Nov 2, 2023Liked by Bradley Mowell

Why have the former Aldermen, now Mayor Baird and (possible) inmate Hendrickson, and Alderman Hall, been sooooo insistent that Donna Stewart be appointed to the city for sooooo long? Why her and no one else? Is there a previous article that explains why they have specifically wanted her and why former Mayor Snider did not?

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Nov 2, 2023·edited Nov 2, 2023Author

Hi, Jennifer. There is not. I don’t know why former mayor Snider did not want her. From the Board’s perspective, there was mention made of how Donna had already been an alderwoman and how she was familiar with the budgeting process (which was an upcoming issue). From my perspective, she’s also a very nice lady and a service-oriented person. Had I been mayor, I’d have appointed her. But the decision of who to appoint wasn’t mine to make, it was Mayor Snider’s. From observation, it seemed like the mayor didn’t want Ms. Stewart because the Board did, and the Board didn’t want anyone else, because they would only accept Ms. Stewart. It was frustrating to watch.

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If it helps, here is what then-Alderman Baird had to say about Ms. Johnson-Phillips not having been asked any questions during the meeting back in September 2022:

“As you know, the Board of Aldermen usually has six Aldermen, each serving a two-year term. We are currently short one member, and we can continue to function with a minimum of four. It would be great to fill the vacancy, but there are only just over 6 months remaining in that two-year term. As Board Member, I am looking for an interim Alderman that can step into the position and immediately begin helping for only the next few months.

Recently retired Alderman Donna Stewart came forward and offered to do just that. She gives us the opportunity to fill the vacancy with someone who can hit the ground running. She’s knowledgeable about city business, she’s up to speed on the current challenges, and she’d be an immediate asset to Willard and the Board of Aldermen. No learning curve, no down-time getting to know how the city operates, and an immediate familiarity with Willard’s budget (2023 budget prep begins now). Because of her continued involvement with the City, she knew about and offered her services a week before Mayor Snider did his media event. Why Mr. Snider refuses to consider her is a question that remains unanswered. I’m unaware of any other candidate that can immediately step into the role with no down-time. For an interim appointment of a few months, that’s very important. The election in April will give anyone that wants to be an Alderman the opportunity to run for a full two-year term, and a chance to come to some meetings beforehand and get familiar with the process. I hope Ms. Phillips-Johnson’s undoubtedly frustrating experience (through no fault of her own) does not prevent her from wanting to stay involved.

I appreciate you reaching out and I hope more citizens take an interest in Willard City business. Everyone is welcome to our meetings and anyone can contact the city to get a copy of upcoming agendas or past minutes.

Thanks again.

Sam Baird

Ward 2 Alderman, City of Willard”

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