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WJBD - Local News - Four Junction City Village Board Members Walk Out in Dispute with Mayor

Four Junction City Village Board Members Walk Out in Dispute with Mayor

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Junction City Village Board meeting came to an abrupt end Wednesday night when four board members walked out when Mayor Jerry Grey suggested they resign during a disagreement on where the village's police cars should be parked.   Several board members didn't want the police officers who live out of town taking the squad cars home with them anymore and had an ordinance drafted to require them to be parked at village hall.  Grey refused to allow a vote on the ordinance, saying there wasn't room there or at another village building.  After the board agreed informally to allow the squad cars to be parked at Grey's home, Grey then lashed out at four board members who he has been at odds.  

Board Member Ricky Boxx then question Grey why there is a Board if there can be no input.  Grey lashed out telling him to quit in writing.  Boxx got up and walked out with three other board members following.  However, none actually wrote out a written resignation.  The meeting has been scheduled to reconvene on Tuesday night at six pm.  It may become clearer at that time if any of the members will actually resign.  

Grey had earlier told the board if they didn't allow the two part-time officers to drive home the squad cars, they'd have to pay them mileage.  Village attorneys Trent West and Ryan Conner said the only legal requirement would be to pay mileage if an employee used a personal vehicle while on-duty.  When questioned about the village being repaid by the officers for gas used to travel to and from work, Grey said he had seen receipts.  The board also expressed concern about wear and tear on the squad cars, with one of the officers living 70 miles away.  

The police issue wasn't the only one that drew heated discussion.  When board member Brian Bryant asked the board to drop an ordinance violation he had been issued for using a fire hydrant to fill his pool because there were no witnesses to that happening, Grey told Bryant it was not a board issue and he needed to make his arguments in court.  At that point, Grey said they were moving on and there would be no further discussion.   

A moment later, Grey threatened to eject the attorney's when they tried to give the board input.  Grey told them they will only speak when spoken to.  The two attorneys didn't respond, but didn't intervene again until asked a question by the board.    

In other action, the board agreed to look at renting out the teen center to those in the community wanting to hold events.  The village hall is no longer being rented because of damage.  Only board members have been allowed to use the facility.  However, village treasurer Marie House questioned if some were abusing the privilege as events were being held at village hall without any board member being present.  Trick or Treat night was set for Friday night, October 26th, from six to eight pm.  

The board also agreed to advertise for a new secretary.  The old secretary quit after being chastised for some of her work at a previous meeting.    

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