Featherstone resigns from parks commission
By Samantha Jones
Longtime Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission chairman Bill Featherstone has resigned from the commission.
Featherstone announced his resignation in an email sent to Mayor Butch Berry at approximately 12:40 p.m. Wednesday, March 4. In the email, Featherstone writes, "I resign from the Parks Commission, effective immediately."
Featherstone's resignation came after the commission voted Feb. 27 to name Ruth Hager chair and Cameron DeNoewer vice chair. Featherstone served as chair for 17 years after being appointed to the position in 2003. He was appointed to the commission on Aug. 17, 2000.
The end of Featherstone's tenure didn't come without turmoil. The Citizen recently reported that a special prosecutor is investigating the commission for holding an alleged illegal meeting on Sept. 26, 2019. The Citizen obtained emails, documents and recordings confirming the alleged illegal meeting occurred, and Featherstone said Jan. 28 that he remembered the meeting.
"The conversation was completely spontaneous and unplanned," Featherstone said. "Most of the conversation revolved around finances and financial reporting and related matters. Because it was innocent and impromptu and just volunteers serving to help parks, I thought nothing of it at the time."
Still, Featherstone said, it should not have happened.
"It will never happen again,” he said. “As the senior member of the commission, I assume full responsibility on behalf of the commission."
At the commission's Feb. 27 meeting, Hager said having a new chair would give the commission a new start.
"If it solves other problems we are having and gives us a fresh start, I think that's kind of a good thing," Hager said. "I'm a good person for a fresh start."