East County board chairman gives his resignation

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gary Fornkahl, board chairman of East County Fire Protection District, added his resignation Monday to a long list of resignations in the fire district.

Fornkahl said in a letter filed with the county that his resignation was tied to the vacancy on the board left in April 2007 when a member of the board resigned.

Since then, Pamela Allen, a board member elected to fill the third slot just before the resignation, and Fornkahl have been gridlocked on how to fill the empty position.

Fornkahl called the governing Missouri statute "ambiguous" about how a board should proceed when the two remaining members cannot agree on how to fill vacant spot.

By resigning, both his spot and that left vacant can be appointed by the circuit court, ending the controversy, Fornkahl wrote.

The statute, while it doesn't specify what actions members should take when a majority cannot agree, does allow the circuit court to appoint someone in the case of only one member remaining.

Last November, Cape Girardeau County Clerk Kara Clark sent a letter to the fire district advising them of upcoming elections. In January, the county received a one-line response from secretary Sheila Hency saying that the district would not be having elections.

Hency resigned last week, along with former chief Jim Hanks, his son, Capt. Jimmy Hanks Jr., and several other firefighters.

Approximate boundaries of the district

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