There was some heated discussion at last night’s meeting of the East Galesburg Village Board of Trustees, but the two parties most directly involved in a controversy seemed to have made amends.
Some friction ensued last month when Mayor Stephen Bradley commented he would like another “man” on the board to fill a vacant position.
The comment by Bradley was made when a trustee suggested Teri Peterson be considered since she had just turned in an application to run prior to the meeting
Peterson spoke during public comments last night saying she wanted on the board because she wants to “make a difference in her community” and says the current board is “directionless” and often absorbed with bickering.
She wrote about Bradley’s comment, her disappointment and resolve to make a difference in a Facebook post that Peterson says attracted attention from places spanning Galesburg to Vermont and Seattle.
Peterson has since told WGIL she intends to run against Bradley in the next election cycle, but last night she extended a hand and an apology. Bradley and he seemed to accept her apology.
However, before that point Trustee Sandi Corbin objected to the minutes from the last meeting when Bradley made his remark.
The remark by Bradley wasn’t included in the minutes and Corbin felt they should be to make an accurate record.
Trustee Diane Gilman defended excluding the comment because it was “taken out of context” and Mayor Bradley was “blindsided” by the question.
Besides, she says the board has talked before about trustee diversity in the past.
“As one of the residents said – one of her comments, ‘let’s get all women on the board and let’s see how things get done then,’ and I agree we can do a great job, but [there are] some areas that we just don’t have the expertise that men do. When it comes to vehicles and [various things] like that.”
By a 2-1 vote, the minutes were accepted as presented, meaning as far as the Village of East Galesburg’s records will officially show, Mayor Bradley never made the comments.
The Board also voted to delete the Village’s official Facebook page within the next 30 days.
The page which is used to alert residents about things like road conditions and delayed trash pick-up was “not working out the way we wanted it to work out” according to Trustee Diane Gilman.
She says they decided to ax the page altogether since “we can’t turn off the comment section.”
Several community members questioned the move telling WGIL removing the page amounts to unnecessary censorship.