Village of Dolton Mayor Tiffany A. Henyard Vetoes Trustees’ New Business Agenda Resolutions from April 8 Special Meeting

Dolton native Mayor Tiffany A. Henyard made history as Dolton, Illinois’ first Black female and youngest mayor in its 130-year history. Henyard is also the Thornton Township supervisor since 2022.

The Village of Dolton, incorporated on December 28, 1892, is located just south of Chicago, and known as ‘The Gateway to the South Suburbs’. It was home to Potawatomi, Sac, Illini, and Miami tribes, ultimately growing to more than 23,000 diverse residents.

The Village of Dolton, incorporated on December 28, 1892, is located just south of Chicago, and known as ‘The Gateway to the South Suburbs’. It was home to Potawatomi, Sac, Illini, and Miami tribes, ultimately growing to more than 23,000 diverse residents.

Mayor Henyard’s decision to veto two Resolutions is based on the Trustees’ lack of legal authority, violation of the Open Meetings Act, and procedural missteps.

The Trustees exceeded their authority, and by appointing Ms. Lightfoot as ‘special investigator,’ they have violated the Village Code, the Illinois Municipal Code, and the Open Meetings Act.”

— Tiffany A. Henyard, Village of Dolton Mayor.

VILLAGE OF DOLTON, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES, June 6, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — Village of Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard today issued a statement of facts surrounding her decision to veto specific agenda items from the April 8, 2024, special board meeting. “My action follows the Trustees’ series of procedural irregularities and legal missteps involving the attempted appointment of former Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot as additional legislative counsel and subsequently as a special investigator,” said Mayor Henyard.

On April 1, 2024, the Trustees abruptly left a regular board meeting after making an out-of-order motion to postpone the meeting to April 8, 2024, at the Dolton Park District. The Trustees also called a special meeting for the same date. Citing a section of the Illinois Complied Statutes, Mayor Henyard points out that, “According to 5 ILCS 120/2.02(a) of the Open Meetings Act, if a change is made in regular meeting dates, at least 10 days’ notice of the change must be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the public body functions. That procedure was not implemented by the Trustees.”

Mayor Henyard provided the reasons for her veto of the new business agenda items from the April 8, 2024, special board meeting:

• Discussion and Approval of the appointment of Lori E. Lightfoot as Additional Legislative Counsel (RESOLUTION NO. 24-006); and

• Discussion and Approval to approve retainer agreement with Lori E. Lightfoot as Additional Legislative Counsel (RESOLUTION NO. 24-007).

Lack of Legal Authority: The appointment of any additional legislative counsel, including Ms. Lori Lightfoot, was without legal authority. The Village Code explicitly states that the Village President has the authority to appoint attorneys for the Village, including prosecutors and special prosecuting attorneys, with the advice and consent of the Trustees. Legislative counsel can be appointed to assist in legislative duties but does not have the authority to initiate investigations, a legal proceeding which they are not authorized to perform (See Ferguson v. Patton, 2013 IL 112488). Thus, the Trustees lacked the authority to appoint Lightfoot as “additional legislative counsel” for any investigative purposes.

Violation of the Open Meetings Act: The Trustees attempted to amend the agenda item during the Special Board meeting on April 8, 2024, to appoint Ms. Lightfoot as “special investigator,” a position that does not exist under the Illinois Municipal Code or the Village Code. This amendment constituted a substantive change to the agenda item, violating the Open Meetings Act. Section 2.02 of the Act specifies that any action taken must be germane to the agenda item. Changing the appointment from “additional legislative counsel” to “special investigator” was not germane to the original agenda item.

Procedural Missteps: The Trustees ignored the requirements of the Open Meetings Act and took unsound advice to change the agenda items without proper procedure. This led to a final action that violated both the Village Code and the Illinois Municipal Code.

“During the Monday, June 3 meeting, the trustees chose to bring in Lori Lightfoot, blatantly ignoring the legal process established by the veto. Their decision to illegally appoint her and override my veto is a clear disregard for the law,” stated Mayor Henyard. “My veto maintains the integrity of legal processes and adherence to established codes and regulations. There is a right way to do things, and this is not it.”

Mayor Henyard points out the irony of the Trustees’ efforts of distraction. “Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to attend the June 3rd board meeting was an attempt to gaslight the residents and distract from the real challenges facing our village. Lightfoot’s $400 per hour rate for services is outrageous considering the trustees complain about our current financial state,” said Mayor Henyard.

“Her willingness to continue using the media doesn’t negate the fact that she cannot be hired or appointed to proceed with this matter,” Mayor Henyard stated. “Furthermore, Lori Lightfoot would have never allowed these types of antics to take place at a council meeting when she was Mayor of Chicago. I think anyone with common sense is trying to figure out why she is here in Dolton.”

Mayor Henyard continues to be committed to lawful governance and transparency as the cornerstone of her platform. “The Trustees have again exceeded their authority, and by appointing Ms. Lightfoot as ‘special investigator,’ they have violated the Village Code, the Illinois Municipal Code, and the Open Meetings Act,” she reiterated.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Mayor Henyard, contact Pitbull PR Agency Consultant Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA at 213-276-7827.

Follow Mayor Henyard and the Village of Dolton at:

IG: https://www.instagram.com/vodolton

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vo_dolton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vodolton

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/VillageofDolton

About Pitbull PR Agency

Pitbull PR Agency, a division of Platinum Star PR, founded by Dr. Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA, specializes in defending reputations and handling crises with a commitment to ethical and effective public relations strategies. The agency is dedicated to maintaining integrity and transparency in all communications.

Dr. Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA
Pitbull PR Agency, a Division of Platinum Star PR
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Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/717389047/village-of-dolton-mayor-tiffany-a-henyard-vetoes-trustees-new-business-agenda-resolutions-from-april-8-special-meeting

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