Whitebird resigns as Buckley trustee

BUCKLEY — After accepting a part-time position last month as the director of the Ford County Emergency Management Agency, Terry Whitebird made it clear that his EMA duties would take priority over his various volunteer roles, including as a trustee for the Buckley Village Board.

The 49-year-old Buckley resident promised to put in as much time as needed to his EMA job, saying he would step aside from his volunteer positions if needed. Whitebird followed up on that pledge Monday night when he resigned as a Buckley village trustee.

The village board accepted his resignation, which was effective immediately. Former village board president Evan Scott Shockley said he was interested in being appointed to fill the remainder of Whitebird’s term, but President Sheree Stachura said that with only two meetings left before April’s election, she would not appoint anyone.

Clearly upset, Shockley put paperwork that he had brought to the meeting in the middle of the board room’s table and said he would not be helping the village apply for a grant that would help fund new street lights.

Earlier in the meeting, Shockley offered to help apply for the grant, and a committee of trustees Becky Weisenbarn, Peggy Shockley and Shane Stachura was formed to assist him. Scott Shockley had said he would start on the grant paperwork in preparation for applying before the March 29 deadline.

After he left the meeting, Sheree Stachura told board members that she did not mean to make him upset. She said she just felt that because the election was so close and because Whitebird’s position was up for election at that time, it was best to wait to seat a new trustee.

Other business
In other business Monday:

➜ The board learned that ERH Enterprises Inc., the Westville-based company that is contracted to maintain Buckley’s water system, would be flushing hydrants more often in an attempt to address residents’ complaints about the presence of iron in their water.

➜ Board members authorized the board’s president to sign paperwork for a loan the village is seeking from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the refurbishing of the town’s water tower.

➜ Village engineer Larry Johnson presented information showing the board the cost to refurbish the water tower through sandblasting and applying three coats of paint. The cost to do it that way was $296,000, as compared with a cost of $160,000 to do a “paint-over.” Board member Becky Weisenbarn made a motion to do the work for $296,000.00, but the motion died due to the lack of a second. The board will continue with the cheaper method.

➜ The board voted unanimously to authorize the village attorney to draft a debt ordinance related to the loan for the water tower work.

➜ Board members voted unanimously to allow ERH Enterprises to buy the material to install water-service shut-offs at an apartment building in town.

➜ The board learned that the next village paint party will be held at 7 p.m. March 18 at Christ Lutheran School in Buckley.

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