The Dickinson County Historical Society closed Thursday following the resignations of the administrator and half of the board of trustees.
Abilene resident James Holland, one of six new trustees elected during the society’s annual meeting in late November, confirmed the resignations during a phone conversation Thursday afternoon.
An emergency meeting of the Dickinson County Historical Society Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m. Monday night at the historical society, located at 412 S. Campbell.
“Under our current bylaws, we cannot operate without a quorum of 10 people,” Holland said. “We currently have six members.”
Holland said several of the new trustees were contacted by one of the resigning members who let them know about the six resignations.
“I got a phone call shortly after a couple other members were called,” Holland said.
Concerns about the operation of the local historical society simmered during much of 2019 as long-time members questioned changes being made at the facility, including closing the archives and eliminating long-standing programs like the Statehood Ball and other events.
Tensions boiled over Tuesday, Nov. 26 during a standing-room only annual meeting when a bylaw change to reduce the number of trustees to seven was voted down and members voted to continue operating under the bylaws adopted in 2018.
Those bylaws call for an 18-member board that requires 10 trustees for a quorum.
During the meeting, several historical society members presented the names of six individuals who said they were willing to serve on the board.
Those individuals — Duane Schrag, Cindy Wedel, Gail Whitehair, Mid Hanson, Nanc Scholl and Holland — were then elected by write-in ballot.
Other trustees were President Steve Marston, Vice-President Steve Houlton, Treasurer Shawna Landers, Secretary Angie Casteel (whose term expires this month), Jay Aurand and Seth Stout. Judy Zimmer was serving as administrator.
During Monday night’s meeting the remaining six trustees will appoint new board members.
“We do not have a problem filling those six positions. We’ve got people lined up to do it,” Holland said.
The meeting is open to all historical society members.
“It’s not an executive committee type function,” Holland explained.
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