Overflow crowd of Villagers shut out of meeting in Fruitland Park

An overflow crowd of highly vocal Villagers turned out for the Fruitland Park Commission meeting Thursday night to express their thoughts on the city’s budget and the taxes they pay. 

But they were quickly turned away and sent to the city hall lobby because the room’s capacity of 71 was far exceeded. Many loudly offered their thoughts on the way out the door. 

“This is wrong!” one shouted. 

“We deserve to be heard,” another said. 

“It’s ridiculous!” another shouted. 

An overflow crowd of Villagers initially was shut out of a Fruitland Commission meeting Thursday night.

Mayor Chris Cheshire went to the lobby to attempt to calm the crowd and one woman immediately demanded that he resign. He then asked for patience and assured the Villagers that the commission wanted to hear from them and was working on a solution. 

John Mobilian, a candidate for the District 2 seat, said he and his campaign manager, wife Mary Ann, organized the effort that brought out the crowd of Villagers.

The commission eventually decided to table the budget, millage and fire fee items until a special 6 p.m. meeting next Friday at the nearby Community Methodist Church, located at 309 College Ave.

Villagers filled the Fruitland Park Commission chamber during Thursday night’s meeting.

“This was excellent,” Mobilian said. “I’m proud of what we accomplished. These people have issues they want to talk about.”

Mobilian also offered praise for the commission for tabling the items. 

“I applaud them, he said. “It was the right decision.”