BELVILLE — The town of Belville has charged that the members of the H2GO board who held an emergency meeting on Monday to rescind the sale of the utility to Belville are in contempt of court.
It’s the latest in a series of developments following the recent elections, where candidates who ran against the construction of H2GO’s proposed $35 million reverse osmosis plant took the majority of seats on H2GO’s board. In an effort to save the plant, the board – including outgoing members – voted to dissolve H2GO and transfer all assets and employees to the town of Belville.
Shortly afterwards, the town of Leland took legal action to stop the move, and the H2G0 Board held an emergency meeting to reverse the dismantling of H2Go. Belville Mayor Mike Allen called that emergency meeting illegal.
An affidavit from Allen, filed Thursday in Superior Court, states that the actions of three commissioners, “specifically Jeff Gerken, Trudy Trombley and Commissioner-elect Bill Beer,” took actions that will “cause immediate and irreparable harm to the Town of Belville.”
The affidavit is in response to a Dec. 1 temporary restraining order requested by Leland to stop the sale that had been approved by the board on Nov. 28. In Allen’s affidavit, he states that the restraining order put a stop to all actions regarding the sale, including “executing any transfer documents, closing the transfer or any related transactions …”
The affidavit states that, while there was no public emergency, the board called Monday’s meeting ahead of a previously posted Dec. 19 meeting that had been posted as a re-organizational meeting for the board.
Commissioner Ron Jenkins and Commissioner-elect Rodney McCoy did not attend the emergency meeting.
“No public emergency existed which would support calling the Board meeting without 48 hour notice,” it states, going on to state that newly-elected Bill Beer, an anti-reverse osmosis candidate, then was administered his oath of office at 12:01 a.m., as soon as the meeting was called. That purportedly would make him a voting member of the commissioner for Monday’s reversal vote.
“Upon information and belief, no organizational meeting occurred …. and the oath of office of Bill Beer was not filed with the Clerk of Superior Court,” the affidavit states.
Reached on Tuesday, Beer said he was unaware of the filing and declined to comment.
Michael McGill, H2GO’s former communications consultant who was hired by Belville on Wednesday, declined to talk about the latest filing, instead referring to the content of the document as the answer to questions.
On Tuesday, Gerken issued a notice that H2Go will host a “special meeting” Thursday, Dec. 7 “to discuss counsel representation and direction to staff.”
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