Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Two Flat Rock Village Council members quit

The long echo from the war over the Highland Lake Road project and the November 2019 Village Council election continues to resound in Flat Rock.

Two of the three council members marginalized by the election outcome have resigned, saying they saw little to gain by spending one more year on the losing side of 4-3 votes.
Sheryl Jamerson and Paige Posey submitted letters of resignation to Mayor Nick Weedman on Nov. 23.
“In my letter I think I said there are more effective and rewarding ways I can serve the community,” Posey said. “I have interests in the community that don’t align with the way things are going now,” including connectivity through highways and greenways, the Highland Lake Road project and support for the Flat Rock Playhouse. “If there’s anything I learned from watching politics over the last year it’s that I am not a politician.”
The council majority flipped to a 4-3 majority opposed to the Highland Lake Road project in 2019 after a slate of three candidates opposed to the road improvement work won seats and Vice Mayor Nick Weedman won election as mayor.
“There are people who align with the things that are good for our community but until the residents of Flat Rock want to help champion the cause,” their voices won’t be heard, Posey said. “There are people who are supposedly interested in wanting to serve on the council and that’s in the best interest of Flat Rock. Flat Rock just doesn’t need to be so political. The road project upended everything and caused a lot of problems. It’s time for unity. We don’t need to be a microcosm of what’s happening nationally. It’s just not worth it to have half the community be so negative about what’s happening.”
Besides the Highland Lake Road project and a master plan for greenways, the new council has also signaled that support for the Flat Rock Playhouse is in its crosshairs. The Village Council has made a donation for many years as council members made the case that the Playhouse is a significant economic engine for jobs and spinoff at other village shops and restaurants.
Coletta voted against adoption of the 2020-21 budget because it contained a $40,000 appropriation to the theater, and during budget deliberations Mayor Nick Weedman said he would vote for the donation for the current budget year but not in future budgets, said Posey, who has been an actor and administrator at the Playhouse and is a former board president.
“I think it’s in jeopardy,” she said of the council’s support for the theater. “I don’t know how it will ultimately shake out but it’s not where they see their priorities.”
Posey joined the staff of the Playhouse in October 2019 “then laid myself off in May when we had to shut down,” she said. “I’m not affiliated with the Flat Rock Playhouse but it’s never going to be far from my heart. I’ll always be supporting them.”

Jamerson, a retired CPA who led the work on budgeting, also resigned from the council. That leaves only member, Albert Gooch, who voted to support the road project in June of 2018.
Coletta referred questions about the resignation to Weedman, who was not immediately reachable.
“It’s been seven years for me and I gave it a year with the new people in charge and realized that was enough to show me there’s not a whole lot I can to represent the people that I know feel differently” than the current council majority, Jamerson said.

Weedman “wrote me a very nice email thanking me for my service,” adding that although “we disagreed on a lot, he respected what I’d done.”
Weedman said during the organizational meeting for the new Village Council in December 2019 that unifying the board was his top priority. He’s made little progress in achieving the goal, presiding over council meetings that are more rancorous than any in the village’s history.
“He was disappointed that he couldn’t bring us all together and I wanted to explain to him why that didn’t work,” Jamerson said. “They had control of the council, they always voted in a bloc and a year (longer of serving) wasn’t going to change that.”
Both Posey and Jamerson were serving terms that expire next year. They expect the new majority, which had the support of an organization Coletta formed called Cultural Landscape Group Flat Rock, to recruit a slate of candidates to win the seats they held.
“I feel that they’re playing a long game and her ultimate goal after the comprehensive land use plan is to remove a lot of the stuff that was talking about greenways,” Jamerson said. “I wish I could do something about it. I loved being on the council for six years. It was such a congenial group, everyone worked really hard, there was no politics. Unfortunately, Highland Lake Road changed that.”
Like Posey, Jamerson predicts the remaining council members will pad their majority by appointing two like-minded residents.
“I know a lot of people that would do a great job without any agenda but none of them would be willing to serve under these conditions,” she said.
“My philosophy about Flat Rock is that we need to welcome people here, hoping we will have young families buy some of the large homes,” she said. “And young families want amenities, they want places to walk and ride bikes.” She sees a way to have those things while also preserving Flat Rock’s historic character. “I don’t think that’s going to happen under this council,” she added, “but I hope things change over time.”