Roberts Village Board president submits resignation letter with 'heavy but grateful heart'

ROBERTS — With a “heavy but grateful heart,” Rick Flessner said he has submitted his resignation as president of the Roberts Village Board.

The resignation is effective following the board’s April 2020 meeting. That will leave the remaining one year of Flessner’s current four-year term to be filled by appointment.

Trustee Matt Vaughan volunteered to fill the position once it becomes vacant, and he will “shadow” Flessner for the next year until Flessner steps aside.

By having Vaughan “shadow” Flessner, it will hopefully lead to a “smoother transition,” Flessner said, noting that it should give Vaughan a better understanding of such things as the village’s appropriation ordinance and tax levy.

Vaughan has been serving as a village board member for several years. Flessner said he thinks Vaughan, who is employed as a national salesman for Hostess and also serves as president of the board for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Roberts, will do a “terrific” job leading the village board if he ends up being the one appointed to fill the role.

“He’s one of those kinds of kids who seems to like leadership,” Flessner said. “He ends up in a leadership role in whatever he belongs to.”

Since 2000, the 63-year-old Flessner has continuously served as president. In December, Flessner announced he planned to resign because he and his wife, Debbie, intend to move to Paxton, which will make him ineligible to continue to hold office in Roberts. He originally anticipated resigning in 2019 but later decided to do so in 2020 so that he could first train his replacement.

Meanwhile, Flessner will continue to serve as Ford County coroner, a position he was appointed to in December 2017 and elected to last November. He is currently in the midst of serving a two-year term as coroner.

Flessner retired in 2017 as a safety technician for Lee Farms Excavating, a position he had held since 2012. Flessner previously worked for Kahle Farms from 2011 to 2012, as a bituminous and concrete mixture inspector for Tobey’s Construction from 2009 to 2011, as a recycled catalyst inspector for MCAT Services from 2008 to 2010 and in supervisory roles for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) from 1975 to 2008.

The village board received Flessner’s resignation letter during its Feb. 4 meeting.

Other business
Also at the Feb. 4 meeting:

➜ Flessner said an open house and liquidation day will be held at a date to be determined this spring for residents to pick up any materials they want from the Roberts Public Library, which has been permanently closed. In a related matter, Flessner said he would meet with Ford County Board Chairman Randy Berger of Gibson City to work on the library’s damaged stage area.

➜ The board declined to vote on whether to accept or reject a proposed resolution presented to the village by Houston-based Pattern Energy Group — developer of the proposed Heritage Prairie Wind Farm near Roberts — regarding the rescinding of a resolution the village had earlier approved. The original resolution protested some of the new rules for wind farms being considered by Ford County officials — in particular, those related to setbacks and turbine height limitations. In its formal protest, the village has requested the county adopt a setback for turbines of at least 3,250 feet from property lines. The village also opposes allowing turbines as tall as 600 feet, requesting instead that the county keep the turbine height limit unchanged at 500 feet. The board took no vote on the proposed new resolution because a Pattern Energy Group representative was not in attendance.

➜ Water department employee Paul Theesfield said 756,200 gallons of water were pumped in the village in December, up from 647,000 a month earlier.

➜ Flessner said he contacted Putnam County again regarding patching rusty areas on the village’s water tower.

➜ Maintenance employee David Fuoss said he plowed snow each weekend in January.

➜ Flessner said he would contact area waste haulers to obtain bids for the village’s annual Cleanup Day.

➜ The board briefly discussed the GATA audit required by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Flessner said he has been in contact with IDOT’s Dana Edwards and with the village’s auditor, Amy Eshleman, to work on details.

➜ The board received an update on the progress of addressing drainage issues near Ricky Ricketts’ home at 131 E. Green St., across from the local bank.

Location (3):Local, Ford County, Roberts

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