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Village Council appoints new board members

Padding the majority that rode opposition to the Highland Lake Road project to election victories in November 2019, the Flat Rock Village Council on Thursday appointed new council members to fill two vacancies and elected Anne Coletta vice mayor.

The new council members, elected unanimously and sworn in via Zoom, are Susan Gregory, a retired FBI agent who is active in Historic Flat Rock, and Pam Tiles, a retired speech pathologist who lives in Kenmure. They replace Paige Posey and Sheryl Jamerson, two of the three remaining council members who voted in favor of the Highland Lake Road project in June 2018, who resigned last month. Although they opposed the Highland Lake Road widening, both Gregory and Tiles described the project as a decided issue that needs to be put in the past.

After the two council members were sworn in, the council elected Coletta vice mayor, replacing Jamerson.

Currently secretary of Historic Flat Rock, Gregory said she has “no position” on the Highland Lake Road project, although she  spoke against it when the Village Council was considering it. She said she was recruited to fill Posey's term, which expires in December 2021.

“I was called and then said I would love to help you out and serve for a year to help my community,” she said. Does she plan to seek election to the seat? “I have no intention of doing that. I plan to be actively doing my job. I’m not just going to coast. … I’m going to do my homework and make up my own mind on all issues.”

Tiles has been involved as a volunteer at the Flat Rock Playhouse and in the Kenmure Property Owners Association and during 14 relocations across the country has always been an active volunteer and nonprofit boards.

"I believe that, with my involvement in volunteering, they felt that I'd be a candidate," she said. She has not committed to filing for election to the council. "I'm going to tread the waters."

Tiles attended meetings and public hearings and opposed the Highland Lake Road project. "But that's water over the dam and I feel we need to move forward in the most positive way we can," she said. "I don't feel it's very fiscally responsible at this point, being that the Department of Transportation is in the financial straits they're in. Maybe the money could be spent better. But at this point, it's a done issue."

Her position on the decisive issue of the 2019 election "quite honestly I feel had no bearing on my being asked to be on the council," she added. "I think we're all beyond that and I think that representing District 1 is important and the other thing Nick said is that he wanted to replace two women with two women."

Mayor Nick Weedman said he had offered council members the job of budget officer, another role Jamerson had. After he got no volunteers, Weedman agreed to take on the role, which coordinates budget-crafting and keeps track of spending and revenue throughout the year.

“If you work through the day, we’re going to see that her contributions will be very much missed,” Weedman said of Jamerson, a CPA. “Paige handled the liaison with the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment.” She also coordinated shred days and the annual ice cream social. “These are good public relations events and she did an excellent job on them," Weedman said. "We’ll miss them.”

“I understand the reason for the resignations,” he added. “I think some of it had to do with me and I’m going to try to keep the rest of them on board.”