The merry-go-round that is the South Jacksonville Village Board of Trustees continues to spin as two more members of the board have left office.
Trustees Stacy Pinkerton and John Stewart both officially resigned from the Village Board last Wednesday, March 9th. The resignations continue a trend of uncertainty on the Board as now three Trustee seats are vacant as well as the Village Clerk’s seat which has been vacant since former Clerk Amy Scoggins resigned in November.
Village President Dick Samples says tensions have remained high on the board since he was appointed to his position in December and cited that both trustees were absent from the last meeting.
Trustee John Stewart declined to speak on air, however, he says he sent an email the evening of March 2nd ahead of the meeting informing Samples he was resigning as trustee and that an official letter would be to his office by the following Wednesday.
In the email, Stewart says he “doesn’t like the direction the board is taking things”, and that it “doesn’t seem democratic nor representative”, saying he “cannot continue to be a part of this illicit form of governance.”
Stewart went on to say in the communication that he had not spoken with anyone else at that time, as he wanted Samples to know first to avoid any hearsay or rumors.
He says the Village Certainly doesn’t need anything else against its image. Samples agreed with Stewart on not wanting to tarnish the Village’s image.
Samples says going forward, he has two candidates in mind for trustee appointments, one of which is former Trustee Todd Warrick who has already been voted down by the board in February.
“This is a very simple process in this Trustee deal. If they are voted out once, you simply nominate someone else, and then you appoint them. I nominated Jason Hill the second go-round and the reason I did both of those was because they were both elected, and they couldn’t get along with the former mayor and they both resigned.
I don’t have any problems with them going. I’ve got two, Todd [Warrick] will come back on in April, we have to wait sixty days. So Todd will be back in April and I have another guy. I’m talking to him and I halfway feel that he’s going to come on and he would be a tremendous asset.”
Samples did not say who the second candidate is, however he did confirm they have not served as Trustee previously. Warrick’s appointment failed in February by a 3 to 2 vote with Tom Jordan, Stacy Pinkerton, and John Stewart all voting ‘no’. Samples says he understands and respects Stewart and Pinkerton’s decisions in the way they voted as well as in leaving the board, even if he didn’t agree.
“I’m glad that they have moved on, and I wish them the best of luck. John [Stewart] told the girls that he was going to go back to working in Quincy for his job, and Stacy [Pinkerton] mentioned that it was too much stress on her.”
WLDS News reached out to Stacy Pinkerton who said she did not wish to comment on the record, but that she “left for personal reasons” is the statement she wanted to make at this time.
The Village Board will next meet for a committee of the whole and a special meeting tomorrow night.