REDMON, IL. (ECWd) -
We attended the Redmon trustee meeting tonight to figure out why Mayor Jim Cooper still insists he is the Mayor of that village. According to what he told the Paris Beacon News, he moved into his new home at 11396 Blackhawk Drive, Paris, IL on the 9th of November.
After informing him during the public session of the meeting that he was no longer the mayor, had he moved out of town as stated in the PBN, and that he should step aside immediately and let the trustees declare his seat vacant, he denied, or claimed ignorance of the fact that he automatically vacated the Mayors seat when he moved out of Redmon.
(10 ILCS 5/25-2) (from Ch. 46, par. 25-2)
Sec. 25-2. Events on which an elective office becomes vacant. Every elective office shall become vacant on the happening of any of the following events before the expiration of the term of such office:
(1) The death of the incumbent.
(2) His or her resignation.
(3) His or her becoming a person under legal disability.
(4) His or her ceasing to be an inhabitant of the State; or if the office is local, his or her ceasing to be an inhabitant of the district
Sec. 3.1-10-5. Qualifications; elective office.
|(c) Vacancy by other causes.
(1) Abandonment and other causes. A vacancy occurs in
Former Mayor (he just don't know it yet) Cooper's Comments
When asked about whether he lived within the corporate limits of Redmon, he stated, after dodging around the subject, that he did in fact move outside of Redmon and that he did not read the statute the same way we did. He even went so far as to throw the County Clerk under the bus by saying he told him it was perfectly fine since he still owned property in Redmon. I serious doubt if that was what was said, but I will ask the County Clerk tomorrow about it. He even further stated that it depended on what was stated in the village by-laws - wrong Mr. Cooper, by-laws do not trump state laws.
The bottom line here, is that Mr. Cooper automatically vacated the seat by moving, and the trustees need to declare it vacant and appoint a new Mayor. The seat is vacant whether or not the trustees declare it vacant, it's just that they cannot replace him without the declaration. He does not need to resign, he did that by moving. It doesn't matter how much good he has done for Redmon over the years, and I'm sure he is still willing to do more good for the village, he cannot hold the elected position of Mayor when he does not live in the village. The election code defines that term with specificity should he feel the need to look it up.
Mr. Cooper, your next action, or inaction, should be to not show up, or at a minimum to not have a seat at the table of those good residents of Redmon that have the legal authority to occupy a seat at the table during any future meetings. Your past service to the community, as I understand it, was commendable, please leave it in a commendable way also.
Listen to the audio of this portion of the meeting below...he stated that "I just did move", but in fact he moved a month ago.