Three-year anniversary of controversial meeting approaches

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Dec 22, 2010 - 04:33 PM

Gloucester County garnered quite a bit of attention, most of it unwanted, following a late-night meeting nearly three years ago. And the legal reverberations from that night are still making their way through the court system today.

By all measures, the Jan. 2-3, 2008 meeting of the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors was no run-of-the-mill gathering.

It was at this meeting that newly-elected supervisors Bobby Crewe (Gloucester Point) and Gregory Woodard (Ware) joined sitting supervisors Michelle Ressler (at-large) and Teresa Altemus (York) in a voting block which subsequently dismissed long-time county administrator William H. Whitley and county attorney Danny Stuck before their already-tendered resignations took effect.

Abingdon District supervisor Christian "Buddy" Rilee also voted to dismiss Whitley, but later apologized for it.

Also at that same meeting, that same block of four voted to tighten the reins on school finances, changing the funding method from lump sum to categorical. The board soon voted to change back to lump sum, following public outcry.

Several of the other board members claimed they had not been notified that these actions were going to be brought up and voted on until that happened.

This stirred up a group of citizens in Gloucester. The group, once organized, called itself the Gloucester County Citizens for Accountable Representation. Once legal proceedings began, much of the same group became known as the "Gloucester 40."