A City Council candidate denies reports that he was escorted from City Hall recently because of his behavior, saying it was the actions of incumbent Donna Reed Miller that got the police involved over a conversation about a controversial development plan in Germantown.
“No they didn’t escort me out,” said Eighth District Council candidate Greg Paulmier.
Miller yesterday said Paulmier became so unruly when he visited her several weeks ago asking for her endorsement in the open race that police took him away, the City Paper reported.
But Paulmier said it was Miller who was the unruly one, getting so loud in her displeasure with a comment Paulmier made about her that police took notice.
According to Paulmier, Civil Service Police came over and said, “‘is everything alright Greg?’” after Miller began yelling accusations at Paulmier for allegedly lying about her.
“She claimed that I had ‘lied on her,’” Paulmier said.
According to Paulmier, Miller was referring to an allegation he made last month that the reason the Chelten Plaza development in Germantown is going forward dispite widespread public opposition is because politicians like Miller are making money on it.
“I still believe that they may have,” Paulmier said.
Chelten Plaza is a planned dollar store and discount market development approved with Miller’s knowledge and millions in public subsidy even though it apparently violates a zoning rule Miller herself created.
Miller could not be reached for comment.
Paulmier said he was at City Hall to attend a Council hearing and that he tried to talk with Miller in the hallway as she was returning to her office. He was asking for her endorsement in the seven-way Eighth District race that will bring a new City Councilperson into office after Miller retires at the end of this term.
Paulmier, who has run against Miller for City Council in three previous elections, said he asks for her endorsement every time. He considers it good strategy and a way of paying her respect.
Asked whether seeking an endorsement from the incumbent he so often criticizes is hypocritical, Paulmier cast it as a matter of hope that she might one day change her ways.
“I don’t give up on anybody. I don’t give up on Donna Miller,” he said.
After police came over and the pair ended their discussion, Paulmier said he called his wife to see if he should pick anything up at the grocery store and went home – none of it under police supervision.
Paulmier admits to a long, and sometimes trying history with Miller, but says as an activist he has to push those in power to do the right thing.
“I have chased Mayor Street out of City Hall,” he said by way of example. That incident was in 2004, over the La Salle University plan to close down part of 20th Street for a campus expansion. “We actually chased him all the way down the hall and into the elevator.”
It was how the Civil Service Police started to know him by first name, he said.