Local News

December 30, 2011

Galveston utility superintendent, clerk resign

Pair say they can’t work with new council

GALVESTON — Galveston’s utilities superintendent and utilities clerk have submitted their resignations, saying they cannot work with new town council members and the citizens group that got them elected.

But the chairman of Galveston’s New Voice said the group and newly elected officials have simply tried to hold current council members and town employees accountable.

The group backed all five new town council members, who knocked out all incumbent council members in this spring’s primary and this fall’s municipal election. Those new members will hold their first meeting next week.

Bill Young, who has led the town’s utility department for much of the last 20 years, is resigning his post effective Saturday because of the “lies and deception from the concerned citizens group and new council,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

When contacted Thursday, he would not elaborate on what the lies and deception were.

“I’ve just had enough of it,” Young said. “I just think it’s going to hell in a handbasket.”

Young submitted a letter to the Pharos-Tribune in July 2009 that accused the citizens’ group of having a double standard.

Galveston’s New Voice, meanwhile, has framed itself as a group bringing needed change to the town.

But Young isn’t the only city official upset with the group.

Outgoing Clerk-Treasurer Connie Russell, in a letter, also spoke out against the actions of the group.

Russell was defeated by Christine Lewis in this spring’s Republican primary. Lewis was later charged in September with leaving the scene of a crash resulting in serious bodily injury, a class D felony. That case is ongoing.

And earlier this month, Vicki Wilson, utilities clerk for the city for the past three years, resigned her post effective Saturday.

In her letter of resignation, Wilson said she signed a circulated petition that asked Lewis not to take office.

Wilson said she had fielded many questions about the incident.

“Now the calls are about Christine taking office,” Wilson wrote.

“People realize this type of accident can happen to anyone, but it’s how you handle life’s situations that matter.”

A phone number for Lewis could not be located Thursday.

Wilson said the newly elected council ran as a group and she called for them to publicly apologize for any lies or rumors they may have allowed to spread.

“They used campaign fliers showing them as a group, and they had meetings with the very people they now denounce as the trouble-stirrers and lie- and rumor-spreaders,” she said. “It would change nothing as far as who will be running the town for the next four years, but I feel they owe it to the outgoing council, current town workers and especially Connie to make a public apology that is spread as much as the lies were. Even if the lies didn’t originate from the six of them, they all let them continue and reaped benefit from them.”

Chet Cree, chairman of Galveston’s New Voice, said much of what is being considered lies is simply concerned citizens asking questions about government business. For example, Cree said, town audits in 2005 and 2007 show a shortage of $25,000 and more than $29,000, respectively. He said when his group asked about the shortage, it evolved into people accusing clerk-treasurer Russell of stealing the money.

“We did not accuse her of stealing nothing,” Cree said.

He said he believes Young is upset because his group and the newly elected council had questioned Young’s decisions, including raised rates in water bills and overtime pay.

“As far as Mr. Young resigning, he needed to resign,” Cree said.

Young defended the city’s utility rates and said the new council will learn why the rates are where they are.

“They just don’t know what’s going on there,” Young said. “They think they’re going to lower the rates and that’s just not going to happen.”

• Jason M. Rodriguez is news editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5117 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT072714 - manhunt pickup - MLK Escapee apprehended in Carroll County w/VIDEO

    The inmate who escaped from the Logansport State Hospital Thursday night was apprehended in Carroll County late Friday morning. Carroll County Sheriff's Department Major Tobe Leazenby said Christopher J. Robbins, 23, Medaryville, was appreh

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police Blotter: July 25, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 25, 2014

  • NWS-PT072514-Begindergarten-BCM Focus on kids: Data shows rising poverty, but better education Indiana and Cass County children are making improvements in education, but the poverty rate still stays high, according to national data. The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2014 Kids Count Data Book released its annual evaluation of the nation’s children

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents oppose proposed gravel pit in Walton

    WALTON — Engineering Aggregates Corp. wants to dig a gravel pit, and residents around the proposed site are worried that it would interfere with what several called a peaceful country lifestyle. Engineering Aggregates has petitioned the Cass County B

    July 25, 2014 1 Link

  • NWS-PT072514 Billeaud Mug Guilty verdict in flag beating A Logansport man was found guilty in a jury trial Wednesday on counts of felony battery after an altercation in which he was charged with beating a man with a board holding an American flag.Jeffrey Billeaud Jr., 39, was found guilty of battery by mea

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072514 Patacsil-kmv Logan coaching legend Patacsil dies at 86 Logansport and Purdue University lost a giant among sports leaders Wednesday. Former Purdue great and former Logansport High School wrestling coach and educator Joe Patacsil passed away in his home.When his sons were leading the Berries wrestling pro

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burlington woman charged in May fatal crash KOKOMO — Police arrested a 26-year-old Burlington woman accused of causing a fatal crash while driving drunk Wednesday.Howard County sheriff deputies served a warrant on Casie E. Johnson charging her with a B felony causing death while operating a ve

    July 25, 2014

  • Robbins Christopher.jpg UPDATE: State Hospital escapee identified

    Police are seeking an escaped inmate of Logansport State Hospital with a history of residential entry and battery.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police Blotter: July 24, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS-PT072414 shrek2.jpg Cast of believers: Children take stage this weekend As almost 50 children and teenagers crowded around the edge of the stage at McHale Performing Arts Center, Dan McDonald counted off: one, two, three... “I believe!”It was the start of tech rehearsal for Junior Civic Theater’s production of “Shrek: Th

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Not sure
     View Results