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White County Board Public Hearing Devolves into Disappointing, Ugly Display of Local Government Tuesday

It’s difficult to come up with a word or even a phrase that’s fit for broadcast journalism to describe what occurred immediately following the White County Board meeting Tuesday night at the White County courthouse.  It was billed as a Public Hearing to discuss the White County Housing Authority Board of Directors.  As States Attorney Denton Aud put it, the hearing was called, “as a special meeting for fact finding purposes unless there’s an allegation of derelict of duty or malfeasanse.”

What followed for the next hour and fifteen minutes were allegations, accusations, general mudslinging, and potential repeated violations of the Open Meetings Act discussing specific employees, their pay and benefits and other information that is generally reserved for executive sessions.

About 40 individuals were present and it didn’t take long to see battle lines were clearly drawn.  At issue, complaints and issues raised by Housing Authority Board members Charles “Skip” Land and Terry Daubs specifically against Housing Executive Director Leigh Short.  County Board Chairman Ron McAnulty was clearly and obviously aligned with them as he levied accusations and questioned decisions and motives.

Former Grayville Mayor Joe Bisch opened things.  He had been on the Housing board for about 30 years and provided some background, discussed the improvements over the years and delivered as a character witness for Short.  After Bisch’s exit, things went south quickly.

The tone struck followed throughout the remainder of the evening and in the end nothing was accomplished short of an example of how not to run a public hearing, according to Grayville attorney Jay Walden

While there may be some genuine concern about how the Housing Authority is run, very little, if any actual answers or facts were uncovered as every comment devolved into a back and forth.

Some individuals visibly shook as they spoke.  There were whispers of individuals being ready to throw punches.  Luckily, it didn’t reach that point.

Procedurally, the board chairperson Ron McAnulty has the ultimate say in firing of Housing Authority Board members.  He can’t fire Short however.  The White County Board appoints the Housing Authority Board members.  In order to oust Short, McAnulty would need to remove Tina Wells and/or Wes Trout.  The White County Board would then have to appoint a Housing Authority Board member who would go along with Land and Daubs who would vote to fire Short.  Earlier in the evening at the Board meeting, the White County Board accepted the resignation of Andi Ford, who served about 7 months (since August of 2020) and replaced her with Iann Mick.  The Housing Authority Board is set to meet Wednesday.

If you have the stomach for it, you can listen to the entire public hearing below

9 comments
  1. Joe W Bisch
    Joe W Bisch
    March 10, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    I had to leave the meeting early to get back home because of work early Wednesday morning. I want everyone know that this whole fiasco is because a grown man did not get to be Chairman of the White County Housing and is trying to drag good peoples name thru the mud. Mrs Wells ,Mr Trout and Mrs Short have do nothing wrong. This is a man wanting to lead a city God Help them. If I was one of them I would Sue the whole darn buns
    ch.

    Reply
  2. Joe W Bisch
    Joe W Bisch
    March 10, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    bunch

    Reply
  3. Brittany Jovanovic
    Brittany Jovanovic
    March 10, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    I never did get my deposit back and I post to cause I cleaned the apt after I moved she even had my new address been 1 or 2 years now and still nothing and have been double charged in past for cleaning when I had clean apt before I moved in so why I have pay for what I had to do ? Something need be done ✔️ good luck

    Reply
  4. Reader
    Reader
    March 10, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    You have to remember McAnulty ,Daubs,and Land are running for political office so they have to try and cause a stink even if nothing is going on. “ Showtime”. Ask McAnulty about spending money on the county board that is not budgeted

    Reply
  5. Little Person
    Little Person
    March 11, 2021 at 1:07 am

    As for racist that’s Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky and yes The tristates and corrupt politics is so true and as for Felons I know for a fact none I’ve ever seen has been excepted in any of these Housing in all the the ones around here. I myself was always told felons can’t live there. So felons usually won’t even try to apply for them it’s pointless because 99% are denied. As for tenants most are to scared to speak up because it’s been known they get ignored or harassed for speaking up. Maybe if the rules and guidelines should be detailed. So many of these people in power have stolen money or are fraudulent and power of authority over power us little people. Cudos to the man who stood up and spoke for the little people.

    Reply
    • Wolf1018
      Wolf1018
      March 12, 2021 at 11:44 am

      To “Little Person”: You have made some very serious accusations such as theft of money without showing any proof. How can you blatantly accuse all of these board members of stealing money? Let’s hear the specifics!

      Reply
  6. Andi Ford
    Andi Ford
    March 16, 2021 at 8:13 am

    If you will look in the archives of your own WRUL news articles, you will see that I was appointed to the White County Housing Board in August of 2020, not “all of two months” ago, as stated by the writer of this OP/ED piece. In my resignation letter, I pointed out that the clear violation of the Open Meetings Act by an elected member of the White County Board was a direct reason for my resigning this position. This gentleman sent text messages to a quorum of the appointed White County Housing Authority board (myself EXCLUDED) to potentially discuss personnel issues, specifically the director. I consulted with my own attorney before submitting my letter of resignation, and thus did not take my decision to resign lightly. But, that being said, I was not going to be a party to this type of behavior that violates the statutes in place for conducting a fair, legal meeting. I have the utmost respect for the employees at White County Housing and the board members I served with during my brief time on the WCHA board; however, the vendetta atmosphere and the disregard for proper rules of order through these messages are not conducive to properly addressing the needs of the WCHA and have done nothing but sully the integrity of this institution.

    Reply
  7. Cock-A-Doodle-Do-Your-Job
    Cock-A-Doodle-Do-Your-Job
    March 16, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Everyone wants to complain about how the county is ran, but when it comes election time we always put the same clowns back in the circus tent.

    Reply
  8. David Burrows
    David Burrows
    March 17, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Stay the course White County Housing Board. Even a blind man can see that Ron McAnulty and Skip Land have an agenda they are attempting to push. The allegations they made in an open meeting are so disrespectful and should never have been brought up in an open meeting.

    Reply
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