In light of recent revelations on how business has been conducted in the small town of Sedalia, several past instances of highly questionable behavior by government bodies have come to light.
In one particularly strange and egregious proceeding that occurred in November of last year, former Sedalia Planning Board Member Ed Piotrowski was denied right to be chairman of that board because a sixth person was allowed to vote in the proceedings – when, in fact, the Planning Board has only five voting members.
Piotrowski, a quality control inspector in the aviation industry, is the same Sedalia resident who was told by the mayor of Sedalia and Town Council members that he was committing a felony by simply recording an open public meeting and posting it on his Facebook page.
Piotrowski is a white man in a small town where the Town Council members, Planning Board members and other town leaders are almost entirely African-American.
Piotrowski said that the animosity toward him from city leaders began after he decided to do something rarely done by white people in that town – run for a seat on the Town Council. After that, Piotrowski was harassed for recording a public meeting and also, by all appearances, that same animosity toward Piotrowski prevented him from being allowed to chair the Sedalia Planning Board.
In November 2021, Piotrowski, who was a Planning Board member at the time, ran to be the chair of that five-member board. He got three votes – enough to win the seat. However, the chairwoman, a black woman, let a board alternate vote with the regular members – meaning that six votes were cast rather than five.
That resulted in a 3-3 tie, and despite objections from Piotrowski and other Planning Board members, no chair was named that night.
The by-laws of the Sedalia Planning Board state: “Both Chairman and Vice-Chair Positions shall be voted on every 3 years by the 5 current members of the planning board.”
Before that issue could be resolved, the Sedalia Town Council – angry at Piotrowski for running for office, and also for recording a Town Council meeting and posting the video on Facebook – voted Piotrowski off the Planning Board.
The council sent him a termination letter with no explanation.
Piotrowski stated that he has been the victim of constant reverse racism ever since he decided to run for office in the town.
One black former town councilmember, Valerie Jones, resigned in part over the council’s treatment of Piotrowski, and also, Jones told the Rhino Times earlier this year, because the Town Council was racist toward white people in general. She added that county officials came after her merely because her long-term boyfriend is white.