CLARK CO., IL. (ECWd) -
UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF PAGE...
Mill Creek Park is a public park, and designated as a "special district" where Illinois Statutes are concerned. The statute governing the District is the "Park District Code" (HERE) that authorizes certain actions by the District. Keep in mind that in Illinois, if a public body is not given a power, they do not possess the power - with some exceptions for "Home Rule" entities (research "Dillon's Rule" for more information on it).
With that said, let's take a look at some of what the Park District Code says about the powers and duties of the Officers of the District:
OFFICERS--ELECTIONS--POWERS AND DUTIES
(70 ILCS 1205/4-1)
(from Ch. 105, par. 4-1)
... The members of such governing boards shall act as such without compensation,...
(Source: Laws 1951, p. 113.)
Those two words mean something or the legislature would not have included them in the statute. What I believe they mean are that the board members are to serve without compensation. Simple, isn't it?
Some of the member of this particular board, and who knows how many years this has been ongoing, decided to take advantage of their positions and receive compensation. Not only that, but they are aware of "a rule" where all past board members receive compensation also - for the rest of their lives. Is that a sweet deal or what.
The compensation that we have documentation on is the "free" boat sticker each year that lets them put a boat on the water without paying the same fee that all the other people visiting the public park must pay. We know there is more, and we will find it all.
I talked about this during public session of the May 15, 2014 regular monthly board meeting. I asked the board to determine the dollar amount of these unauthorized freebees and demand a check for repayment from each and every board member and past board member that received them.
Here is the partial list of names we have, there are more, and we will publish them.
Ron Stone, David Cox, Doug Haddix, Larry Bender, *Larry Yargus, *Lyle and Amy Yargus, **ESY Acres Inc/Lyle Yargus
* There were no dollar amounts annotated on these Lake Dock Leases
** "ESY Acres, Inc." (this is another correction) was not spelled correctly on the Dock Lease papers. The correct spelling was ESY Acres, Inc. and they ARE registered to conduct business in the State of Illinois with the Illinois Secretary of State's Office. Also there were no dollar amounts annotated on this Dock Lease.
What was violated?
The Park District Act, stating "without compensation". This includes former board members receiving these freebees as "deferred compensation".
Illinois Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1 (a): Public funds, property, and credit shall be used only for public purpose. This can be used as a predicate for felony charges as with the Pekin, Illinois mayor's incident a couple years ago.
What can rectify this?
1. Read the statutes that the Park District must operate under and understand them.
2. Read the statutes that are referenced in the Park District statute.
3. Calculate the dollar amount of the freebees, send a bill and demand payment of those who received the freebees.
Below are the some of the dock leases I mentioned in the article - (bottom of page 2 says "No Charge - Board")
[gview file="https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/MillCreekDockLease1.pdf" save="1"]