The Village of South Jacksonville Trustees took a major step in censoring behavior on social media platforms by village officials last night. During the end of their special meeting to handle three action items of business, Village Trustee Todd Warrick introduced a resolution “expressing disapproval of Village President Harry Jennings’ recent comments” demanding for “high value” in places of public discourse.
The written resolution says that Jennings displayed a lack of judgment and professionalism in his conduct on Facebook with village residents and that the trustees wished to reinforce the idea that his behavior would not be tolerated.
Warrick explained further. “The trustees as a group, we were a little upset about what was said by Village President Harry Jennings on Facebook – some of the comments he made and some of the untruthfulness that he had said about Trustee [Jason] Hill. I think it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you can be reprimanded for the actions that you take. I did a little bit of research and came up with this [resolution]. This was agreed upon by all the trustees and all trustees did sign it.”
Warrick had said in previous meetings that he was tired of having to answer for Jennings actions on social media to his constituents. “It was almost like arguments that were going on via Facebook and it came back to me. I think it was very unprofessional – not just myself, but the other trustees thought it was very unprofessional for the village president to be continuing on with these arguments on Facebook.”
Warrick hopes that the resolution will put any further conduct to rest and village business can move forward. “I was elected by the people of the Village of South Jacksonville, and I told them that I would do the best job that I can. That’s what I’m trying to do. That’s why we brought this resolution out so that we can go on and, as a group, not just the trustees but the village president, the office manager, the village clerk can all go on now with village business.”
Jennings made no comment after the resolution passed unanimously. In other business, the village trustees voted to table the letter of engagement for further discussion on Alice Hancock’s duties at Village Hall. The village did approve the hire of a part-time water clerk for $16 per hour. The village also voted to cover 2 of the 3 days for the Lake Jacksonville boat races in September and to provide a tourism grant to the races for up to $2500 for LifeStar EMT services on the other day they cannot staff. The Village of South Jacksonville will next meet in Committee of the Whole on August 27th at Village Hall.