A video featuring animation, made by the husband of a Huber Heights council member, sparked a complex saga that culminated in a lengthy and fiery council meeting Monday night.
The fight over the digitally animated video — titled “Shaw Town” in reference to Councilman Richard Shaw, who is depicted as excessively overweight in the short movie created by Councilwoman Nancy Byrge’s husband — exposes deep fissures on a council where personality clashes are frequent.
For two hours, the council representing the 38,000 citizens of Huber Heights devoted more time Monday to discussing the video than any other topic facing the city.
Byrge acknowledges her husband made the video, which dates to December, but denies having any part in distributing it.
Shaw and Councilman Glenn Otto — whose wife Andi Otto is referenced in the video — filed a complaint with Mayor Tom McMasters on May 8 accusing Byrge of participating in the making and distributing of the video.
The complaint came one day after Byrge won the primary election for an at-large council seat.
Byrge on May 17 filed a complaint with McMasters against Councilwoman Janell Smith, accusing Smith of providing a DVD of the video to Council Member Glenn Otto. Byrge said her husband made the video specifically for — and only for — Smith.
Council took no action on the matter Monday and will reconvene at a later date to discuss the matter.
The more than two dozen attendees in the audience reacted in real time to the prime time dramatics.
“None of these people are smart enough to figure out what is going on,” whispered one to another.
“Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences!” shouted another .
Added another, “Everybody’s watching the circus.”