Operational Woes Continue for Splash Pad and Village Board

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 15, 2021 at 9:10am

Operational woes continue with both the Godfrey Park Splash Pad and the South Jacksonville Board of Trustees, as another pair of resignations is on the horizon.

The Board of Trustees met in a special session Monday night to approve the current village payables after the regular meeting set for June 4th was boycotted by three trustees and the village clerk.

Absent from the special meeting was Trustee Tom Jordan and Village Attorney Rob Cross. The absence of Trustee Jordan did not prevent the board from having a quorum and being able to conduct business.

Village Mayor Tyson Manker gaveled the meeting open at the stated time of 7 pm and issues ensued during the roll call. Village Clerk Krystin Hill took issue with Manker directing Village Treasurer Tiffanee Peters to send out the agenda for the meeting.

Hill had sent an agenda last Wednesday for a meeting to occur last Friday to approve paying the bills. The meeting was moved to Monday by Manker who said that the Friday meeting “was not properly noticed” to comply with the Open Meetings Act.

An argument between Clerk Hill and Manker continued until Police Chief Eric Hansell stepped in to defuse the situation. At one point Clerk Hill was asked to step out of the meeting, which she complied with after Hansell had asked Manker to step outside with him for a moment to which Manker refused.

Discussion was then had on the lone action item of May 2021 payables totaling $211,954.47.

During discussion, Trustee Megan Davidson asked Public Works Superintendent John Green what part for the Splash Pad in Godfrey Park was needed for it to be fixed after it was reported following the boycotted meeting that the pad could not be fixed until the payables were approved.

Green said the previous part that had been ordered did arrive, but after the pad had sat idle all of last year due to the pandemic, as well as two cold winters, there are still issues to sort out.

At this point, we are still chasing down some gremlins in it. We’ve ordered some parts, and now we will get some more parts ordered. It’s in the switching in the activation switch at some point. The bad thing is the parts come out of Canada so it takes a little time getting stuff in, so at this point, that’s where we are at.”

Following discussion, a question was raised by Trustee Jason Hill as to if the payables could be approved after Manker had requested Clerk Hill to leave the meeting for causing a disturbance and no official record of the vote was then being taken.

A second argument started this time between Manker and Trustee Hill after Hill questioned Peters on performing the duties of the Village Clerk by sending out the second agenda for the rescheduled meeting. Again Chief Hansell spoke up to help calm the situation. Peters said she sent out the agenda at the direction of Manker, her supervisor. Clerk Hill returned to the meeting and the payables were approved by unanimous vote.

Manker announced during the new business portion of the agenda that he has set up the non-mandatory IML training requested by the board members who boycotted the last meeting. The tentative date is set for June 23rd at 6 pm.

Trustee Stacy Pinkerton said she had no idea if she would be available, as she did not have her calendar with her. Manker asked the board to communicate if the time and date would work with their schedules as soon as possible to set the training.

After Manker asked if there were any other new business items, Trustee Jason Hill said that Manker could expect resignations coming from both he and Village Clerk Krystin Hill.

Following the meeting, Trustee Jason Hill and Village Clerk Krystin Hill said their resignations would be forthcoming and a statement on the reasoning would be made at that time.