Greene County Board Has Row Over Longmeyer Reappointment to GCRWD Board

By Benjamin Cox on August 2, 2022 at 9:17am

Some say politics were at play in a recent attempt to oust a long-time member of Greene County Rural Water District board.

The Greene County Board could not come to a consensus on July 13th on whether or not to reappoint David Longmeyer as a member of the Greene County Rural Water District Board. Longmeyer has served on the board for more than 20 years and currently chairs the board. The board was split 3-3 on the vote to retain Longmeyer with one abstention. According to the Greene Prairie Press, the lack of Longmeyer’s retention resulted in numerous calls to Greene County Board members from the public who were irate about the decision.

The Greene County Board called a special meeting on July 20th strictly to handle the matter. The July 20th meeting is reported to have had large numbers in attendance who were not allowed to speak on the matter until after a re-vote. County Board Chairman Mark Strang moved to put the meeting in executive session but was denied when Board Member Chris Elliott and Greene County State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe said that moving the discussion into executive session wouldn’t qualify under the “personnel” exemption since Longmeyer is technically not an employee of the county.

The open discussion about Longmeyer’s reappointment began with Board Member Andrea Schnelten saying she was against Longmeyer’s reappointment because several farmers had alerted her to being cheated out of money on their yields by Mr. Longmeyer when rural water lines were ran through their property. Other “no” votes from the previous meeting refused to discuss their reasoning in open session.

Longmeyer was eventually retained to the board in a 5-2 vote. Longmeyer believes that one of the reasons he received a no vote in the previous meeting from Chairman Mark Strang, according to reported comments, was because Longmeyer denied one of the Greene County Rural Water District Board appointees because the appointee didn’t live in the rural water district when they were appointed. Longmeyer said to appoint that person at the time was against the rural district’s bylaws, causing a riff between he and Strang. The appointee was eventually accepted to the water district board after they moved into the water district 90 days later.

The meeting ended with several other public comments in favor of Longmeyer’s reappointment to the board.