The following is the prepared text of a statement by South Jacksonville Board of Trustees member Paula Stewart, as prepared for delivery tonight, regarding the removal of Village Clerk and Village President candidate Dani Glascock as South Jacksonville’s Freedom of Information Act Officer and the launch of an internal investigation into alleged misconduct within Village Hall.
My Social Jacksonville received an advance copy of this statement on Thursday afternoon.
A majority of the Village Trustees have called this Special Board meeting because it’s time to set the record straight.
Actions taken over the past couple of months do NOT reflect the feelings of most of us on this Board. Rather, we have been left out of the process and included when necessary. The only possible scenario for this exclusion would be that this was to further a personal agenda and trustees opinions were not needed. This is not the way a successful Board works for its residents. We have repeatedly asked to be included in everything and have been ignored. This Village is being run by two people and not the Board.
About the first action item on the agenda tonight, the numerous complaints filed with the Attorney General’s office, for both FOIA and OMA violations, warrant the removal of FOIA officer Dani Glascock.
We have valid concerns regarding the release of Executive Session items (in a personnel matter) which were entered into our meeting minutes-yet not voted upon-for release.
Equally disturbing was the public viewing of video which was part of an executive session. We do NOT condone or support the circus sideshow this issue has become. This public video viewing was unprecedented and, yet, we were totally unaware it was happening. Further, we can’t be certain that video shown to the public was the same as was shown to the Board. Disappointing, to say the least.
As to the second agenda item, it is our contention that pursuing the leak of an unredacted confidential memo from an executive session-dealing with personnel-is in the best interest of our employees as well as our residents. Employees deserve confidentiality in all personnel matters. Residents deserve to know which one of their appointed or elected officials blatantly disregarded the law. To charge an official with misconduct, we need to start with an investigation. Someone had something to gain here. We can’t let personal agendas supersede the law.
We are taking the first step tonight.
While calling a meeting like this is very rare, it was the only option we had.
Continually being left out of Village matters, when we ARE TRUSTEES, is unacceptable and far from the transparency the public deserves and expects. We will continue to fight for what is best for the Village.