FERRELVIEW, Mo. — In a session that lasted one hour and five minutes, many actions were taken by the newly-reorganized board at the Village of Ferrelview’s board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, April 10.
When the dust settled from the many 3-2 votes it left: a new chairperson, the formerly-suspended police chief reinstated and the former chairperson facing a possible impeachment from the board, pending a hearing later this month.
Changes were expected to the board since last Tuesday’s municipal election which saw incumbent Phil Gilliam win re-election and Lydia Whorton and John Rydholm join him in the proverbial winner’s circle.
The meeting started without treasurer Mickey Vulgamott, trustee Melvin Rhodes — who lost his bid for re-election — and interim police chief Kevin LaBranche. The only actions taken prior to reorganization were approval to pay the water and electric bills and setting a meeting to be held to discuss the other bills as soon as possible. The bills were in the treasurer’s office but without her present — Wilson said Vulgamott was out due to stress related to the job and she could provide a doctor’s note — they were unable to be seen by the board members.
After that, the newly elected officials were sworn in.
As soon as the three winners finished repeating their oath of office performed by city clerk Patsy Murray, changed happened quickly.
Wilson resigned her spot as the chairperson, a role she was voted into last year, but as recently as last month’s meeting she stated she would still be in the chair for the next year after being asked to resign by a member of the public.
Trustee Russell Wilson nominated Rydholm as the chairman but there wasn’t enough support for the motion to carry. Whorton then nominated Gilliam and the move passed 3-2 — the Wilsons voted no.
Theresa Wilson and Gilliam then traded seats for the rest of the meeting.
Within moments of taking over his role as the voice of the village, Gilliam spoke to the packed house.
“Attention has been brought that some things have been done wrong,” he said. “We would like to move forward and try to fix things as best as we can. One of those things we need to fix is we need police coverage and we need to do it sooner than later.”
Ferrelview police chief Daniel Clayton, suspended since a meeting in November, was present at the meeting.
A motion was made by Whorton to reinstate Clayton to his role as police chief and Rydholm seconded. They voted in favor and the Wilsons voted nay and Gilliam broke the tie, casting the final aye vote.
A standing ovation followed.
Duties were then assigned to the standing board. A motion was made to make Murray the interim treasurer in the absence of Vulgamott, which passed 4-1, with Theresa Wilson saying no. Russell Wilson voted yes as long as Murray had the correct bonding needed.
Rydholm was voted in as the street and emergency management/health commissioner, filling roles held by outgoing board members Rhodes and Diedre Carr. Whorton was voted in as the water and building commissioner, duties that Russell Wilson held on the previous board.
A vote was taken to discontinue having Platte County Sheriff’s deputies at the meeting and instead Clayton will handle those duties as he did prior to his suspension. That vote was passed 3-2, with the Wilsons again voting no.
“We need them for the safety and well-being of the village,” Theresa Wilson said.
Clayton, standing in the back of the city hall, responded, “Theresa, I provided that safety to you initially and you still suspended me.”
Gilliam then brought up the impeachment of Theresa Wilson.
He listed his reasons.
She knowingly and willingly held a meeting in violation of the Sunshine Law
Supported the abuse of power of the water commissioner.
Publicly lied about firing of chief Daniel Clayton.
Misappropriated funds, spending without board approval.
Hired personnel without approval of the board and violation of the current establishment
Manipulation of a sealed bid auction for personal benefit
Blatantly ignoring the recommendation of village counsel.
Withholding employee pay
Publicly demeaning residents
“These items are a clear violation of the oath we all take to serve and it is my recommendation we impeach her,” Gilliam said.
The motion was passed 3-2 — with the Wilsons voting no.
She will face the board of impeachment on April 21 at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 21.
An exchange between the Wilsons and Gilliam followed.
“I have not violated anything ethical,” Theresa Wilson said.
Her husband quickly said, “You have no comment.”
“What you guys have done tonight is illegal,” Theresa Wilson said, which Gilliam stated she could challenge.
“I will … I definitely am,” Theresa Wilson said.
Then, Clayton, from the back, asked for another round of applause and it was delivered.