BY KATHY KAHN
A village with a history of mismanagement, discrimination and favoritism while former officials cool their heels in prison continues to be a charade that degrades.
During the public portion of the meeting held on Tuesday, May 9, residents got up to speak during the public participation segment but were constantly reminded by Mayor Delhomme they only had three minutes to get to the point. Questions arose about the closing of Memorial Park.
“We have a youth program at our church,” said Spring Valley resident Betsy Walker. “We serve breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and try to teach our young people that ‘ownership’ begins with them. We need $2,500 to get the program going again. We also used Memorial Park for some arts and crafts and a play area, but now we don’t know when it will reopen.”
The Board consented to give the church the money, but when others also questioned why the park had been closed, nobody got an answer. And so it goes in the village of Spring Valley.
Bickering among the trustees and the ranting of Delhomme, who declared at one point, “I make the decisions here. What I say goes. The buck stops here!” was just another display of dysfunction in the village.
As they rolled along the agenda, five different invoices amounting to over $17,000 from Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLIP for services provided to defend Delhomme from citizens’ efforts to remove him from office were removed from the agenda. Delhomme is accused of discriminatory acts, misuse of funds and other charges in a case that will be decided by an arbitrator in the coming weeks.
If the fees will turn up on a future village agenda is anyone’s guess. Residents at the meeting could be heard sighing audibly as he removed the bills from the agenda.
“He’s no ‘king,’ he’s a beast,” said one resident, who did not want to be identified. “He has cronies on the board that go along with what he says. This used to be a decent place to live….between the ones already in jail, this current mayor and his buddy, Vilair Fonvil, those two should be thrown out of office and put somewhere where they can’t hurt anybody anymore. Nobody is looking out for the good of the village—it’s a nightmare.”