Councilman learns about gripe from social media

WELAKA — A Sept. 7 letter dated to Welaka Town Council members from town clerk Jennifer McDaniel cited an unprofessional working relationship with council member Louis Peronard.

However, Peronard said, he did not receive a copy of the letter and was unaware of any problems with McDaniel.

Peronard said he received a copy of the letter, but not in his official capacity as a town council member.

“(The complaint) was much to my surprise and brought to my attention through the Palatka Daily News Facebook page,” Peronard said.

While not citing any specific incidents or issues, McDaniel wrote, “I’ve had to advise Peronard on his conduct with employees in the office, regarding his demanding/rude comments to them, and I have had to validate my integrity with him.”

“I’m usually polite,” Peronard said. “To my knowledge, I have not been rude.”

“I feel that my working relationship with Peronard is not the best,” McDaniel wrote. “His prescence in the town hall is very arrogant and unwelcomed.”

Attempts to contact McDaniel for clarification on her complaint were unsuccessful.

Peronard replaced former council member Brian Eltervoog, who resigned in February after former Welaka Police Chief Walter Melton was approved as police chief. Peronard was suggested by Mayor Gordon Sands and unanimously approved by the council.

In a special meeting Sept. 9, Peronard was a vocal supporter for Melton and said he had tried to call an emergency meeting Aug. 27, the Monday after Melton sent a resignation letter to the town.

“Jennifer didn’t respond and didn’t advise me of progress in having the emergency meeting, which did not happen,” Peronard said.

Peronard said he hoped the meeting would mediate police issues between Melton and Mayor Gordon Sands.

On a social media posting by McDaniel on the Palatka Daily News’ facebook page, McDaniel wrote the issue was “resolved.”

Peronard said he still has not heard anything from the town to resolve the complaint.

However, Peronard’s name and contact information was removed recently from Welaka’s website.

“Very few people have the password to the website,” Peronard said.

Multiple attempts to contact Sands were unsuccessful.

A workshop to discuss police matters is scheduled for 4 p.m. today. After Hurricane Irma forced cancellations for the town’s zoning, codes and regular meetings, those meetings will take place today at 5 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.