contact the Town CAO, other staff or Town solicitor to discuss what events he can attend. "I think it's a disgrace that they would send me a letter like this, and I (as a taxpayer) own the properties. I think the Town's getting a little out of hand. They need to be brought back to reality," said Williams. He said he's experienced chest pains, and hasn't been able to sleep or eat since receiving the notice. He plans to continue his protest until the Town lifts its restrictions against him. He's also calling for Bonnette's and Alyman's resignations. "They're bullying me and all I'm doing is trying to bring out what the taxpayers should know," said Williams.
Georgetown's Derrick Williams began a protest outside the Civic Centre Friday when he received a Trespass Notice from the Town. The Town is threatening to charge the outspoken council critic with trespassing if he enters any Town-owned properties or facilities. Town officials allege Williams recently uttered a threat to a female councillor and contend he has been abusive to staff, councillors and visitors to the Civic Centre for the past two years. Photo