While the village hall was almost packed, only 9 people spoke during public comments. 6 spoke against the petitions and 3 in favor. To be expected, Danah Zoulek, Jeff Gonyo, and his trusty side kick Gill Frank spoke in favor.
Ultimately the board voted not to approve the petitions resulting in a referendum April 2016.
Second speaker said, "This whole thing sounds like sour grapes. I appreciate all the things you guys have done and we voted for you. We did not have to vote for you but we did and you are representing the people of the community who would not have a voice without you. I know my neighbors and I appreciate how you have helped us through this whole turmoil. Lets not candy coat that. It all about a person who did not get their way and now wants to change things. That's my opinion."
Third speaker was Jeff Gonyo. No need to repeat what he said. He just yelled at the board and had to be told to tone it down many times.
Fourth speaker was Danah Zoulek. All she did was attack village board, village staff, and village attorney. She also was not happy with the public. "I would prefer the heckling to stop."
Fifth speaker was Gill Frank. He asked the board to adopt the two petitions and then rambled on about things at plan commission meetings.
Sixth speaker said, "I signed the petition. I am sorry ....I would like my name removed from the petition because at the time I did not know the consequences .....I did not realize there would be a term limit for the board members."
Seventh speaker said, "I just would like to say that our current board trustees have done an outstanding job." She then detailed other communities and their number of trustees and salaries. "15% ......signed the petition, what about the other 85%, like myself, who do not want to have term limits and do not want 2 more trustees."
Eighth speaker said "I just find it very convenient that Jeff Gonyo came to my home and never told my husband who he was or what community he represented. I wonder how many people signed that petition never knowing it was Jeff Gonyo and that he was from the Town of Polk."
She then read a letter from a home bound resident.
Dear Mr Jim Healy, I want to explain to you about Jeff Gonyo who knocked on my door and asked me to sign a petition. He wanted to change some rules about the board at the Town of Richfield. His explanation sounded reasonable and said he was doing this on his own no one was helping him, so I signed. The next week I read an article in our local newspaper and everything that he explained was a lie, he was working with Danah who is in a battle with Richfield over a quarry they own. I realized that I had been lied to and resent that I signed the petition.
Ninth speaker said, "I just want to thank each and every one of you board members for all your hard work. Less government is better. We heard tonight the real story, that this is about the Scenic Pit. We thank you for standing firm on your commitment. We heard from two of the people who were not told the whole story. How many of the other people who signed were not told the truth? The truth with prevail. We all thank you for your hard work."
Now it will be Richfield residents turn next April to speak with their vote. How will you vote?