Thursday night’s town meeting was tense as Mayor Bert Gritz read a statement describing recent events, mostly pointed towards Trustee Richard Simunek. Gritz said, “I’m tired of you hijacking these meetings,” referring to Simunek’s lengthy presentations dealing with the library and pavilion. Simunek repeatedly brings up issues that have been already solved or are currently in motion to be solved.
The mayor also referenced 22 posts made on the All About Hennessey Facebook page made by Simunek saying Gritz and Town Administrator Tiffany Tillman had lied to him about town business.
Gritz quoted one of the many social media posts made by Simunek: “While the county is celebrating and honoring our veterans, Hennessey is taking the War Memorial, Gold Star, and Silver Star Hennessey boys to the town dump.” No one with any connection to the town ever “made such a statement.” Gritz said. “My own father’s name is on that display with a silver star. I take considerable pride in that memorial, as do many others, and it’s absurd that this statement was posted.”
Simunek asked to have four items added to the agenda. Town Administrator Tiffany Tillman asked Simunek in an email “to come in and let’s go over these items before we put them on the agenda. “You didn’t come in and talk with me,” Tillman said, pointing at Simunek.
Tillman said the Kingfisher Paper sent her a letter stating, “those agenda items failed to meet the open meeting law language.” Tillman said she called the Town Attorney and he advised her that more specific information was needed on those agenda items. He suggested they be postponed to a future meeting when they can be reworded.
Simunek was questioned by Logan Tillman, a veteran in the audience. “You have never apologized for all that stuff you made up.” This was in reference to comments Simunek made on social media. Tillman said, “You had big allegations that they were going to take that war memorial to the dump, and you had no proof. … You’re just trying to start drama.”
Tim Riddle, former Mayor, was in the audience and congratulated Bert and thanked him for serving the town of Hennessey for almost 50 years. The audience applauded.
Watch the entire meeting as it happened and see the referenced documents at AllAboutHennessey.com.