Delta Village Council Questioned on Mayor’s Sudden Resignation
At the February 1, 2021 Delta Village Council meeting, Delta resident and former Superintendent of Pike-Delta-York Schools, Jay LeFevre, addressed Council members regarding the recent resignation of Mayor Bob Gilbert. Mr. LeFevre questioned the lack of information and reasons given to the public from Village officials that prompted the sudden and unexpected resignation of Mayor Gilbert who had just finished the first year of a four-year term. “Is there some formal documentation anywhere? As far as people know we have two mayors or what?” asked Mr. Lefevre.
“The Mayor submitted his resignation. There is a document where he resigned as Mayor. According to the Charter, the Vice-Mayor takes over,” responded Village Solicitor Kevin Heban.
Mr. LeFevre asked if Mayor Gilbert’s resignation was mentioned in meeting minutes. Councilwoman Lynn Frank checked the previous meeting minutes and said it was not. “How then would anyone know in the public that the Mayor had resigned if there is no Village action or no minutes documenting that the Mayor resigned?” questioned Mr. LeFevre. Mr. Heban said the Mayor’s resignation was mentioned at the last meeting prior to the swearing in of Vice-Mayor Frank Wilton as the new Mayor. A replay of the on-line audio recording of the previous meeting did not make mention of the resignation.
“If someone was looking up the actions of the Council or what’s actually happening, how would they really know? I don’t know if you have an answer. I just wanted to put that out there. As a person of the community, it seems rather puzzling that there’s not really any formal action,” said Mr. LeFevre. “I don’t believe the minutes reflect the Mayor resigned. I’m just kind of puzzled by that. Maybe someone can follow up with me.” Mr. Lefevre also questioned the Council’s vision for the Village of Delta and the overall transparency of its actions.
“Obviously, there’s been some turmoil. Obviously, it’s been discussed in executive session and I get all of that, but I’m very concerned about where we are going,” he said. “I’d love to see the Village Council’s vision and I’d appreciate a reflection on the past year. Because when a mayor resigns or is asked to resign, what ever unfolded, it’s a pretty big deal. I struggle with what appears to be a complete lack of transparency. I’m told we’re trying to be transparent and I see things on the website, certain examples of transparency, but it’s a very tough topic to have nothing at all said. It would be great to hear some kind of example of why we have lost our Mayor and where we’re heading. I respect your work. I respect the position all of you are in. It’s challenging work. I would be grateful to see what the vision of the Council is in the near future.”
Mayor Wilton thanked Mr. LeFevre for his comments and asked if there was anyone else that wished to address Council. There was no response and the meeting continued without further discussion on the issue raised by Mr. LeFevre.