Maywood trustee Mike Rogers, appointed in February to temporarily fill the position vacated by former trustee Dominique Garret-Flowers, has resigned his appointed seat. Rogers’s decision has drawn the ire of some who consider the move an attempt by the outgoing Mayor Yarbrough and the Maywood United Party to consolidate power against incoming Mayor Edwenna Perkins.
The resignation comes less than a month before Rogers is to be sworn into the Trustee seat he won outright during the April 9 consolidated election. So now, what Mayor-elect Perkins believed to be two vacant trusteeships that she would fill at her discretion once she took the oath of office on May 21st, has now dwindled to one — her own.
“It does not look good for the Mayor to take it upon himself to appoint someone…that [decision] should go to the next mayor,” said Perkins. “Why not leave it to the next elected official even if it were not me […], because the people have spoken? They’ve made their decision. They voted.”
Mrs. Perkins believes that the Maywood United Party, the ticket on which Rogers ran, is in the process of building an intractable block of opposition to counter her mayoralty in the upcoming term. “The objective is to get a 5-2 vote, [so] I wouldn’t be able to get anything done […] that’s their objective […] This [the resignation] isn’t necessary right now.” Mayor Yarbrough couldn’t be reached for comments.
For his part, Mr. Rogers said the decision was personal and his alone, stating that the opposition to his resignation comes from a small minority of residents “who are always angry [and] negative.” His hope, he said, “is that [Mayor Yarbrough] appoint somebody looking out for the best interests of the community and [who] has experience, a great resume and can run a municipal government.”
Trustee Ronald Rivers stated that the crux of the matter was whether Rogers’s decision was legal or not. “In politics and the way I look at life [I ask], ‘Is it legal? Is it right?’ If it’s illegal, you have all the right in the world to bring it up […] I sit in that position where I have to decide what is best for all my constituents and I take that very seriously. If you’re mad at the way the law is written you have to either get in where you fit in or sit down and shut up.”
Rivers believes that the outcry over the resignation is a cynical attempt to turn a personal decision into a political matter. “To me, it’s cynical politics. There was a rumble when [Rogers] was appointed. [But] that seat was part of a coalition two years ago. This is nitpicking I try to stay away from.”
The Neighbors of Maywood Community Organization (NoMCO), a group that endorsed Mr. Rogers, issued an open letter to both Mr. Yarbrough and Mrs. Perkins recommending that they automatically appoint, “the next-highest-vote-receiving candidates for Village Trustee to the vacant seats created by our most recent local elections.”
A public meeting will be held to vent this issue on Tuesday at 7pm inside of Village chambers, 200 S. 5th Avenue.