UPDATED: GTH Trustee Terry Quinn resigns from village board

Holly Richrath and DeWayne Bartels
Germantown Hills has welcomed a lot of new people since 2000. The U.S. Census Bureau population estimate places the village's growth in the last nine years at more than 50 percent.

Although three trustees were sworn in as members of the Germantown Hills Village Board at its meeting Thursday, one seat remained empty. Germantown Hills Village Board Trustee Terry Quinn resigned his post May 12.

Quinn made the announcement on his blog “Germantown Hills: A Perspective.”

GTH Village Clerk Ann Sasso confirmed Quinn tendered a notarized letter of resignation as required by the village.

On his blog Quinn answered the question, “Why resign now?”

“The people who know me well understand that my values do not allow me to simply ignore breaches of integrity, such as lying, deceit, hypocrisy, and treachery. I also challenge incompetence, and especially abuse of employees. There is no need to state examples of this; much of it is already been described elsewhere in this website. A good politician would probably not let these things bother him. So if I’m not to be known as a ‘good politician,’ I’ll accept that as a compliment,” he wrote.

“For many years, I was proud of the fact that Germantown Hills Boards had a reputation for professionalism and decorum. That has not been the case since the 2009 election ... I talk to many people in and out of government who look at Germantown Hills now as a laughing-stock.”

Quinn wrote he could no longer be a part of that. He said the last two years on the village board have been full of shame. Quinn said if he stayed on the board the next two years were likely to be full of acrimony. And for the many who stay back and watch the fray, it will continue to come across as juvenile bickering,” he wrote.

Quinn wrote that as the future unfolds one of two scenarios will emerge.

“One possibility is that the mayor and his allies will continue to behave poorly.In that case, their performance will be more evident to the entire community, and they will be held accountable at the next election. On the other hand, perhaps they will improve their behavior.And if that happens, it will also be good for Germantown Hills,” Quinn wrote.

Quinn expressed concern that GTH Mayor Kenny Mitchell might appoint Ken Slater, who was defeated by six votes in last month’s election, to replace him.

“The mayor should also understand the political risk if he does this. Even if he does appoint Slater, the new trustees will still need to approve that appointment. They will want to study what happened in the past, in detail, before they vote.More of that information will come out to the public. Hopefully the full village board would not approve the appointment if public opinion was against it,” Quinn wrote.

“In conclusion, I wasn’t elected to the Germantown Hills Village Board to fight a war, I was elected to serve the community. And for the good of the reputation of Germantown Hills, I have decided that the best way to serve that community is to resign now, at the beginning of the new Trustees’ terms.That will give them a clean start and an opportunity to re-establish a culture of civility on the village board.”

Mitchell said at the May 12 village board meeting he had received Quinn’s resignation.

Quinn did not attend the meeting where John Ford, Brian Wysocki and Theresa Olsen took the oath of office.

“Resignations are a matter of individual choice,” Mitchell said. “I do not believe at this time it is in the best interest for Germantown Hills to make any comment on it. What I will say is Germantown Hills has an excellent board of trustees and I’m looking forward to working with each and every one of them.”

He added that he will look to the trustees for help in filling Quinn’s position.

By law, Mitchell said, he has 60 days to fill the position and does not expect it to be filled by the board’s next meeting, May 25.

Mitchell asked that anybody interested in taking over the vacated post contact him.

While it is Mitchell who will make the appointment, the board will have to approve it. Until then, Mitchell said it is business as usual for the board.

“Germantown’s going to go straight on forward,” he said. “I think we’ve got a great board. One more and I think we’ll have a perfect board.”

Ford ended the meeting with comments on Quinn’s resignation.

“I’m sorry to see him go,” Ford said. “I think he had some great ideas. I agreed with not all of them and I disagreed with some. I think his heart was in the right place.”

Ford added that he believes Quinn’s move was what was best for the village.

“I understand why he did it and I think what he’s done is going to benefit the village,” he said. “It’ll take some of the hatred and anger out of the village board. He did an excellent job while he was here. Not everybody agreed with him, but he did what he thought was best for the village.”