Protesters call on Bergman to hold town hall meetings

Feb 23, 2017

Protesters gather near the Perry Hotel in downtown Petoskey.
Credit Matt Mikus

Protesters gathered in Petoskey Thursday as Congressman Jack Bergman arrived for a speech.

Bergman spoke at the Perry Hotel at a luncheon sponsored by the Petoskey Chamber of Commerce. Tickets for the luncheon cost $20.

Outside the hotel, about 80 people waved signs and chanted slogans.

Gwen Allgaier from Leelanau County says Bergman should hold a free, public town hall meeting.

“We have repeatedly asked for public town halls, and he’s not scheduled any,” says Allgaier. “They’ve refused to have a citizens’ town hall. So we’re here because we want him to hear from us. We want him to talk to us. We’re here to send him a message.”

Allgaier says she’s concerned about Bergman’s stances on the environment and the Affordable Care Act.

Chamber of Commerce President Carlin Smith says he didn’t mind the protesters outside.

“They’re participating in the democratic process and doing what we should be doing as Americans,” says Carlin. “We got some of their questions in to the Congressman."

A Bergman spokeswoman says his office is planning two tele-conference town halls for the month of March, but she could not confirm any planned live events.