The retirement of former South Jacksonville President Gordon Jumper – and the subsequent naming of Trustee Steve Waltrip as Interim President – has created a potential problem for the Village.
Upon questioning by My Social Jacksonville administrator Colby Huff at the June 22nd special session of the South Jacksonville Board of Trustees, President Waltrip’s answer to the issue of a deciding future tied votes by the Board was, more or less, to just send the issue back to committee and hope that a compromise can be reached.
President Waltrip, saying that your plan to “send it back to committee for further discussion” in the event of a split vote isn’t a good plan.
The Board only meets once per month and it is inevitable that a delay of thirty days may be costly at some point. Fortunately, there is a very easy solution that would take very little effort to put into place.
Perhaps the Board should temporarily expand to a 7th member, by way of appointment?
This 7th member would hold no voting rights, except in the situation of a split vote, but may participate in committees, discussions, and all other duties of a Trustee. This 7th member would be bound by a written agreement between the Village and themselves that they would not retain their seat beyond the next election, as the Board would then contract to its original six members. This 7th member WOULD, however, be allowed to run for a full-term at the next election, but would be competing for one of those six seats.
That’s it. It is that simple, President Waltrip. Unless you would rather relinquish your voting rights as a Trustee – which you have made clear that you do not want to do – and thus eliminate the possibility of tied votes (since there would only be a maximum of five votes cast), this is the best solution with the simplest implementation.
**EDIT** It has been pointed out on Facebook that our solution, in fact, is not a viable solution, due to statute established in the Illinois Municipal Code. That being the case, the only viable solution is the one suggested in the final paragraph above.