February 24, 2019

Cronkright asks commissioners to rescind her removal


MIO — Jennifer Cronkright approached the board of commissioners at its June 26 workshop meeting in an attempt to convince it to rescind a previous motion to remove her from the Economic Development Corporation Board.

At a previous meeting, EDC board Chairman AJ Welser approached the commissioners and read a letter admonishing them to remove Cronkright from the board “for cause.” In Welser’s letter he claimed Cronkright was micromanaging the EDC board, working against the board’s mission of “promoting county economic activity” and “covertly working with other EDC board members to remove” Welser as the current chairman.

Cronkright came to the June 26 meeting and read from a letter she passed out that presented her side of the issue. The letter states she was disappointed with how the situation was handled, and she felt insulted and embarrassed about not being involved in the decision to remove her. Also in her letter she said her hope was to have the country retract her removal in order for her to resign of her own accord. She said her main goal was to find a way to abolish what she called the “black mark” the removal placed next to her name in county history.

Cronkright’s attempt was in vain, and the board did not choose to take any action on its previous decision to remove her. Commissioner Pat Kelly said the board had no intention of doing so.

“This wasn’t something that just happened,” Kelly said. “This is something that was ongoing. I think this was something that should have been addressed sooner.”

Commissioner Larry Wilson said at the meeting that he would have preferred the EDC board to be involved in the decision to remove Cronkright, instead of Welser bringing the decision directly to the board of commissioners.

Cronkright said she believes this situation will set a precedent for future county volunteers.

“They’ve set a precedent to anyone that doesn’t go with the flow or ruffles the feather of the old guard,” Cronkright said. “The commissioners will allow you to be humiliated publicly or even slandered because a lot of what was said was personal opinion. They will get rid of you without letting you defend yourself.”

During the public comment period of the commissioners meeting, Dale Hennig also spoke to the board about how a decision like this may turn away future volunteers.

“I think you ought to give people the ability to defend themselves before you fire them,” Hennig said. “Or else you’re going to have a hard time finding volunteers in the future.”

Kelly said he doesn’t think that’s the case.

“We have always had a hard time finding volunteers,” Kelly said. “One thing about volunteering in this county is that it’s always the same people who do it.”

Now that Cronkright has been removed from the EDC board and there is no chance that decision will be rescinded, she said there is a significant chance she will be resigning from her other volunteer roles in the county as well.


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