WILMINGTON — The official who presides over Wesley Township’s often boisterous board meetings said Thursday she is resigning soon.
Elected as the supervisor in 2017, JoAnn Quigley said her reason for leaving is personal. She didn’t give the exact day of her departure, but said it would be before the next regular township board meeting, which is Sept. 10. She declined to comment further.
Quigley and the township board trustees appear to be relatively united. But the board’s supporters and detractors regularly square off at meetings.
The board’s opponents have questioned the township’s spending and restrictions on access to the township’s riverside park.
Township officials have called police when they deem audience members disruptive. One resident was convicted of violating Wilmington’s battery ordinance after an incident outside the town hall after a meeting last year.
Under state law, a township supervisor’s responsibilities are more limited than the job title suggests. Supervisors preside over meetings, handle finances and dole out assistance to the poor. They have no management authority over the assessor or road commissioner, who handle the major functions of townships.
For a small public body, Wesley Township, which is in southern Will County, creates a lot of controversy. This summer, a former township trustee, Debbie Sorensen Tennant, explained to a resident in a private message why the township instituted a fee when she was on the board a few years ago. She said it was to keep the park from “being overrun by blacks and Mexicans.” Tennant later told the Daily Journal her statement wasn’t intended to be racist. The revelation of this message further fueled the dispute over park fees.
Earlier this week, there was an indication that Sarah Norton, the township clerk, also was planning to resign.
In an interview, Norton’s father, John Norton, a former township road commissioner, said his daughter would leave soon because the township’s critics are overwhelming her with public records requests. He said the amount of work is not worth the small salary.
Sarah Norton couldn’t be reached for comment.
She was appointed last year after the previous clerk resigned. The clerk is an elected position.
A version of this story appeared in the Friday digital edition of the Daily Journal.