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Village Council asks President to resign

by Judy Reed

With less than a month left on his term, the Sand Lake Village council voted at their regular meeting on Monday evening to ask Village President Tom Norton to resign. The motion, introduced by trustee Danielle Hardenburg, passed 5-0.

Norton has been under fire most recently for taking a Sand Lake Fire Department brush truck on Saturday, October 6 without speaking directly to the Fire Chief about it first, and allowing it to be used in the Pulaski Days parade by the Curt Benson for Judge campaign. 

Norton told the Post last week that as President, he had a right to take it. “The Chief doesn’t run the fire department, the President of the Village does,” he said.

Hardenburg had told the Post she felt it was an abuse of his power, and she was going to ask for his resignation at the meeting.

Norton, however, was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting, due to a family medical issue.

Hardenburg introduced the motion at the meeting, and the council discussed it.

“There was some discussion on the part of the council that we can’t force him to resign,” explained President pro-tem Dave Dewey. “But as a council we sensed that there was no way people would be content unless we sent him a letter requesting his resignation. So we decided we would send a letter out to Tom, and he would say yes or no.”

Dewey said an email went out to Norton Tuesday morning requesting his resignation. If he does resign, the Village council would then need to appoint an interim to run the village until after the November election, when a new president will be elected. Hardenburg is running for that position as a qualified write-in candidate. Former trustee Nyha French appears on the ballot, but she moved out of the area and is no longer a candidate.

Norton decided earlier this year not to run for reelection in Sand Lake, but instead ran for Supervisor of Nelson Township against their current Supervisor Robyn Britton and lost in the primary election. He told the Post last week that he and his family would soon be moving out of the area.

The Sand Lake Village council has seen several of its trustees leave recently, and will have several openings on the November ballot. Dave Dewey is retiring after 13 years; his wife Jan resigned earlier in the summer; trustee Greg Wheeler resigned; and French moved out of the district. 

All write-in candidates need to file declaration of intent forms by October 26.

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One Response to “Village Council asks President to resign”

  1. This is the fourth dramatic fiasco I’ve read about this year that involves the same cast of characters. You represent your areas in government positions. I hope you can use constructive conflict in the future without resorting to what appears to be school-age antics.

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