Trustee Phil Minga read his letter of resignation from the Flossmoor Village Board and a prepared statement addressing rumors about his personal life during Monday’s board meeting.
Minga served as a trustee for more than 20 years starting in 1997, and he spent 34 years as a volunteer firefighter for the village from 1985 until his retirement last month.
“I chose to stay on the board as long as possible not for any duplicitous reasons or other scheme,” Minga read. “Rather I chose to stay on to offer my expertise and service to my fellow residents for as long as possible.”
Mayor Paul Braun will be in charge of appointing a trustee to fill Minga’s seat, with the board to vote on whomever he recommends.
Braun said the village will announce its requirements for interested candidates in the coming weeks.
“At this time, I want the community to focus on the upcoming election,” he said. “We are less than 10 weeks away at this point.”
Minga explained in his resignation letter that he decided to retire from the fire department, sell his home and resign from the board because of tragic family events.
“In addition to other challenges, we’ve experienced the sudden death of three family members, the latest being the sudden death of my older sister; I was present at and actively participated in resuscitation efforts with my fellow paramedics,” Minga read. “This has caused our family to reexamine our lives, and we are in the process of refocusing our energies and time on our family.”
Minga shared his statement in response to misinformation he said has been circulating on social media regarding his personal life, and assertions by several residents that he was no longer residing in the village.
He explained that the unexpected deaths began with his brother-in-law, Johnny, a veteran of Afghanistan who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and was survived by a 3-year-old son.
Minga’s sister-in-law died by suicide 13 months later after declining health left her unable to continue practicing medicine, he read. About a year ago, Minga’s older sister, Carol, was found unresponsive on her kitchen floor and could not be revived.
Minga described another hardship as a lack of support from his son’s school to address his educational challenges.
“My family began a re-examination of what was important to all of us,” he read. “It was decided that my mother-in-law should move in with us so as not to be alone and help support my wife Gina and my youngest, Joseph.”
In December, Minga’s wife and son moved with his mother-in-law to their new home so their son could start at a new school, while he stayed behind to prepare the house to go on the market, he explained.
Meanwhile, he continued working full time and spending weekends with his family. He would also see them during the week when issues arose, which is why the snow in his driveway was uncleared some days, he explained.
Minga’s home went up for sale Jan. 30 and attracted a suitable offer within three days, he continued.
Despite this good and surprising news, another source for rumors circulated when someone took a photo of Minga’s empty fridge during a house showing and posted it online, he read. He explained that the fridge had only been cleared in preparation for the showing, while non-perishables were still stocked in the pantry.
“Those things that were said had to be answered with facts,” Minga said.
The board took a few moments to express their gratitude for Minga’s service to Flossmoor.
Braun said he accepts Minga’s resignation “with great sadness.”
“You have added something that this board has not had in a long time, and that’s a civil engineer,” he said. “Your expertise has been invaluable in terms of all the projects that the village has undertaken.”
Trustee Perry Hoag said he hopes Minga will remember how the people of Flossmoor appreciated him.
“You didn’t improve people’s lives, you saved lives,” Hoag said. “Not just in a metaphorical way, you actually saved lives.”
Trustee James Mitros echoed Hoag’s sentiment.
“You’ve not only added to this board, you’ve saved lives out there,” Mitros said. “I don’t know if I could ask for any more from a citizen than what you’ve given.”
Trustee Diane Williams recalled how Minga was one of the responders who helped her mother toward the end of her life.
“The fire department never let me down and never let her down,” she said. “I personally thank you.”
In closing, Minga thanked Braun and asked trustees to “take care of my hometown.”