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updated: 8/14/2012 8:46 PM

Village censures trustee for outburst at Taste of Roselle

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  • Terrence Wittman

      Terrence Wittman

 

The Roselle village board has censured Trustee Terrance Wittman for his heated public argument with the head of the Taste of Roselle Commission early this month during the annual festival.

Organizers had to close the fest early on Aug. 4 after a severe storm damaged the entertainment tent. Fire and public works officials declared the tent could not be safely repaired for the public, but Wittman argued with organizers to keep the fest open. Wittman acknowledged Monday that he shouted and used profane language.

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"My passion for what I felt was correct led me down a road where I lost my cool and my head," Wittman said Monday in front of nearly 50 residents and volunteers gathered at the village board meeting. "I admit that was wrong and I am ... very sorry for the public outburst and altercation."

Taste of Roselle Commission leader Jacob Tumminaro also spoke Monday, calling for Wittman to resign as a trustee.

"His apology has no meaning to us," Tumminaro said. "During our lively conversation, his language was abusive, disrespectful and offensive. My response was also offensive, and I apologize for this."

Wittman said he will not resign. Village President Gayle Smolinski and the other trustees present Monday voted to censure Wittman.

Wittman said he did not vote in favor of his own censure, but voted "present," because he did not agree with portions of the resolution.

Smolinski and trustees Wayne Domke, Kory Atkinson, Barbara Rendall-Hochstadt and Andy Maglio all thanked the Taste of Roselle volunteers at the meeting and spoke against Wittman's actions.

Volunteers applauded when Domke said trustees must look at their role as a servant's post, rather than a leadership position.

Rendall-Hochstadt said trustees also must respect the judgment of village staff members such as the fire chief and public works director who deemed the tent unsafe. She thanked Wittman for his apology.

"I hope we never visit a spot like this again," she said, "for all our sakes."

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