At the regular board meeting, five trustees, who’ve raised transparency concerns about the mayor, voted to censure her, for her to receive the advice and consent of the board to terminate any village employee, and for Henyard to pay all costs related to her receiving 24-hour security protection by the police department. The mayor has denied having 24-hour protection.
Trustees brought the item regarding security protection at a Sept. 27 special board meeting, noting it isn’t meant to leave the mayor vulnerable to threats on her life but to strategize how long the detail should last with village finances in mind. Trustee Kiana Belcher has said the detail costs $1,000 a day.
“I don’t think anybody wanted to not let you have it but it was just a matter of what it costs and how you have one police officer sitting in your house,” Belcher said.
The detail would last the life of her 4 year term, which is customary to the mayoral position, Mayor Henyard said. Chief Robert Collins said there have been confirmed threats on Henyards life, warranting the security detail. The mayor’s safety was also compromised after her home address was exposed to the public due to protests in front of her home, he said at a previous meeting.
“One thing I won’t do is shift the police department into a political arena,” Collins said. “If someone needs protection because of a threat, a real threat, then that’s what we’re going to do. And that would be pertaining to any other village official under those same types of circumstances. It just happens to be the mayor. Some things happen, some things are proven and we must act as a police department on the things we must do.”
Henyard said the move is petty and is retaliation for other issues the trustees have with her.
“I am a woman and I am a mother first before any of this political garbage, so stop with the politics,” Henyard said. “Don’t play politics with my family and my life and I mean that to all of you. So make y’all vote because I’m going to do what I need to do as a parent first.”
The trustees also overrode the mayor’s veto of their legislative counsel. Trustees voted in favor of hiring the counsel amid allegations that some village ordinances have been neglected by the mayor. They also said the current village attorney isn’t responsive to their questions.
Henyard said those allegations aren’t true and that the spending on the counsel is a waste of money.
“Half the time when we speak to you Trustees as it relates to an agenda item or a board meeting, you’ll say we’ll get back to you, (the village attorney) will email you as it relates to an ordinance for two weeks and you never responded but you guys say here ‘let me do some research or let me ask some questions’ but y’all never ask for anything,” Henyard said. “So I’m trying to understand why you need an attorney if you have her or if you have Jimmy, which is Delgado Law Firm?”
In response, Trustee Jason House said the point had already been debated in previous meetings.
“I think we’ve been having a good flow to the meeting, so I have no further comment than it’s been discussed already,” House told Henyard.
Mayor Tiffany Henyard censured by board