The first organizational meeting for the Crookston Township Board last Thursday evening was marked by a mass resignation of all the board members except for the two who were elected last week.
According to Dean Adams, elected to the board last week, the board passed a resolution that calls for the township-owned road grader to remain inactive for one year and that the grader operator, longtime township employee Jerry Reitmeier, was to be laid off. According to Adams, Reitmeier subsequently submitted his resignation at the meeting.
Adams said the timing of the resignations precluded the opportunity of addressing the issue of ongoing road maintenance, as well as the election of replacement board members. Meanwhile, the grader is locked up and inaccessible.
After consulting with legal counsel on what to do next, Adams said a special town board meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, March 28 beginning at 6 p.m. at Highland School. Agenda items address the resignations, the election of new board members, how to access the equipment, appointing legal counsel, among other things.
Crookston Township has been embroiled in controversy for many months, most of it surrounding allegations of a conflict of interest between former board member Sue Reitmeier and her husband, Jerry Reitmeier.
Adams was the unofficial leader of a group of township residents who contended that Jerry Reitmeier had been paid for many years for grading, plowing and mowing work that he didn't do. The issue started to come to a head when the previous township board realized that for almost two decades Jerry Reitmeier was not enrolled in the Public Employment Retirement Association, as required, and that the township owed him a significant amount of money.
All of it added up to numerous tense, contentious township board meetings throughout 2012.