Mt. Jewett councilmen trade barbs as meeting falls through

Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

MT. JEWETT — Some day this month, Mt. Jewett might have a 2019 budget in place.
But who knows when.
The Mt. Jewett Borough Council scheduled a special meeting Monday to adopt a budget. But this meeting again fell through due to the lack of a quorum of four members. 
It is the second time in two weeks that a scheduled meeting had to be canceled due to the lack of a quorum.
Council President Brett Morgan was counting on four council members to show up for the Monday meeting to adopt a budget without a tax increase.
It didn't happen.
Morgan and Councilman John Hayduk were present for the meeting set for 4 p.m. at the borough building.
As Morgan made phone calls in an effort to drum up more councilmen for the meeting, Hayduk looked at the clock and got up and left the building.
When he was outside the building, Hayduk reportedly encountered Councilman John Keesee, who was en route to the meeting. Keesee said Hayduk told him a quorum was not present so he left without entering the building.
Meanwhile, Councilman Rod Danielson arrived. However, without Keesee and Hayduk, council still lacked a quorum.
Morgan reported that Councilmen Tom Geer, Gene Ginkel  and Steve Hale were not able to attend the meeting.
Frustrated that another business meeting had to be called off due to the lack of a quorum, Morgan referred to Hayduk and Keesee "childish" for not sticking around.
He said Hayduk should have waited longer at the council table before leaving. He believes Keesee should have at least come in the building before leaving the scene.
Based on his conversation with Hayduk outside, Keesee said "I didn't think there were enough for a meeting."
"I admit, I was late," Keesee said. He said dr ove fast to the borough building in an effort to be on time for the meeting.
The lack of a quorum for the forum Monday appears as another example of friction among certain council members.
Acting at a special meeting last week, council failed to muster sufficient votes to appoint Keesee to fill a vacancy on the Mt. Jewett Regional Sewer Authority.
This vacancy was created when Borough Maintenance Supervisor Ricky Kinner turned down an appointment to the sewer board.
Keesee said he was willing to serve on the sewer board. However, council split 3-3 last week on the appointment. Keesee, Ginkel and Danielson supported the nominee. Morgan and Hale voted against Keesee. Hayduk abstained from voting because he is the borough sewage treatment plant operator, creating the 3-3 deadlock.
Mayor Annie Jo Wolfe cast the deciding negative vote after "some discussion as to conflict of interest and the suggestion of advertising to the public," the meeting minutes claim.

For full article, check the Dec. 18, 2018 printed or e-edition of The Kane Republican