Pharos-Tribune

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 jason.rodriguez@pharostribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 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.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 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.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT042214 Indiana Beach Viper.jpg Monticello amusement park brings new thrills MONTICELLO -- Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster -- the Galaxi -- is being retired after 42 years. Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago. "At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he said. "It's one

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Parade
Magazine

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.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition