Senior staff writer
Southport City Council member Shara Hostetler contends that the council did not follow its rules of procedure when giving her a no confidence vote and removing her as president at its meeting Sept. 18.
The council voted 3-2 on each motion.
In a statement to The Southsider Voice, Hostetler stated: “It (vote) is null and void per Roberts Rules of Order and the Southport Council ordinance which together require a two-thirds vote … also, the criteria was not met for the merits of that motion or to end discussion. Proper law and procedure were not followed and the lack of sufficient votes makes the motion null and void.”
The votes were taken by the council regarding a lawsuit that Hostetler filed in the Southern District Court of Indiana in March against the city, the Policed Department, Police Chief Thomas Vaughn and officer Jason Swanson pertaining to a warrant search of her home April 25, 2015. Both lawsuits are now in the Southern District Court, and each plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Councilor James Cooney introduced both measures affecting Hostetler’s status as president. He, Kenny Winslow and Joe Haley voted for the motions; Hostetler and Larry Tungent voted against.
Cooney said the council followed proper procedures on both motions. “It takes a simple majority to vote her in as president and a simple majority to vote her out. The vote of no confidence is more ceremonial; it put her on notice.”
In a written statement, Cooney understood that the vote was not on the agenda but indicated “our (council) disappointment and called for us to take quick action.” He also added that the lawsuit against the city “jeopardized” the integrity of the council.
The council is expected to elect a new president at its Oct. 16 meeting at 7 p.m.