In Genoa Township circles, this has become the stuff of legend – the night that Todd Smith played on his iPad while dozens of students, teachers and parents came to the township board to beg for their schools.
Did it really happen? Did Todd Smith really play on his iPad all night, refusing to make any eye contact at all with the people who had come before the board?
Could ANY public official possibly have been that incredibly rude to his constituents?
Yes, it really happened. Yes, it was incredibly rude. And yes, it was by far the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen a public official do in Livingston County.
And now, on the eve of the Aug. 2 Republican primary in Genoa Township, it’s time for the voters to see this for themselves. At the end of this article is a link to a video, and you can see for yourself just how arrogant and rude Todd Smith was that night.
And if you’re a Genoa Township voter, remember this before you go to the polls on Tuesday. This is the man who’s asking for four more years as a township trustee. This is how he treats people.
Before you watch the video, here’s the backstory. Last summer, a small Christian school in Livingston County came to the Genoa Township Board, asking for permission to move into the Brighton Nazarene Church. The township planning commission had already looked at the proposal and voted almost unanimously to approve it. It seemed like a slam dunk for the tiny Livingston Christian Schools.
Incredibly, though, the Genoa Township Board voted against it – despite the fact that its own planning commission had no problem with it. It was clear to every observer that this case had nothing to do with the facts, and everything to do with politics. The four members of the board who voted against it – Gary McCririe, Linda Rowell, Jean Ledford and Todd Smith – were playing politics with school children because they had a vendetta against the Brighton Nazarene Church.
So protests were held, as parents, teachers and students begged for the school. A lawsuit was filed, asking the courts to intervene to save the school. And on Aug. 17, 2015, dozens of people came to the Genoa Township Board meeting to beg one last time for their board to change their mind and let this little Christian school open. And in turn, that decision would allow Light of the World Academy to open, because they were going to be located in the old Livingston Christian building.
The fate of two schools was in the hands of the Genoa Township Board. With so much at stake, dozens of parents, teachers and students came before the board to flat-out beg and plead for their schools.
The fix was already in the bag, of course. The four board members who were in the tank opposing the school – McCririe, Rowell, Ledford and Smith – weren’t going to change their votes no matter what.
Nonetheless, the parents, teachers and students took to the microphone to beg for their schools. More than 40 speakers in all. Most of the board members, even the ones who opposed the schools, listened respectfully.
Not Todd Smith. As the parade of speakers came to the microphone, Smith decided to be a passive-aggressive jerk. He didn’t like the protesting they had done and the letters they had written, so he decided it was time for payback.
Fine, he thought. You’re entitled to speak, but I’m not going to even dignify your presence. I’m not even going to look you in the eyes. I’m going to play on my iPad.
When someone called him out on his rude behavior, Smith later tried to claim that he was looking at his iPad because he was trying to match up the speaker with the letter they had written to the board.
That was a lie, because many of the speakers hadn’t even written letters to the board. So why was he playing on his iPad when those people spoke?
He was simply being a rude, arrogant, entitled jerk. He was the opposite of everything that a good public official should be.
Smith’s behavior that night was in keeping with his jerky persona. After all, this is a two-time convicted drunk driver who not only has continued to drink – he actually brags about how much he still drinks.
This is a two-time convicted drunk driver who spent $1,500 in Genoa taxpayer money to attend a conference in Detroit – where he spent time eating expensive oyster dinners and drinking.
And now, you can see how he treats his constituents.
Watch the video of Smith’s behavior on the night of Aug. 17, 2015: