Wauconda board: No confidence in mayor

  • Frank Bart

    Frank Bart

Updated 8/4/2015 1:06 PM

Wauconda village trustees on Monday made their displeasure with Mayor Frank Bart official by adopting a no-confidence resolution targeting his leadership abilities.

The short resolution -- which has no real political effect, other than potentially embarrassing Bart -- says the board has no faith in Bart's ability "to lead and represent the village board of trustees."


The document also says Bart has "failed to implement board actions, failed to follow the board's state direction and misrepresented the board's directions."

It doesn't cite specifics.

But the examples of disagreements between Bart and the trustees have been plentiful over the last two years.

They've feuded over the leadership of the police department, a plan to bring Lake Michigan water to town, the future of the village's emergency dispatch center, the wording of a proposed Heroes of Freedom memorial and many other issues.

And the battles have spread beyond village hall. Two years ago, the mayors representing the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency said they didn't want to admit Wauconda as a member because they were displeased with comments Bart had made during negotiations. The group later reversed its stance, following the village's bridge-mending efforts and a promise that Bart wouldn't serve on the water agency board.

As for the no-confidence vote cast Monday at village hall, the final straw fell July 20 when Bart participated in a privately orchestrated teleconference about the dispatch center plan without first alerting or inviting them or most of the town's residents.

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Bart has repeatedly defended his participation in the teleconference, saying it was a way to share information about the proposal with residents.

He did so again Monday in a statement before the vote.

"I believe that communicating with the residents is an obligation for me and also for all of us," Bart said.

Bart also said he believes healthy debate is a good thing.

"That's the way our government works," Bart said.

The no-confidence resolution passed 5-0. Trustee Ken Arnswald was absent. Before the vote, Trustee Lincoln Knight -- who initiated the proposal -- said he hopes officials now can "move forward."

At the start of the meeting, several audience members took to the lectern to defend Bart and admonish the trustees for targeting the mayor.

"Shame on you," Wauconda resident Philip Markowitz told the board. "Shame on you for wasting your time on this vote of no confidence foolishness."

Resident Jennifer Fossness said the continued controversies at village hall aren't good for the town.

"I don't think a vote of no confidence is going to help bring things together," Fossness said.

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