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Plum Grove Mayor admits mistake, meeting in question

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    After several delays, Kevin Lee and Danielle Enloe finally take their seats at the table.
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    Newly appointed councilman Jacob Pouncey taking the oath of office from Mayor Mary Arrendell. That appointment is now in question, following what Arrendell called her mistake.

PLUM GROVE – Three council members, two elected and one appointed, were sworn in at a special called meeting Tuesday; now, the mayor believes at least one mistake has left things in limbo.   

Mayor Mary Arrendell was asked about several issues following the meeting, and Wednesday, she was getting ahead of things and acknowledging mistakes were made during the session.  

“I’m trying to do right by the community, I’m being truthful, and I’m trying to be honest,” Arrendell told The Vindicator.   

The meeting was called to order on Tuesday night, with only the mayor and three council members in attendance, before getting to work on several items of business that had been delayed in previous weeks.  

During that business, one item called for the appointment of Position 2, held by Ralph Salinas, who recently resigned. Salinas did appear at the meeting and took his seat with the council, establishing a quorum. 

“You can’t do that with him sitting there,” said Sharon Reed, a former council member from the audience where Salinas was now sitting. 

At that point, with the urging of council, he stepped off the dais, thus vacating his seat when the vote was called to appoint Jacob Pouncey, 18, to that position.  

That left only Foilan Ortiz and Diana Chunn, who voted 2-0 to appoint Pouncey to the open seat, however according to state law, the vote requires 2/3 of the council members, and Salinas’ status is in question as related to a quorum, which may have been broken rendering the meeting over. 

That status could also impact any other decision made from that point, including the canvassing of the votes and the swearing-in of new council members Kevin Lee and Danielle Enloe.  

The Vindicator has reached out to several experts, seeking answers on the legality of the meeting. As of this writing, there are conflicting answers on whether the quorum was broken, but Arrendell is not sitting by, as she has been searching for answers following the meeting.  

“Something didn’t sit well with me, and I was bothered,” she said.  

Whether the appointment of Pouncey, the son of Plum Grove City Secretary Melissa Pouncey, is legitimate or not, city officials are meeting with attorneys to find that answer, and Arrendell believes answers were coming and would be decided by the next council meeting on Monday, June 12.  

“I just want my community to know that I made a mistake, and I’m going to make things right,” she concluded.  

Council also called for a runoff election between Deborah Bell and Rodney Walker on Saturday, June 24. Both candidates were deadlocked at 30 votes apiece following the May 6 election.