Village of South Jacksonville Has Quiet First Meeting With New Village President

By Benjamin Cox on January 7, 2022 at 8:57am

The Village of South Jacksonville had a very docile and brief meeting last night, the first one under new Village President Dick Samples.

The Village Board met in just under 20 minutes time and breezed through a few quick action items. They formally accepted the resignation of Tom Pinkerton from the Streets Department retroactive to Tuesday and of trustee Megan Davidson retroactive to December 31st.

The village also accepted a new silver logo that was recently designed. The logo’s implementation will be discussed in the next several weeks. Samples brought a resolution to the board to add him as a signatory on village payables and business. Since the resolution didn’t make the official agenda last night, it will be formally approved at their February meeting retroactive to this month. Samples also noted several old names that were still listed as signatories. He said he would send an email with names that should no longer be valid on the Village’s signatory list that will be removed by resolution in February.

Samples is also moving away from single committee meetings back to a single committee of the whole meeting once a month: “My plans are to just have committee of the whole. I think it is very redundant to have two. The one time I came, you had six meetings and then you had a committee of the whole, too. I think you can just get it all discussed that one night.”

Trustee Stacy Pinkerton said that she would be for the idea as long as the meetings don’t last an exorbitant amount of time. Samples assured her that the committee of the whole meetings would not last extremely long as they have at different times in the past.

The next committee of the whole was scheduled for next Thursday at 6PM. Samples presented the board a list of 20 items that he could think of that he says is general housekeeping that has come to his attention in his few days in office: “These are things that need to be talked out or need to be caught up on and see where we are at and go from there. It ranges anywhere from fixing a lock on the door of the board room to the fire department.”

Samples says he is also currently talking to one prospect to fill the City Clerk position and has already begun his search for the open trustee position.

He says that his transition into the village presidency has been mostly amicable, but he’s had a few come visit him at Village Hall who have voiced their opposition to his appointment: “I’m not going to fight with them. I’m not here to fight with them. I’m trying to get along. I want to do the best that we can do for the Village of South Jacksonville. We didn’t get in this shape over night and we sure ain’t going to get out of this predicament over night. Again, I got a good bunch of people that I am working with here.”

The Village Board also heard from Casa Real owner Jose Lopez asking about the status of his TIF grant and licenses for operation. Samples told Lopez that the trustee handling his TIF application just resigned but his TIF application and licenses are on the agenda for next Thursday’s meeting.