Andrew George Butler
Mad River Union
TRINIDAD – The Trinidad City Council voted unanimously Aug. 9 to remove John Hedrick from his seat on Trinidad’s Planning Commission.
The dismissal comes following a formal complaint made to the city by a resident claiming Hedrick threatened her by invoking his status as a planning commissioner during a dispute over the sale of Hedrick’s pies.
The formal complaint to the city made by Trinidad resident Penny Gunn recounted a June 4 dispute between Hedrick and Gunn over the former Planning Commissioners’ sale of pies at the Trinidad Artisans Market.
Gunn wrote in her complaint to the city that Hedrick was selling pies at the market “uninvited and without consent to sell pies.” Gunn then wrote she informed Hedrick of the “rules and regulations” of the market, and tasked him to “please not return.”
Gunn wrote that Hedrick responded by saying “Do you even know who I am? I am the planning commissioner for the City of Trinidad and if you ever want a building permit or an upgrade, good luck with that.”
Hedrick addressed the council during public comment and told a much different story. Hedrick acknowledged he had not received a formal invitation to join the artisans market, but said he was giving away pie for free.
Hedrick went on to call Gunn a “dictator” and her accusations “bullshit.” He said he had tried to contact Gunn for permission participate in the market, but had been unsuccessful.
Hedrick then said he believed Gunn was intoxicated and or under-the-influence of a substance, saying that she was acting “drunk.”
Hedrick told the council that during his verbal dispute with Gunn he said “I’m a planning commissioner,” but nothing more. Hedrick said that after telling Gunn this, she calmed down and eventually returned and apologized.
Hedrick then went on to tell the council regarding their impending vote, “If this goes down sideways, you’ll see what happens.” Hedrick then spoke ominously to the power that an individual citizen can have in a community, and then returned to his seat.
Mayor Dwight Miller spoke briefly and cited concerns he had with Hedrick and his “representation of an official position.” Councilmember Susan Golledge-Rotwein said it was clear that Hedrick had violated ethical principles that all city government members agree to uphold.