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UPDATED: Crestwood alderman who resigned cannot retake post

Tennessen resigns; changes his mind next day

Mike Anthony
Executive Editor

Dan Tennessen
February 26, 2014 - A Crestwood alderman who resigned his seat early Saturday, but then changed his mind the next day cannot retake his post, according to City Attorney Lisa Stump.

Crestwood Ward 4 Alderman Dan Tennessen resigned his post in an email sent early Saturday, effective immediately. On Sunday, however, Tennessen wrote in an email, “... After a day or so, I realize that I was impulsive on this. My wife is reminding me that I am letting people down who voted for me. Based on discussion with her, I will stay in the game for now — and not resign …"

But Mayor Jeff Schlink informed Tennessen Monday night in an email that his aldermanic seat remains vacant under the City Charter.

"Dan, this is a followup to our discussion this afternoon. According to the Charter, your resignation was effective when you sent your email and made it effective immediately," Schlink wrote. "This position is vacant. This has been reviewed by the city attorney.

"I understand that you later changed your mind, but the Charter does not cover a 'do-over,' it covers a resignation."

In his initial email on Saturday in which he resigned, Tennessen wrote, "… Unfortunately, I will be unable to make the meeting Tuesday night.”

But Tennessen did attend Tuesday night's Board of Aldermen meeting.

After the meeting, the Call's Kari Wiliams asked Tennessen about his resignation.

"That’s complicated. In two weeks I’ll explain it at this meeting and that will only be partly," he said. "I think it’ll be clear in six months. But that’s all I can say. That is correct, I resigned."

Look for complete coverage in the March 6 Call.

Our story that appears in the Feb. 27 print edition follows:

Crestwood Ward 4 Alderman Dan Tennessen resigned his post early Saturday, effective immediately. On Sunday, he changed his mind and rescinded his resignation.

However, Mayor Jeff Schlink told the Call that he is unsure of Tennessen’s status as an alderman and would have to check with City Attorney Lisa Stump about whether the resignation can be rescinded.

The City Charter states, “The office of a member of the Board of Aldermen shall become vacant upon the member’s death, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, or forfeiture of the member’s office.”

Tennessen, who was elected to the Board of Aldermen in April 2012, informed Schlink and the Board of Aldermen of his decision to resign in an email sent early Saturday morning.

“I am resigning as alderman, effective immediately,” Tennessen wrote. “Please let me know if there are any other steps needed to be taken. Unfortunately, I will be unable to make the meeting Tuesday night.”

Schlink told the Call at roughly 1 p.m. Sunday that Tennessen’s resignation was “unexpected by me ... I didn’t know it was going to happen.”

He added, “... I sent him an email back, just saying I hope everything’s well with him and his family, but then I did ask if he could share with either the board or myself the reason for his resignation. But I have not heard back from him.”

After speaking with Schlink, the Call left a voicemail for Tennessen regarding his resignation, but Tennessen did not return the call.

However, roughly three hours later, Tennessen rescinded his resignation in an email sent to Schlink and the board, according to the mayor.

At about 5 p.m. Sunday, Schlink told the Call, “... Since you and I spoke, Alderman Tennessen sent an email rescinding his resignation ...”

But Schlink questioned whether Tennessen could rescind his resignation.

“... I don’t know if you can quit, and then unquit,” he said.

Asked whether Tennessen was still an alderman, Schlink said, “I don’t know the answer to that.”

He said he would talk to the city attorney, but “I don’t know what the answer will be. How do you quit, effectively immediately, and then turn around and say: ‘No, wait, I want it back.’”

In the email rescinding his resignation, Tennessen wrote, “... After a day or so, I realize that I was impulsive on this. My wife is reminding me that I am letting people down who voted for me. Based on discussion with her, I will stay in the game for now — and not resign. I presume that this, other than odd, is OK considering the weekend and that I had not filled out paperwork yet.

“For you all, I am concerned because we have a split board and a split community. I don’t see us getting headway in that respect. There are some bright spots, but I don’t think the residents are getting fair representation. It is not about my need, or not, to be an alderman.

“Again, I’ll stay with my board seat. Sorry about the drama,” Tennessen wrote.

Before being elected to the Board of Aldermen, Tennessen served on the city’s Economic Development Commission.

He did not return the voicemail seeking comment before the Call’s press time.

Tags: Crestwood News

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