A pair of South Jacksonville trustees are frustrated with the way business is being conducted “behind the scenes” at Village Hall.
This news comes nearly two weeks after an hour of discussion between South Jacksonville trustees led to ten items being removed from the June 2nd agenda, including the 2016-2017 budget and a 2014 Dodge Charger, the vehicle which would replaced the totaled squad car driven by officer Scot Fitzgerald from the March accident.
Kem Wilson says that meeting was the tip of the iceberg and feels there has been a lack of communication between Mayor Steve Waltrip and trustees for the past six months.
“The clerk and mayor seem to be doing a lot of the running of the village. We need to bring some transparency back to South Jacksonville. The trustees need to be aware of everything going on, because that is our job as trustees. We represent the village and the people. We need to know what is going on, all the time,” says Wilson.
Stacy Pinkerton feels trustees are left in the dark on numerous important decisions that impact the South Jacksonville community.
“We know nothing until the night we receive our packets or not even till the board meeting. It is being run by Steve Waltrip and Dani Glascock and it will go their way. That is just the way it is. At this time, we are trying to put our foot down and say that this has gone too long, we aren’t taking it anymore and the public needs to know,” says Pinkerton.
Village Clerk Dani Glascock acknowledged she does a lot for the village, but that should be the role of any good clerk.
“Steve has to work with me on a daily basis to get agendas out and the information going into the packets. It is all on his recommendation and on his approval. Steve passes along everything he needs to pass along, in my opinion. I don’t know that they (trustees) are doing their role whenever they get a board packet and they tend to hand it over to people in the community to get their opinion on what they should say or do at the next meeting,” says Glascock.
Glascock says she was “blindsided” with the action, or lack there of, that took place during the June 2nd meeting. Glascock notes trustees discussed purchasing a squad car all the way back on March 31st during a committee meeting.
“The audio clearly shows that trustees were in agreement in March to replace the squad car. It was quoted by the mayor that the expenditure would be in early May. The other thing I would like to bring out is that two trustees were on surveillance, the Friday before Memorial Day, parked beside the new squad car. They had six days from the time the squad car was at the police department to the meeting, and not one of them called Josh (Hallock) or Steve to see what was going on. Apparently they forgot they agreed to it back in March,” says Glascock.
Pinkerton once again pointed out that a check for the squad car was written before the board had an opportunity to vote on the 2016-2017 budget.
“We did agree that we need the car. We also agreed that night to purchase a fire truck and a new truck for John Green and the sewer/water department. It was suppose to go to the board meeting for approval. At no time was it stated during the May 23rd meeting from Steve that the $18-thousand check had been cut for the car and it was being given to Josh. When you go to a committee meeting you can agree, but you can’t purchase anything without a vote. You can’t vote during a committee meeting,” Pinkerton says.
A special meeting and two committee sessions will be held on Thursday to discuss the squad car and equipment, fire truck options and budget in more detail.
Coming up tomorrow we will air comments from South Jacksonville Police Chief Josh Hallock regarding the purchase of the new squad car.
To hear audio from the March 31st meeting, click below.