Boy, did the Ferrelview Board of Trustees meeting go off the rails again.
I’m sure if you’ve been following the small Platte County village’s saga, you will not be surprised by this. I had every intention of putting together a news story for this week’s issue, but the proceedings dragged on for about an hour and a half in open session Tuesday night before going into closed session at about 7:30 p.m.
Eventually, deadlines become deadlines.
Amazingly, the meeting started with a calm exchange and standoff over approving previous meeting minutes. Phil Gilliam, a recently appointed trustee, took issue with the wording of proceedings that indicated board chairman Theresa Wilson advised the board of falsified documents involving his swearing in at a local bank.
This went on for about 15 minutes before the minutes were approved on a 3-2 vote with no amendments.
For a second, I thought maybe — just maybe — the meeting would be uneventful, and the citizens and elected officials would begin to move forward. This was not to be the case, and there were multiple volatile exchanges among board members between board members and the citizens and even between embattled Ferrelview Police Department chief Daniel Clayton and Wilson.
Diedre Carr, another trustee, threatened to walk out of the meeting after Wilson accused the previous board of spending all the village’s money rather than remitting excess court fees and traffic fine revenue to the state. Russell Wilson, another trustee and husband of Theresa Wilson, did leave Ferrelview City Hall after one resident repeatedly asked for the reasoning behind cutting back Clayton’s hours to part time and not allowing his 20 hours per week to be used past 10 p.m.
I’m going to go over the proceedings and report back next week. This might take a while to sort out.
There were so many, “I can’t believe that just happened,” or “Did that person really say that?” moments to go over. I’m both looking forward to this process and dreading it.
I really want Ferrelview to succeed, for citizens and government to find common ground. There’s about a 1 percent chance of that ever happening at this point. It’s just seemingly irreparable, and there’s going to be hard feelings regardless of Clayton’s future.
That’s also assuming the village has a future.
With the pending state audit starting, the financial reality will become apparent. Some still want to believe it’s a matter of vindicative budgeting than a cash flow crisis.
If the board is found to simply be withholding funds from public safety, the citizens might lead an actual riot. If there is a serious financial problem (more likely), the village may very well cease to exist, and the implosion might happen quicker than most of us would think.
I really wanted to have some thoughts for you this week, but my mind is a milkshake after trying to sort through that meeting.
I don’t know what to say.
The Platte City city-wide garage sales appeared to be a huge success over the weekend. I love the idea of the community coming together to for these exchanges.
Dearborn’s will be coming up later this month. The sales will run from Thursday, Sept. 21 to Saturday, Sept. 23, but the volunteers need more submissions to participate.
Find full details on page A6 of this week’s issue. Help out if you can.
Also coming up will be homecoming season, starting with Park Hill South and North Platte this week.
I think the tradition is way different than us in the older crowd participated — do kids even go to a dance anymore? — but royalty will always be the centerpiece. We’re hoping to have shots of all the kings and queens this fall, but if you have a photo submission, don’t hesitate to send it along?
My contact info can be found below. We are going to try and run as many homecoming photos as possible this year.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.