Thursday, May 20, 2021

Forgotten Harvest coming to Sumpter Township

Despite concerns expressed by Trustee Peggy Morgan, Forgotten Harvest will be coming to Sumpter Township to provide services to residents.

Morgan first suggested allowing Forgotten Harvest to use township facilities to distribute food and other items to residents at a meeting of the board members earlier this year. At a subsequent meeting, however, she claimed that the group had adamantly refused to utilize the township facilities due to the conduct and “attitude” of a township employee when Forgotten Harvest leaders visited the township.  Morgan told the board members that the unnamed employee displayed an uncooperative attitude during the visit which prompted the group to abandon plans to come to the township. 

In response to Morgan's allegations about the employee, Trustee Matt Oddy requested that Supervisor Tim Bowman investigate the situation and contact the Forgotten Harvest representatives. He and other trustees also suggested to Morgan it was inappropriate to discuss the conduct of an employee at a public meeting.

At the meeting this week, Oddy said that the supervisor's contact had resulted in an agreement from Forgotten Harvest to come to the township.

“They are excited to come here and provide service to residents,” Oddy said. “Kudos to the supervisor's office for getting that to happen. They (Forgotten Harvest) were looking at other sites, but through the efforts of the supervisor's office, they are coming here.”

Morgan claimed she had received a letter from “an employee” regarding the situation and that statements in the letter were untrue. She demanded to know if the investigation by Bowman's office determined that statements she made regarding the situation were not true. She repeatedly claimed that the letter called her “a liar.”

“I just want to know did you find that I was lying or not,” she demanded

Oddy replied that he had read the letter and that he could find no evidence that Morgan had been called a liar by the writer. 

Morgan said that she was “thrilled” that Forgotten Harvest was coming to the township but then accused Oddy of calling her a liar. She asked if the investigation and the letter from the employee was the “end of it. That's it? No apology. Did I or did I not lie? I just want to know, did your investigation find I was lying or not,” she demanded.

“The only apology should come from you,” Oddy replied. He then reminded Morgan that incorrect accounts of his comments had recently been printed in a local paper accusing him and the board of attempting to “shut you down.”

“That was not accurate. I received the floor from the chair. Nowhere did I ever call you a liar,” he said. “Nobody tried to shut you up.”

Trustee Don LaPorte suggested that the last few board meetings had deteriorated into personal agendas.

“Mr. Supervisor, you have mended fences. If somebody got their feelings hurt, suck it up and let's move on. The community is being taken care of.”

Morgan continued to protest and speak over other board members, prompting Bowman to remind her of her disrespectful conduct toward him at the last meeting.

“When I call for order, you shouldn't continue to speak over me,” he said. 

Morgan repeated her claims that the board members were attempting to stifle her and did not want her to speak.

“If you don't want me to speak, then read it in the paper,” she said.

Trustee Tim Rush cautioned Morgan that while she has the right to speak, she approved the compliance with and agreed to Roberts' Rules of Order for procedures at the meetings.

“We have to move meetings along in an orderly and efficient manner. You need to learn what censure means,” he said.