A Sedalia Town Council member who had served on the council for 17 years has resigned over what she says is endemic racism from the all-black council against white residents.

She said she had seen enough of the harassment by Town Council members of innocent citizens who challenge them – and of the way town business is conducted as a secretive cabal that runs roughshod over the state’s open meetings laws.

Town Council Member Valerie Jones, whose term on the council was set to expire in 2023, said that mounting frustration over the hostile actions of the Sedalia Town Council members towards her and others had led her to resign.

Jones, who is black, said the council is prejudiced against white people and lacks any sense of fairness or consistency.

She added that she was appalled that the council lashed out at a white resident, Ed Piotrowski, merely for filing to run for office in the town where the elected officials have all been African American.

She said she was especially outraged when Piotrowski was threatened with criminal “wiretapping” charges after he recorded a Town Council meeting on his phone and posted it online.

“I didn’t like the way they treated my neighbor,” she said, adding that he was a friend as well as a neighbor. “He said he was running for office and I couldn’t believe the way they treated him. They treated him like a persona non grata. All he did was throw his name in and say he was running for office. That was it.”

Over 80 percent of the town’s 676 residents are black, and the town’s leadership – and the candidates running for office – are consistently black as well.

Jones (second from the left in a pink sleeveless dress in the picture of town officials above) was first elected to the Sedalia Town Council in 2005.

She said that she has sent her letter of resignation to the town.

Jones added that, like Piotrowski, she faced constant hostility and unfair treatment from the council  members. She said she has been dating a white man and she believes that angers other council members and is a key reason for their dislike of her.

Jones also said that recently she had to stay home for some council meetings due to a health issue but the other council members refused to let her participate remotely.

The town’s mayor and the other council members all declined to speak with the Rhino Times for this article.