At Thursday night's Dewitt County Board meeting, Chairwoman Sherrie Brown once again failed to appoint a new representative to the District B board seat left by the untimely death of former board member Tom Pruser.
Many residents of District B and others sympathetic to their lack of representation on the board were in attendance to address the board. Brown cited an ordinance in place that allows only one person from an organization to speak before the board. This did not sit well with other members of the board nor with the audience who filled the County Court room Thursday.
Among those who were allowed to address the board was Levi Sturgeon, a former resident of Clinton and a former Dewitt County Board Vice-Chairman. Sturgeon urged Brown to heed the requests of the residents of District B and interrogated her as to why she refused to acknowledge the wishes of those residents to appoint Pruser's widow, Christy Pruser, to the seat.
Brown also denied several fellow Republican committeemen from District B the right to speak even though they were on the agenda to address the board. Board member David Newberg spoke in defense of the committeemen. He used his power as a board member to circumvent Brown's decision and read a written statement prepared by one of the committeemen.
Board member Terry Hoffman was quick to come to the Chairwoman's defense by calling for the court deputy to bring order in the court for comments being made by members of the audience expressing their disgust with Brown aloud. He did so on two separate occassions and Dewitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner was even quicker in his response to Hoffman's second request. And State's Attorney Karle Koritz even chimed it at one point.
Republican Committee President Dustin Peterson expressed his frustration on his fellow committeemen not being allowed to speak by Chairwoman Brown. He feels it's wrong for the Chairwoman to reject the taxpayers and elected leaders the chance to be herad.
Thursday nights meeting also saw many appointments to special drainage committees throughout the county. Peterson says there were 12 appointments made during the meeting and questioned the the Board Chair why should wouln't make it 13 appointments for the night.
Tom Pruser past away in late June, however, his seat has remained vacant since that time.