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Tensions from Last Carmi Council Meeting Bleed into Next Gathering

Following the May 21st Carmi City Council meeting, family and friends duked it out on social media based on alderwoman Lacey Bradshaw asking questions surrounding financial transfers and overtime by the ladies in the Carmi Light and Water office.  The report on the council meeting was aired on WROY/WRUL News as well as posted on the website and shared via social media where the court of public opinion is always in session.  The tension from that May 21st meeting spilled over into the June 4th gathering.  This time however, it was Bradshaw’s father, Tracy Nelson, himself an alderman, who spoke out.

I just want to clarify a couple things from last meeting.  So Lacey asked questions about money being moved and what it was about and then she asked about overtime for the girls at the office and got slammed all over facebook for it.  So I’ve never seen an overtime report for the girls in the office; there’s always one for everybody else.  Maybe we should start doing that.  I don’t think it’s fair for people to get mad when questions are asked here at these council meetings.  Yes, we get a packet, everytime, sure.  If we didn’t get a packet, we wouldn’t know what’s going on and wouldn’t know what questions to ask.  So I just want to clarify that for the public.

Mayor Pollard would respond directly to Nelson.

Pollard:  I think in my response to that…I don’t think any of us sitting at this table like to be slammed on facebook or on social media which we get on a day to day basis.  And it does show in your packet what the girls overtime is.  It probably doesn’t show what the times…

Nelson:  It says how much, but it’s not in here.

Pollard:  And when Lacey worked for us, it was the same thing when Lacey was there and she had overtime just like the rest of them did.

Nelson:  Right.

Pollard:  And it’s been addressed.  So that has been put to a stop.  I mean we had how many meetings before, multiple, two or three about things with the office and the overtime and not to do this and one of them was because they weren’t clocking in and out for lunch or they were leaving and doing this or that and I answered the question that night because we do have some overtime right now because of the new meters.  I don’t think it has ever been an issue about questions being asked.  I think it depends on what the intent was behind when you were asking a question.

Nelson:  Oh, and you know what that intent is?

Pollard:  Well, Tracy, this is really not the time and place probably to have this conversation.

Nelson:  Well, when is?

Pollard:  Whenever you want to come to the office.

Nelson:  Well I think we can do it in an open meeting.

Pollard:  That’s fine.  I mean, like I said, you can ask the question anytime.  Everybody else around the table has ever come to the office before for anything and asked.  You know that and you’ve done that in the past.  Lacey worked in the office all those years so she knows how it operates and she knows when she puts something out there like that, that everybody’s gonna get started up.  And with the facebook stuff, when you have an employee that works side by side with somebody and they start in and go on about how packets this and packets that.  She already knows she gets a packet.  She already knows what the financials are.  So instead of stopping it right then and there, it didn’t get stopped.

The individual mentioned by Pollard is Ruth McAllister, who works with Bradshaw at a local financial advisor and insurance agent and is herself Chairwoman of Carmi Township.  Chris Hertzing, the mayor’s sister-in-law was also engaged in the back and forth and has since deleted her comments.

Noticeably silent was Bradshaw herself.

There were no agenda items on the agenda.  The only other business that came out of the meeting was a report from the mayor on an alley closure and Alderman Steve Winkleman following his Library meeting  Pollard first…

Either the end of the week or next week, for probably about a week or so, the alley behind the office will be closed down.  Marshall is going to start working on putting in the transformer and getting that all hooked up.  So while they’re tearing out the concrete, I told Brad to go ahead and take out the concrete where the puddle is where it’s an ice skating rink and a swimming pool in the summer.

The payment drop box will be moved during that construction.  Winkleman said some landscaping needs to be done at the library as well as some tuck pointing and some carpet replacement at the counter area of the library.  He says library officials are also concerned about the heat in the foyer.  Officials suggested getting some tint on the windows.

Alderwoman Sheila Headlee also commended the fire department for it’s assistance with the Bond Lumber and Hardware fire Sunday night.  The meeting adjourned about 5:40pm.

Leaders will gather again June 18th at 5:30pm.

  1. Joe
    June 5, 2024 at 10:26 am

    But if you don’t have anything to hide, why can’t you discuss it at an open meeting? Maybe you aren’t doing anything shady but it sure seems like it. Especially when the mayor creates a contract for his wife to “clean” the police station for 20 hours a week right after the hours gets changed at the office. Or how there is a bid now for a manager spot in the City office for one of the girls. Just something to think about.

  2. Anita
    June 5, 2024 at 12:33 pm

    Keep in mind there are always people that will complain about something. Guess it de-stresses their life while adding it to someone else’s. Just hang in there and know most of your constituency approves and are not complaining.

    • Joe
      June 5, 2024 at 1:42 pm

      But how do you defend the mayor’s wife getting 390 hours of overtime last year? How do you defend the mayor’s wife and daughter in law making more than city workers that get ACTUAL overtime working on storms and water main breaks? How do you defend them being two of the top 8 highest paid employees, when there are foreman of departments that have been there longer than them and are making less than the mayor’s wife and daughter in law. Something’s not right. And if nothing shady is going on, why can’t you just answer questions in public? Shouldn’t be too hard to do if nothing wrong is being done.

  3. Big Dan
    Big Dan
    June 5, 2024 at 2:21 pm

    Most of the employees probably turn there overtime into comp time and no one in the public sees that. A lot of the workers get called out for numerous situations but probably take it in comp time instead of overtime.

    • Joe
      June 5, 2024 at 3:20 pm

      Valid point. Didn’t take that into consideration. However, 390 hours of overtime for an office employee? Seems a bit much don’t you think? And the evasiveness of the mayor to not answer any questions in public? If nothing is wrong, then why is he not answering? Why so secretive? Just seems off that overtime was called into question, then office hours change, then the mayor’s wife gets a new contract to clean seemingly to make up for the now lost overtime hours she was getting, and now a new manager position is being bid out. Maybe a coincidence. Maybe not. It’s always good to question. And just remember a hit dog will holler.

  4. Kelsey
    June 5, 2024 at 3:37 pm

    Is there a financial committee that is part of the board that oversees how funds are being spent? It can’t just be one person making the decision….right? In general there seems to be a lot of money going out the window (Carmi fest, pay, renovations, etc) without not wanting to have a “public” conversation. Sounds like there needs to be more public conversations…not just off the record “side”/private meetings.

    As for overtime/comp time thing. I do think overtime is justifiable as long as there is a reason for it. All should be public information.

    Does Carmi not have rules about having elected officials and direct household family members (spouses & children) being city employees?…. Kind of sounds like a conflict of interest.

  5. Anonymous
    June 7, 2024 at 10:21 am

    Just an FYI Ruth McAllister is not chairperson at the Carmi Township . She is the clerk

  6. GiGi
    June 8, 2024 at 11:13 am

    I would like for the mayor to tell us just when the right time and place to discuss city business if it isn’t at a CITY COUNCIL meeting? They need open meetings so the people who pay their salaries know where their money is going. Guess people will have to start attending meetings or asking {under the Freedom of Information Act} for copies of the minutes of the council meetings.

  7. Blah blah
    Blah blah
    June 10, 2024 at 7:20 am

    Too many hands in the fire. I feel that the whole situation is shady! What are they hiding? I am still curious as to what happened to all the funds raised for Carmi hospital? There has been a lot of $$ being thrown at unnecessary items! Example: Burrell woods upgrades, the little park in Main Street! I say “ fix up eckerle park! Get some shelters out there for families to have picnics while kids swim. Redo the local pool. Put out grills for families to cook on. I hear all the time this is family community. Make it one then!! We have nothing here for families to do together. There no way that the mayors wife & daughter should get paid more than other employees. For what? Sitting in an office in their Jammie’s with a young child and acting like it’s such a ch*** to wait on their customers! If anyone wants different then vote differently. Enough said


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