EDGAR CO. –
The “We” in question during a special meeting of the Clark-Edgar Rural Water District (CERWD) are “We” the Public, WE the customers, and WE the trustees of the PUBLIC water district – the discussion on the “WE” question starts at 7:29 in the video below. It appears that one or more of the current trustees have forgotten they work for the people in the district, not for themselves. That’s what happens when people stay in an appointed position for too long – they forget who they are working for. Our attendance at the last two meetings verified our suspicions that none of the trustees, even the ones with more than 20 years’ tenure, have bothered to read, or have forgotten what they read, the very Statute ((70 ILCS 3705/) Public Water District Act) that governs the Public Body they are charged with representing.
Paying Of Bills and Invoices
A special meeting was held at the CERWD on July 20, 2012 at 10:00 A. M. for the purpose of paying bills that were not paid at their previous meeting. The meeting was opened and two of the trustees (neither one the chairman) spent over 25 minutes checking invoices and signing checks. Since the Chairman did not sign an order to pay the bills, this was a violation of the Public Water District Act.
WE read the Statute and it states:
(70 ILCS 3705/15)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 202)
No money shall be paid out of the treasury of the district, except upon an order signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the board. Such order shall specify the purpose for which the amount thereof is to be paid, with sufficient clearness to indicate the purpose for which the order is issued, and the name of the particular fund out of which it is payable, and it shall be payable from the fund constituted for such purpose and no other.
(Source: Laws 1945, p. 1187.)
At the previous monthly CERWD Public meeting, there were proposals for bonds that were to become payable through a property tax levy should the District become unable to make the payments for whatever reason. Those bonds that WE would potentially be liable for was to the tune of $5,000,000.00. That’s right, 5 MILLION DOLLARS. That’s a hefty chunk of change to place on the backs of the taxpayer without their approval, not to mention its illegal based on the statute.
The agency promoting them, Edward Jones, was brought to that meeting by Bob Colvin’s operation, Francis & Associates. Not sure why they have anything to do with the financial operation of the district, but maybe the fact that his son works for Edward Jones has something to do with it.
Again, WE read the Statute and it states:
(70 ILCS 3705/16)
Under no circumstances shall any bonds issued or any other obligation incurred under this Act by a district be or become an indebtedness or an obligation of the district payable from taxes and shall not in any event constitute an indebtedness of such district within the meaning of the constitutional provisions or limitations, and such fact shall be plainly stated on the face of each bond.
What part of UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE do they not understand?
Presentation of Signatures for Referendum to Elect Trustees
During the regular scheduled meeting in July, it was apparent to us that the district trustees had been in office too long and did not express concern for the landowners that addressed the board that night in reference to hook-up fees that were paid (in one case over 17 years ago) and still being told they will not get water. This led us to read the Statute again, and noticed that the Public can choose to have elected trustees instead of appointed trustees by submission of no less than 100 signatures.
So, the originals and 7 certified copies of more than 100 signatures of electors in the District were presented to the board. The secretary now must take those to the County Clerk offices in Clark and Edgar Counties to certify the proposition to be put on the ballot in November of this year. The referendum question is “SHALL THE TRUSTEES OF THE CLARK-EDGAR WATER DISTRICT BE ELECTED, RATHER THAN APPOINTED?”
We would like to extend our gratitude to the people who signed the petitions to put this question on the ballot. It is your effort that will make this change happen, now we need to get people out to vote YES on the proposition.
Again, WE read the Statute and it states:
(70 ILCS 3705/4.2)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 191.2)
Referendum to elect trustees; vacancies.
(a) A public water district organized under this Act may determine, as provided in this Section, to have an elected rather than appointed board of trustees.
(b) Upon presentation to the board of trustees of a petition signed by not fewer than 100 of the electors of the district requesting that a proposition for the election of trustees be submitted to the electors of the district, the secretary of the board of trustees shall certify the proposition to the appropriate election authorities, who shall submit the proposition at a regular election in accordance with the general election law...
“I WANT ALL THEIR NAMES”
At 8:03 in the video, a board member stated he wants a list of all the people who complained to us about the water district, even going so far as to imply they would quit providing us information if we didn’t provide them with the names. We did not provide names of people who have contacted us. Apparently they have not read the Illinois Freedom Of Information Act either, as the law requires a Public Body to provide public documents when requested (with very few exceptions).