The Onley Town Council took the unusual action of censuring Mayor Matt Hart at their regular monthly meeting Monday night. The resolution, which passed with four yes votes and two abstentions, accused the mayor of creating a hostile work environment for town employees and contractors. Formal complaints have been filed against Hart for publicly making false accusations about town employees, threatening them with loss of their jobs and acting inappropriately to members of the Town Council. The resolution also accused Hart of speaking for the town without the town’s permission and acting inappropriately during the May meeting refusing to allow some council members to speak.
Hart apologized to any council members he may have offended but said “I know what I have said and done and I feel what I have done is appropriate. I have copies of the emails to prove it” Hart said that it is his job to make sure things get done and that he holds people to a higher standard and he is not going to apologize for that.
The simmering controversy erupted when a vigorous argument occurred during the May regular meeting of the Town Council. Hart said that this was his first Zoom meeting and the new format was a challenge the first time out.
The Council then called a special executive session on May 19 to try to address the issues they had with Hart. Hart did not attend. It was then decided to develop a resolution of censure.
Hart said he has been in consultation with an attorney and will respond to the resolution in writing soon.