McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
About the time you think the last circus act has performed, surprise, the show must go on!
The Township board has once again established, by clear and convincing evidence, they have never read the statutes that affect them, and if they have, they either don't understand them or refuse to follow them. This opinion is based on the events that led up to and took place during the October 19th, 2018 Special Meeting.
While one trustee now claims to be the Watchdog for Algonquin with interesting quotes in the local paper, we find once again the paper failed to do the deep dive to expose the circus act being played. The board's actions, past and present, have once again caused more legal action to be triggered for them to defend and it would appear this is just the beginning.
The Township Board was served papers after last night's meeting pertaining to their actions on the budget of another public body, the Road District. The paper failed to disclose that information. By the Board's own actions of trying to control matters outside their authority, they have once again generated more billable hours for their attorney, James Kelly. Is this by Kelly's design?
Of interest in the reporting of last night's meeting were quotes from trustee Rachael Lawarance that defy truth.
“Commissioner Gasser was well aware of his self-imposed and board-approved budget at the time this proposed settlement was drafted,”
The board overstepped their authority and stripped $100,000 from his budget and the very trustee claiming the Road Districts budget was self-imposed, voted NO on that action. Oh the irony! LOL
“This agreement that was entered into is not a court order.”
No, it is not a court order, and they all knew that well in advance. Nor does it have to be a court order, but rest assured, their interference in the matter will, in fact, lead to a court order and they will once again have to take care of this matter.
“We were under the impression that we needed to approve this within five days because it was court-ordered,”
Had she read the Settlement Agreement she had in her possession prior to the October 10th, 2018 meeting, she would have known there was no such time restraint as described and she would have also known it was not a court order. I guess it's easier to blame others for spreading misinformation than reading it for herself. The board's prior failure to take care of this at the regular meeting did put them on a 10-day window to take care of it to avoid further costs. Their actions blew that timeline and triggered more expense for the taxpayers.
"Because the settlement was not ordered by a court, the settlement payment is not an unforeseen or necessary expenditure, Lawrence said, urging the board to vote against the transfer of funds to pay the settlement."
Are we to understand Trustee Lawrence is of the opinion that only court-ordered settlements qualify as unforeseen or necessary expenditures? The Road District, that by statute can sue and be sued, ended up getting sued and because of the Clerk's failures have an unforeseen matter that involves a settlement to avoid further legal expenditures, which clearly makes those a necessary and justified expenditure. Regardless, since when does the Township have any authority to determine what is or is not foreseen and necessary?
While the board refused to provide an $8,000.00 appropriation amendment to the Road District budget, it was reported that they did approve $25,000 to be transferred from other Township Funds to cover the Clerks legal budget. Once again, oh the irony! LOL
The McHenry County Blog reported a quote from Mellisa Victor that also defies logic in the grand scheme of things.
"Victor insisted on waiting for a court order, noting also that Gasser “doesn’t have the money to pay for it.”
Yes, he does have the money to pay for it!
It was in his original budget that the board improperly cut and refuse to replenish. So to say he does not have the money is simply not true. The real irony in this is the insistence that a court order changes anything. Well, I guess it does change one thing. Waiting on a court order has locked in another $5,000.00 expense at a minimum. At the pace we see cases move in McHenry County, we suspect it will be several months before the court order is issued, thus resulting in several more $5,000.00 penalties for refusing to replenish the budget of the Road District.
What they don't realize is those $5,000.00 penalties appear to be a future obligation of the Township because of their actions. More on that in another article.
The last bit of irony from last night's meeting is a comment quoted in the MCB from Trustee Chapman.
"Dave Chapman asked all involved to “start being human to each other…to end these lawsuits.”
Uh, that is what we tried to do by settling our case with the Road District?
How ironic is it that one trustee wants to end the lawsuits but then votes to ensure the legal bills continue?