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May 22, 2013 - Walter Rust is the second Grantwood Village trustee in as many months to resign from his post — effective immediately.
Rust, who has served as public works commissioner since April 2012, began reading a letter of resignation during the public works commissioner report, but Board of Trustees Chairman Kevin Kelso stopped him at the May 21 meeting.
"Walter, if you want to turn in your resignation, you can turn in your resignation," Kelso said.
Rust told Kelso he would like to make his statement, to which Kelso said, "If you want to resign, you resign."
In response to a resident's comment, Kelso said he did not allow Rust to read his letter because the purpose of the public works commissioner's time is to report on public works issues.
"(If) he wants to resign, he can resign in private way …," Kelso said. "But this was (the time for) the public works commissioner to let us know what he has done during the previous month and what he was going to do in the following months."
Rust stated in his resignation letter, which was provided to the Call, that Kelso "is a bully in his dealing with other members of the board."
"The final element in my decision (to resign) was when Mr. Kelso turned to two members of the board and threatened them that if they did not perform their duties as he determined, Mr. Kelso would contact the village prosecuting attorney and bring charges to have the trustees removed from office," Rust stated.
Kelso told trustees last month that he would contact the prosecuting attorney on a quo warranto action, which is a legal action that challenges a public official's ability to hold office.
Kelso told the Call Rust's resignation was a "total surprise," but declined to comment on Rust calling him a bully.
Building Commissioner Bob Bess called for Rust and former Trustee Will Larson's to resign in September, at which time Rust and Larson said they would not resign. Kelso also called for Larson's resignation in February.
Larson submitted his resignation last month before a Saturday work session, citing incivility and a lack of transparency.
Two of five board of trustee seats currently are vacant.
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