MARION — Sparks flew at the end of Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting of the Williamson County Board when Commissioner Ron Ellis accused Commissioner Tracey Glenn of reneging on a prior board agreement regarding recycling.
“It saddens me and shocks me when we passed a resolution two weeks ago and the recycling program continues to be run illegally,” Ellis said.
Ellis went on to explain he received a call Friday from Progress Port General Manager Lori Jones asking why no county recycling trailers had been delivered to the Carterville business, which has an agreement with Williamson County to sort and process recyclable materials.
He further accused Glenn of allowing a part-time county employee, Kevin Robbins, to work Monday, a holiday, and getting time-and-a-half pay without the approval and consent of other commissioners.
“You do not spend taxpayers’ money without board approval,” Ellis said sternly to Glenn.
Glenn said she did not see a problem in her decision to allow five trailers of recyclables to be delivered to Republic Services of St. Louis, which the board had agreed would provide backup service when need be. Progress Port was closed Monday.
The commissioner also said the board was fully aware of what was transpiring Friday, with an email sent to each commissioner from Jones that said she had been in touch with Robbins, knew he was extremely busy and aware he was working Monday. Jones asked within the context of her email if Robbins was going to deliver the county trailers to Progress Port later in the week.
As Ellis began to retort, Glenn’s husband, Bill “Wild Bill” Glenn, who is a public announcer at Southern Illinois Miners home baseball games, stood up from his audience seat and shouted at Ellis.
“Hey, Mr. Ellis. Watch your tone. You are turning this into a political agenda. I’m tired of hearing this. All you do is fight this lady and I’m fed up with it,” Bill Glenn shouted.
After some terse exchanges between Ellis and Bill Glenn, Chairman Brent Gentry said, “this recycling has worn me down.”
Gentry said he was going to look further into the policy of county employees working on holidays. He invited Ellis to submit a plan regarding the county’s recycling program and how it could be improved.
Tracey Glenn also told Ellis to produce documentation at the next county budget meeting to validate his accusation that the recycling program has cost the county about $100,000 since its inception three years ago.
In other agenda items, the county approved a $1,935 fee charged to the City of Marion for access to a county base map showing aerial photographs of parceled property and that includes information such as addresses and property boundaries.