Village Business Derailed After One Half of Board Boycotts Meeting

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 3, 2021 at 8:44pm

Business in the Village of South Jacksonville is on hold until further notice following Thursday night’s Board of Trustee meeting was called due to a lack of quorum.

No official meeting was able to be held after three Village Trustees were absent from the meeting. State statute requires a quorum of four of the six-member board be in attendance for an official meeting to be legally held.

Trustees Megan Davidson, Jason Hill, and Paula Belobrajdic-Stewart as well as Village Clerk Krystin Hill were absent from the Village Hall at the stated meeting hour of 7:00 pm.

Trustee Tom Jordan was in attendance and Trustee Stacy Pinkerton attended remotely. Also in attendance were Village Attorney Rob Cross, Village Treasurer Tiffanee Peters, and all Village Department heads with the only exception being Police Chief Eric Hansel who also attended remotely.

South Jacksonville Mayor Tyson Manker was advised by Attorney Cross that only informational topics could be covered and no official business could be undertaken without a quorum.

Following the meeting, Manker said, “it was embarrassing that several Trustees decided that they weren’t going to show up and do the job that the people sent them here to do.”

Manker said during the meeting that he “hoped the people take note of who was here and who wasn’t.” Manker said it was disrespectful to everyone present, including John Stewart “who was supposed to be reviewed for appointment to this board.”

Stewart has been picked to replace Todd Warrick who submitted his resignation on Friday. Warrick’s resignation was on the agenda for the meeting to be accepted by the board.

In a press release sent Thursday night, and signed by absent Trustees Davidson, Hill, Belobrajdic-Stewart, Warrick and Village Clerk Hill, the group said:

“In light of recent events and in the best interest of village voters and employees, we will not be attending any village meetings or conducting any village business until proposed IML Training has been provided for and completed by all elected officials.”

Newly elected municipal officials must take required training on the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act, also known as sunshine laws, but all other training, unless written into municipal statute is not required for trustees and executive members to attend.