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August 9, 2022

Assumption Village Meeting – Sep 7, 2021 – Mayor and Village Attorney Comments Inconsistent With The Public Record

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On September 13, 2021

Assumption, IL. (ECWd) –

The Village of Assumption, Illinois held a board meeting on September 7, 2021.

One of the rants by the Mayor during a prior meeting was that the directors of village departments answer to him and not the alderman.  Considering that conflicted with the normal process we find in most other parts of the state, I requested copies of their employee policies.

The Mayor should read his own village ordinances to better understand he is not King.

  • Streets: APPOINTMENT: The superintendent of streets and alleys shall be subject to the supervision of the committee on streets and alleys. He shall be appointed by the mayor, by and with the consent of the city council and shall hold his office until his successor shall be appointed and qualified. (streets employee policy)
  • Water/Wastewater: APPOINTMENT: The superintendent of water/sewer shall be subject to the supervision of the committee on water and sewer. He shall be appointed by the mayor, by and with the consent of the city council and shall hold his office until his successor shall be appointed and qualified. (water/wastewater employee policy)
  • Police: Head of Department: The chief of Police of the City of Assumption shall be the head of the police department, subject to the orders of the mayor, the city council and police committee (police policy)

After bringing this to his attention during the meeting, the end result was the Mayor questioning why a Mayor is even needed.  Unfortunately, that too is another area he should start reading up on as there are specific duties of a Mayor and it’s clear he has no idea what those duties are.  Hopefully, he will take this as a learning moment and hit the books.  If he is not willing to learn the job then a resignation would be appropriate.

An additional point of interest is the sidewalk that was replaced at the Mayors’ residence.  According to the village ordinances, any sidewalk construction requires a permit and there was no permit pulled for the sidewalk work at the Mayors’ residence.   The Village attorney stated no permit was required.  While the attorney may believe no permit is required, the village ordinance appears to be pretty clear.  (See page 214 of the Village Ordinance)

  • “B. Permit Required: It shall be unlawful for any person, company, partnership or individual to build, lay or construct any sidewalk along any property in the City, or along any of the streets, alleys or public highways thereon, without first obtaining a permit from the City Clerk to do so.

Even if the attorney’s position was accurate and no permit was required if the village did the work, such work still needs the cooperation and direction of the village streets and sidewalks committee.  The records provided did not reflect any vote taken for the work in question.

  • “C. Streets and Sidewalks Committee: All such structures or improvements made in the City shall be made under and through the cooperation and direction of the Streets and Sidewalks Committee of the City, duly authorized and empowered by the Mayor and City Council thereof.”

Another interesting document provided regarding the sidewalks was the proposal for sidewalk work from Hadley Concrete Construction.

Why would the Village attorney provide that document rather than what I asked for, the invoice for payment?  Additionally, the sidewalk in question was not located on the proposal provided. The work performed was on South Poplar, near East Samuel, not Poplar and Second as indicated on the proposal.

The Mayor had an interesting justification for the sidewalk installation without a permit which we are sure most village residents will find interesting. You can hear his response to my question at the 37:53 mark of the video.

Link to our Livestream of this meeting is below:

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9 Comments
  • PK
    Posted at 11:26h, 13 September

    That was a constructive meeting.

    The village attorney made an incorrect public claim about the form of government he represents? Wow…it’s hard to believe that a registered attorney and local bar associate was so fundamentally wrong in that claim.

  • jannie
    Posted at 12:11h, 13 September

    This is interesting. I agree it’s silly for there to be a permit for a sidewalk with it’s done by the city (village) and basically the “common” sidewalk not the walk that goes up to your individual homes. Usually the street or roads/grounds committee or dept.. with sometimes recommendations by aldermen depending on size of town. looks at missing sidewalks or dangerous ones and determines which ones get fixed/replaced — first, second, etc. One town I lived in homeowner pd. 1/2 of the cost. of sidewalk. Another the common sidewalk was placed/replaced/fixed as part of the taxes – and homeowner wasn’t charged.

    • PK
      Posted at 13:52h, 13 September

      What selective listening can I opine with today?

      It doesn’t matter if the public works director likes the village clerk. By the villages own ordinances, the clerk is to be involved in the process. But whatever you do, don’t ask the village attorney about the ordinances. Just read them yourself.

  • Golden Country
    Posted at 07:17h, 14 September

    Regarding sidewalks and permit requirements and supervision of the public works employee.

    ECW is partially right on this issue. A permit is not required for a local public agency completing work within its own ROW. Permits are issued to individuals or companies as a way of controlling how and where the proposed work is being completed. It serves no public interest for a LPA to issue a permit to oneself.

    From my experience all the non elected positions in a local community should report directly to the Village Mayor or Village president for daily work activities and daily assignments. Otherwise nothing would get completed and daily work issues would wait 30 days to get resolved. The expenditure of Village funds for specific work should be reviewed and approved by the Village board. Most of the daily work activities completed by the streets department (i.e fuel, filling potholes, snow removal and etc.) has already been approved by the budget which was hopefully reviewed and approved by the Village Board.

    The Village should have had a meeting to discuss sidewalk repairs to put together and vote on a plan for sidewalk repairs. That way the expenditure of the Villages funds are discussed, voted on and on record. Too many times the mayor will take care of his friends or the popular people of a community and neglect real issues that impact those that are not on the inside circle of the elected officials.

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 08:58h, 14 September

      What we reported was 100% accurate. The ordinance was not followed. While I agree it makes no sense for a village to get a permit to do work themselves, the ordinance does not match that thinking, which is why I suggested they fix their ordinance.

      The ordinance points to the heads of the departments answering to the Committee. No matter what your experience has been, our experience says you follow the rules you adopted. Don’t like it, change the rules.

  • Golden Country
    Posted at 19:34h, 14 September

    Kirk unfortunately your perception doesnt mash with reality. Nothing here so move on

  • Mayor
    Posted at 14:52h, 21 September

    Assumption’s form of government is as a City, not a Village.

  • FanOfJoe
    Posted at 22:21h, 07 October

    Keep asking questions Joe! That is your right and your job and don’t pump your breaks. Keep going!

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