Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte took his normal spot in the Clay County Commission chamber shortly before the planned start of the commission meeting on Monday, March 13.
He read a prepared statement and handed down his resignation from the Clay County Economic Development Council in an effort to restore the county’s contribution to the agency’s annual budget.
The move stems from a Dec. 12, 2016 discussion item where Western Commissioner Gene Owen issued an ultimatum that Nolte resign before the county would once again fund the agency. Eastern Commissioner Luann Ridgeway approved the motion and the ultimatum was set. Nolte’s actions on Monday seemed to give into the ultimatum, but he added a couple of conditions to his resignation.
First he would not step down until his successor was named and second it would not be until the contract approving payment was signed.
“I call on Commissioner Owen to keep his word and sign a renewal of the EDC contract with his promise of a 25,000 increase,” Nolte read. “If he honors his commitment, once my replacement has been selected, the contract with the change is signed; I will step down from the County’s seat on the EDC Executive Board. I believe that seat should obviously be filled by a Commissioner because of the important policy decisions that are beyond the scope of a bureaucrat. We should not offload our duties and responsibilities we owe Clay County taxpayers to staffers. I hope this action will put an end to the repeated attacks on the EDC.”
The original complaint from Owen was that it was a conflict of interest for Nolte to serve on the board, however Nolte asked for evidence of that claim at more meetings in December but went ultimately unfounded. In fact Nolte said in his statement that other board member have encouraged him not to resign.
Read the rest of this story in the Tuesday, March 21 issue of the Standard
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