Council member Dennis Pugh doesn’t plan to resign, at least that’s the word from council member Chris Morrow who called for Pugh’s resignation and that of Mayor Dave Drovetta.
Morrow said he’s received an email from Pugh saying he will not offer his resignation to the council. The Gardner News has requested a copy of the email from the city clerk’s office.
Mayor Dave Drovetta and Dennis Pugh did not respond to calls from the newspaper, although the Mayor did respond via email saying the city attorney has advised him not to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Council president Kristina Harrison did not join calls for anyone to resign, but she said she is hoping that based on public input, they’ll do the right thing.
“I hope it doesn’t get to the point where there’s a recall or something like that,” she said. “If they’re receiving an outcry from the people, I’m assuming they’re Calls to other council members were also not answered at press time.
In the meantime, one Gardner resident, Jared Taylor, has started an online petition asking that Drovetta, Pugh and Fotovich all resign from the council.
Taylor posted the online petition yesterday, but said he will take it down in the near future.
“For some reason I didn’t set it up right, so it takes anonymous names on there,” Taylor said.
The petition had limited response on Wednesday morning. Taylor said it had only garnered five or six names. He plans to rebuild it as three separate petitions so residents can request the resignation of one, two or all three.
Taylor said his call for three resignations is based on principle.
“The call for Pugh is justified because of the physical action,” Taylor said.
Following a Nov. 21 city council meeting, Pugh allegedly followed council member Larry Fotovich home where an altercation occurred. Police were called, and the altercation is under investigation by the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office.
During Monday’s council meeting, Pugh told Fotovich to shut up and said he would “drag him in to the back room and beat the shit out of him.”
Drovetta and Fotovich are listed on the petition because Taylor said, “they have brought us to this by their antics.”
“Drovetta has been quite a bit more confrontational – almost physical,” he said.
And Taylor believes Fotovich is condescending towards Drovetta and the rest of the council.
“What I really want to see is a council that works,” Taylor said. “I want to see people who are honorable people. I don’t really care if they get along, but they should hold a public respect. I want council to be a place where I can take my kid.”