Arcola Township

Arcola Twp Responds to AG Inquiry –

ARCOLA Twp. (ECWd) –

The township responded (bottom of page or click here to read it now) to the AG’s inquiry, 2013 PAC 25511, into whether documents were improperly withheld. In a previous article, we pointed out the fact that the Twp had failed to provide documents persuant to FOIA request. Their response to the AG is quite telling.

“No Documents For Vacation Days”

The first item is to deny there is any record of vaction days taken. Do you know of any employer that does not document vacation days? This denial comes after they claimed I asked a question instead of requesting records. If there are no records pertaining to the request, why would they continue to insist that I asked a question? They basically now claim the only record would be a mental record of the supervisor when he approved it, otherwise there are none. With that said, I would consider it also an acknowledgment that they do not know when employees were at work either.

“No Requirement To Answer Questions”

The Twp states there is no requirement to answer questions, and then state their position is that there has been no request to review records. The fact that they have an email entitled “FOIA Request”, with the first line ending in “I request the following” is too easily confusing. Did you spot a question in there? I didn’t, but the Twp did, and have been using that as an excuse to withhold public records.

The fact remains: There were no questions asked, only a request for documents.

Credit Card Receipts

 Twp continually evaded the question of why they did not provide a copy of the requested credit card receipts. They did provide a copy of the CC statement, but no receipts. I know that it must be hard sometimes to distinguish between a “statement” and a “receipt”, but the twp apparently cannot tell the difference. You might ask why we need receipts, and the answer is to determine what was purchased with public funds…whether it be food, drink, lottery tickets, or gas for a Harley Davidson while on a four-state vacation…we have that RIGHT to know what was purchased, by whom, and what is was used for.

 Arcola Township’s Discrediting Attempts

Fianlly, they make feeble attempts at discrediting the FOIA requestor. First by claiming incomplete information was provided to the AG’s Office, then whining about the lawsuit, then claiming I didn’t pay for a previous request, then claiming I haven’t paid for more recent requests.

Claims of Incomplete Information provided to the AG: This claim is made by the Twp, in that I did not provide a letter written by Mr. Petty on Aug 1st. How could I provide that letter if I did not receive it until the day after I filed the request for review? That was easy to show it had no merit.

Whining about the lawsuit: The lawsuit is not applicable to this AG complaint. They involve two seperate and distinct records requests. By bringing this into the mix, the twp has shown a track record of FOIA noncompliance.

Payment for previous requests: I do not pay for improper invoices. I recalculated what was sent, then provided payment for the proper amount, the twp refused the payment.

Haven’t paid for more recent requests: No invoices have been provided claiming anything owed…and there won’t be any, simply because each recent request involved less than 50 pages of public records. 

 They did blabber on and on about how one request was mixed up with another request, and she thought she replied but didn’t, then thought it was a repeat request and it wasn’t, then blabbered on for a few more sentences. The bottom line here, is if the FOIA officer cannot read, they need replaced.

 

 My Response To The AG’s Office

After reading the lengthy response from Arcola Township, where a great majority of it was not applicable to this Request for Review (RfR), I feel I must reply all of the Arcola statements, if nothing more than to set the record straight. I will attempt to reply to each paragraph.

  1. The FOI Act requires disclosure of public records, not just “production of documents only”.
  2. I find Arcola’s paragraph 2 a little hard to understand. I know they state they don’t have any documents that refer to “vacation”, if that is the case how do they keep track of the vacation days used? Why do they continue to say that I asked a question instead of simply replying to the FOIA request by stating that no responsive documents exist (if they don’t have the documents)?
  3. I agree with the portion of Secion 3 the Township quoted. The part of Section 3 that I will quote is Sec. 3(a), which states (emphasis mine):

Sec. 3. (a) Each public body shall make available to any person for inspection or copying all public records, except as otherwise provided in Section 7 of this Act. Notwithstanding any other law, a public body may not grant to any person or entity, whether by contract, license, or otherwise, the exclusive right to access and disseminate any public record as defined in this Act.

By not providing the receipts for credit card purchases, they are violating this section by giving the credit card company exclusive right to access these public records. Claiming they do not have a copy is inconsistent with Section 2.5 and Section 7(2). By using the credit card, the Township, in fact, contracted with the credit card company to issue credit and maintain certain records. Those records were made as defined in Section 2(c) and shall be considered a public record of the public body as stated in Section 7(2). Therefore the Township is required, at its cost, to contact the credit card company for a copy of the receipts. If this is not the case, what would stop a public body from circumventing the intent of FOIA by simply refusing to maintain copies of receipts?

By not providing the dates and names of employees that took vacation days during a certain time-frame because of “oral permission” from the supervisor, I submit that it effectively gives the supervisor exclusive access to the public record requested. One could argue that mental knowledge is public record as defined by Section 2(c) of the FOIA, and it states in part (emphasis mine):

and all other documentary materials pertaining to the transaction of public business, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used by, received by, in the possession of, or under the control of any public body.

Vacation days, if they are paid vacation days or the employee is a salaried employee, are public record as defined in Section 2.5 (Records of funds), as paid vacation days are records related to the obligation, receipt, and use of public funds. The Township in this instance would be obligated to pay the vacation days, and the funds paid for said vacations would have been used for other than normal working wages. What is to stop someone from accruing extra days through the years if nobody knows what days were already used?

  1. Once again, ArcolaTownship keeps insisting that this FOIA request was a question instead of a request for public records. They also fail to address the requested receipts of credit card purchases. I did not ask a question, I asked for public records.

Whether or not the Township is currently subject to a lawsuit, on a matter irrelevant to this RfR, should be of no concern to this review. The records requested in this particular FOIA request are not the same records subject to the lawsuit.

Again, the Township’s position is that I did not request to “review” a public record, and they could be correct in that statement depending on how detailed they want to get with words. I did, however, request a “copy” of certain public records, with the vacation days being only part of this request. They have still not provided receipts for certain listed credit card purchases.

ArcolaTownship’s attempt at discrediting me, by stating I gave the PAC an incomplete view of the situation is false. At the time I sent this RfR to the PAC (August 1, 2013), I had not received their August 1, 2013 letter, sent via the United States Postal Service. Therefore it would have been impossible to include a copy of something I had not yet received. Also, if no such records existed pursuant to the particular records requested, they are obligated to respond as such.

The Township says they “also” replied to a request sent on July 21st.

–          I do not know what they mean by “also” since this RfR is based on that July 21st FOIA request.

–          I did not refer to any July 30th request, and there is no request dated July 22nd.

–          The request in question is dated July 21st, in which I also asked for certain credit card receipts.

–          The Township says they enclosed a copy (to the PAC) of the receipts, but I ask you to look and see if what they enclosed are the receipts, or simply a copy of the credit card statement – there is a difference.

–          What I asked for in April is irrelevant to this RfR and nothing in this RfR seeks copies of the same records subject to the lawsuit.

On the township’s final paragraph:

–          The Township once again attempts to discredit me by claiming that I “never did pay for any previous requests, and haven’t paid for any of the recent requests either”.

–          The issue with any requests, except for the July 21, 2013 request, are irrelevant to this RfR. However, I cannot allow ArcolaTownship and Mr. Mark T. Petty, a licensed Attorney in Illinois, to twist things around in an attempt at discrediting me instead of stating facts.

–          What the township stated about me not paying for previous requests is a pretty telling statement. Since the billed amount was inconsistent with 5 ILCS 140/6, I simply calculated the amount pursuant to section 6(d) and sent a check for that correct amount.

–          The check was returned uncashed.

–          The Township decided that they had the right to treat two separate FOIA requests as one request in an attempt at racking up the amount I would have to pay for the requested public records. I insisted two separate FOIA requests were just that, two separate and distinct FOIA request. The Twp disagreed.

–          The timing of the payment has nothing to do with this RfR, and since it was inconsistent with section 6, they should feel lucky I even attempted to pay anything.

–          The FOIA request involved in the Township’s assertion that I did not pay, is the one involved in the lawsuit alleging a FOIA denial.

–          The Township has not sent a bill for any other FOIA request I have submitted, so their statement that “and haven’t paid for any of the recent requests either” is nothing more than an attempt at discrediting me. While the statement may be true on it’s face, I cannot pay something that was never billed.

–          No additional requests have asked for the same records involved in the lawsuit. I don’t know why that statement was included, except that maybe they are trying to lead you to believe something that is not true.

Finally, the fact still remains that the township:

  1. Failed to properly deny the request (PAC Binding Opinion 13-013).
  2. Failed to provide public documents responsive to a FOIA request.
  3. IF there are no documents related to “vacation” days, WHY are they still insisting that I asked a question?

Thanks for your consideration,

[gview file=”http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/arcola-response-to-2013-PAC-25511.pdf”]
 

 Arcola2

56 replies »

  1. The lack of a response speaks volumes! Joey, you are too arrogant for your own good. Get a clue, look into what you are ultimately going to be questioned on, and then grow up a bit. I think that you are in WAY over your head and you can’t handle it!

  2. Joey, are you going to deny what Richie Rich said about you voting against the raise because you didn’t think that it should be taxed? I think that needs some explanation.

  3. Joey Joey, your arrogance is back. Part of your job is to deal with your township citizens, no matter what they say and in all forums. You are not doing a very good job of it.

  4. Richey Rich, if I understand what you just posted correctly. Joey did vote against Deana’s raise ONLY BECA– USE HE DIDNT THINK THAT IT SHOULD BE TAXED INCOME????? Unbelievable!!!
    So, everyone is patting him on the back because he voted against a raise but then he failed to tell the rest of the story. Hmmmmm, looks like his internship with the politicians have taught him something after all. That would be to tell enough of the story to make yourself look good and forget the parts that don’t make you look so good. Typical!

  5. Joe,I agree with P.C. good post.We were all young once and we all make mistakes,most of us still make mistakes.The key is to learn from them and strive to do better.Thank you for your vote on the raise I believe it will serve you well in the future.The personal stuff comes with the territory,I think you know that,as time goes by your hide will get thicker.P.C. is right about the internet,save it for the state or national level,here in the Twp.we are a little different,we like to interact face to face.We’ll be watching.

  6. Hold on just a minute. Don’t go putting Joey up on a pedestal so quickly. PC, Joey voted no to a salary raise, But he did say why he voted no. Wonder if he was asked why he voted no or he felt the need to explain to the others why he voted no? Let me see if I can help him out. Joey was not against Deana getting her gas paid for. WHAT????, He didn’t want to see her get a raise in salary and it be taxed. WHAT???? With that said, It seems as though Joey was ok with the gas card situation. Looks like business as usual to me. I don’t think Joey is your guy at all.

  7. Joe smart post.That’s agood start on damage control.It’s my understanding that you are inturning in Springfield,so you know that lambs being lead to slaughter is standard operating procedure.Nobody said it’s pretty,it’s Illinois.Your post here is the most open and honest information we have had out of an elected offical from the Twp.in a long time.It’s refreshing to know you didn’t run the text by attorney before sharing it with us.Now for your points one at a time-1) If as you say it falls within the perimeters of the Il.election law,I’m good with that 2) I applaud your vote trying to fix a problem 3) Personal Stuff- About the”handlers”,to be fair we don’t know you very well yet,and you didn’t help youself with you earlier posts.The internet is a good tool,but it’s just that a tool.It has no feelings,it can’t reason it is at the mercy of the person at the keyboard.You said if we ever had a”real conversation”with you or knew you “personally”we would find some of this stuff is ridiculous.Ok let’s start having those conevrsations so we can get to know you better,in person,not on the internet.Lastly,what some are calling distractions or misinformation are the real issues,and they need correcting.Are you our guy?

    • I have been looking to have these conversations since my first post but as I said I have only gotten one email and that was from a person I already knew and is a family friend. 1) When I said distractions I meant these bizarre personal attacks on me, not people’s concerns. 2) Your answer on “personal” matters is my point exactly. While I know a lot of folks in town you and others on here obviously do not know me so why would one make things up about handlers and being in over my head – among other things? Can you not see how this would prevent someone from wanting to dicuss things with you guys in person, on the internet or anywhere? With that said, I am ready to dicuss as I have been from the beginning. Like it or not, interning in Springfield didn’t turn me evil or corrupt by association and this happens to be Arcola – a small town where everyone knows eachother. It’s not the same game and I haven’t nor will I ever pretend to be some politician – I sit on a board for a rural township. However, I will not dicuss any of these real issues with a group of nameless people. I just will not do it and if you disagree with that – it’s totally fine. Still here waiting to discuss – just not here.

  8. Below are questions regaurding the caucuses and election

    Q-Was there any schooling prior to the caucuses
    A-Yes,Township Officals of Il. Education Seminar
    Q-Did any voting members of the Township Central Comm. attend
    A-No
    Q-Who makes up the Township Central Comm.
    A-Republican and Democrat Precinct Commiteemen from each ward
    Q-What is their connection to the caucuses
    A-They set the rules on how the caucuses are to be run
    Q-Were all the voting members present at the first Central Comm. meetihg
    A-No-1Rep. 3 Dem.
    Q-Was there anybody else there
    A-Yes,Twp.Clerk Coombe,Twp.Road Comm.Nacke,and Seceretary Shields
    Q-Why where there
    A-We were to understand that the Clerk was to record minutes
    Q-Why was the Road Comm. and the Seceretary there
    A-
    Q-Did the state make any mandatory changes in the law regaurding the running of caucuses
    A-No, The township first stated there were,but later recanted saying there were none
    Q-Did the republican and Democrat Caucuses run the same way
    A-No -The Republican caucus required specific paperwork outlined by the Central Comm.The Democrats waived the Central Comm. rules and conducted their caucus as they had always run it in the past
    Q-Were any other caucuses in the county run the same as the Republican caucus in Arcola Twp.
    A-No
    Q-Did any other Township’s in the county require the same forms to be filed before the caucus as the Republican caucus did in Arcola
    A-No
    Q-Did any caucus,Republican or Democrat in the state of Il.require the same forms as the Republican caucus did in Arcola
    A-No
    Q-Was T.O.I. {Township Officals of Il.} aware of any state mandated forms needed to be filed with the Twp. Clerk to particapate in a state caucus
    A-No
    Q-Did T.O.I. know where the forms could be obtained from other than Arcola Twp.
    A-No
    Q-Was the Township office,phones,or persons employed by the Township involved in soliciting votes from the Township Office
    A-Yes a signed deposition has been filed

  9. mbg since the caucus many of us who got fooled have spent some time educating ourselves,so as not to be snowed again.Clerk Coombe votes in a tie.Mark Nacke Rd. Comm.has a vote for the Road District.Now for Supervisor Clark he is the chairman of the board and yes,he has a vote.As chairman one would think Supervisor Clark would take a stand,show some leadership,and rethink the use of our tax dollars.But no that’s not going to happen it’s aready been mentioned about his lack of influence with the board.Besides mbg,what makes you think the Trustees have a say,Supervisor Clark has already stated Rd.Comm. Nacke issued them out of the Road Fund.And I doubt the secretary is going to be reprimanded by anybody including the board.You just don’t cross the Queen.

  10. I did not realize that when I simply invited folks to contact me to discuss the issues that instead of doing that I would get slaughtered here in this comment section, but the invitation still stands and I have gotten only one email. With that said I am a big boy and I can take it. I’ll address the two issues I think that were raised about me. 1) I am a college STUDENT at the U of I which allows me to claim 264 Circle Drive, Arcola IL as my permanent residence which means I can serve on the board. That is the legal side but on a more personal note, I am here every week, I am deacon at Arcola First Christian and this still is my town and I would hope ya’ll wouldn’t question my commitment to this community. I am sure there are some who won’t like this and that is fine but it certainly is not illegal. 2) The board does indeed vote to approve things but they do not vote as one. Each individual trustee gets a vote and I did not vote for the raise. 3) As for all the personal stuff – from being accused of being a political hack, to being mocked for my age, to being unqualified to answer questions, to being spoonfed answers and controlled by my “handlers”, to being in over my head, or just plain silly – it is so beyond the pale and insulting I don’t even know how to respond. All I can say is that if you ever have had a real conversation with me or knew me personally you wouldn’t be saying those ridiculous things. I am sorry it has come to that. With that said I still would like people to get a hold of me if you have a desire to talk about the real issues and not these distractions. Thanks folks!

  11. No excuse for his arrogance. I for one am glad I didn’t vote for him. And JOEY, we don’t care why you edited your email address.

  12. Again, we here how this never stops at the township. Bill Coombe ,Corky Clark, and Mark Nacke do you not have any respect for your position at the Township. You were all raised in Arcola yet you have no regard for the hard working taxpayers of Arcola. Are all of us much below you? Why do you think you have the right to give a part time secretary a $4600.00 raise after it was discovered she has been buying gas since 1998 with taxpayers money. She was already well paid. Your reasoning was that you have taken care of that problem now by doing this. Well that is just another example of how you three are handling this whole mess. Maybe we should all feel sorry for you for not having the intelligence to think you really need fix these problems. I hope you all can be very proud of all of your decisions. It looks as though you have run out of things you can blame other people for. you are going to have to stand up and be big boys and take control of your employee. If you are capable of this I am sure you will get very positive response. If not then We All hope you get what is coming to all three of you.

  13. Well Lola that explains things.In my earlier post I talked about his youth and good intentions,but it seems he is in over his head.It’s clear to me the powers that be at the Twp.knew of his residency back then and plans for the future.Joe’s internship in Springfield explains HIS posts.Now the taxpayers of Arcola can understand what I meant by his actions,coaches,and handlers.Joe apparently has run with these career polititions long enough,that he feels above it all,and knows better than the lowly voter.Lola you are right,this young man is going to be caught up in a investagation,it will prove to be a valuable lesson.Maybe painfull but valuable none the less.

  14. Joey’s residency as I understand it is that he lives and goes to college in Champaign. He lived with his sister in Springfield this summer while he interned for a politician over there.

    That being said, I believe that he really doesn’t meet the residency requirements to be on the township board.

    Now, if he can come up with some undisputible evidence that this isn’t correct, then I believe that there is about to be yet another investigation.

  15. I believe Mr Coombe must have taken the following oath. “I do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States,and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and that I will faithfully discharge the dutiesof the office of Arcola Township Clerk to the best of my ability.” [60 ILCS 1/55-10] If he has faithfully discharged his duties to the best of his ability the Township is in some deep trouble. I dont think highly of his ability.

  16. jmkraft isn’t there a requirement that a person live so many days in the district in which they vote.I beging to think that Joe only comes back to attend meetings.I guess it really dosen’t matter anyway,no more information the public gets from the Twp. about what goes on at their meetings,they might as well be held on the moon.

  17. JOEY instead of posting things about the City on your Facebook page, I’m pretty sure they have an unlocked door and would welcome you there anytime to discuss your concerns. Oh, that’s right, you would have to drive to Arcola to do that.

  18. Lola whats the story on “residency”?People on here have been posting about Red Flags,is this another one?Joey Boy are you better at the political game than people thought?

  19. Joe is well on his way to getting the political way down pat.He enters into a discussion with a I know better than you attitude,gets called on it then runs and hides.The reason Joe won’t meet face to face is the lack of ability to think on his feet.As someone noted eariler Joe is still young and inexperienced.It’s obvious Joe is being mentored by someone who is in or has been in politics.All you have to do is read what he has posted and it mirrors what we see each night on the news.He wants the questions on his terms,that gives him time to check with his handlers.Joe,like it or not you smack dab in the middle of this,and respondsible for defending the lawsuit against the Township.Everybody knows the board is aware of the”oversights”,and yet the only change the board has made is replace the gas cards with a $4600 raise.Joe give this some thought,Broom Corn is next week,why don’t you rent a spot on main street and explain to your constituency the reason the Il. Att. Gen. has been contacted.Also bring us up to date on the lawsuit at the courthouse,I’m sure you will draw a crowd.

  20. It is not just the 3 state vacation we should be furious about. It Is all the gas WE have paid for since 1998. $50,000 plus salary, some benefits, $11,000 plus from FD, free gas, free phone AND SHE IS A PART-TIME SECRETARY!!!! The Supervisor and Trustees need to have a Mutiny on the Township Office and take control. Oh yeah, they will have to be buzzed in first.

  21. Joe as you call yourself now since you are in the big boy and girl arena. Just because someone doesn’t use his or her real name is no reason not to listen. As Terry Foran said, people are shy about using their real name for fear of revenge from certain people. Also it doesn’t mean their comments don’t have merit. I suggest you read all posts on this site so that you may just learn something. Word is, you put things out on facebook about the City and then ask your friends to private message you with questions. Why not discuss this out in the open? This seems to be your plan of attack as you have done the same on here. Put yourself out there and then hide publicly. I don’t think you really know much about anything just yet. That may be harsh but the truth. I feel the reason you want to communicate via email is because its convenient, you can research, you don’t want to talk on the phone and you don’t have time to drive to Arcola every time someone has a question. PC said it best (arrogant). But lets be fair to Joey about the issue at hand. The Clerk is not complying to FOIA’s

  22. Joe you have opened a Pandora’s Box and found that you can’t get the lid back on.A.n A.is right,you are now responsible for the running ,or should I say fixing the Twp.Your actions or inactions while serving on the board will follow you from here on.Are you planning a life of political service?If so this I promise will follow you the rest of you career,that’s just the way it is under political prism.First of all look at your last post from the perspective of a taxpayer,it comes across as being profoundly arrogant.I know you are young and full of good intentions,but this is not high school or even Parkland college for that matter.This is the real world,and in the real world actions have consequences.The board you serve on has several issues at hand that must be dealt with.Whom ever is coaching you,or giving you advise is doing you a disservice.In refusing to fully answer FOIA’s received,the Twp.has sent up several Red Flags.After the lawsuit is heard,and from reading jmkraft posts and researching their work,I believe he will be successfull.And no doubt there will be more FOIA’s sent.I don’t think telling the Il. Att. Gen.you couldn’t drive 10 years ago will satisfy their investagators.And yes,because of the Twp.s unwillingness to comply with the law,there will be investagators.I’m sure they will be wanting to know why a board knowing there was a lack of 1099’s filed with the I.R.S., did not clean it’s own house.You see Joe those Red Flags will cause them to look for more “oversights”.Joe,you are young and maybe a little misinformed,none the less,this appears to be your first test politically.How you preform will be watched by all of us and those in the future.

  23. Joey, do you really think that you are qualified to attempt to answer the public’s questions? You have only been spoonfed what Deana and Mark want you to know.
    During Joey’s campaign he said that he would get something done about the CITY streets. Silly Joey, that is the city’s job not the townships. And if they told you different, that’s a problem! Your lack of experience is showing.
    Here is something else that I don’t think that some people know, he doesn’t live in the township of Arcola either. He uses his parents address to maintain “residency”, but he LIVES somewhere else. That being said, how can he even be on the township board?

  24. JOEY, when you ran for Trustee you took on the willingness to allow “your Township Citizens” to contact you and rant, ramble or yell. That goes with the job. Deal with it.

  25. Wrong answer Joe Hackler.You ran for and were elected to an adult position,as a trustee for the Arcola Township.The Twp. has major issues that need to be resolved and we need people to man up and take charge in order to fix the problems.Your post below is normal double talk used in the political arena.You say you don’t have time to sit for 1 hr. and carry on a conversation,yet you will attend a Twp.meeting for 3 hrs.and not offer any information on what was discussed.You refuse to talk to someone on the phone because you fear they will yell and ramble on about things that happened 5,6,or 10 year’s ago.Joe,you are a trustee,those are your things now!Ricardo Galvan in his letter to the editor in supporting you stated “he once interrupted a card game we were having in order to explain to our friends what TIF was and how it worked,”Well,that’s very revealing,you have time to explain a subject to your friends but not to the taxpayers.

  26. This is my absolute last comment. I was told someone mentioned my name so I came to check it out. I have not read and do not plan to read the rest of the comments as 95% of them, as it looks, are accompanied by an anonymous name which is why I don’t consider this a public forum. My name is public and a couple others as well but the rest of you are not. If anyone would like to ask me questions I would be happy to have a discussion. My email is jnjhackler AT gmail.com (edited the email address to keep spammers a bay). I prefer email because 1) I generally do not have time to sit down and have an hour long conversation uninterrupted and 2) I think it will best serve a discussion in this case where some obviously feel very passionately. I will not have someone yell and ramble at me on the phone about things that happened 5, 6, or 10 years ago when at the time I wasn’t even able to drive. I feel typing out what you want to say at least tempers the emotions and I want a good convo, not a rant. I hope ya’ll can respect that! Contact me with your name and I’ll be happy to chat. Thanks guys.

  27. Spot on J.W.!This whole mess got way out of hand because certain people refused to be questioned,and felt they answered to no one.They are above reproach.If you want to talk about transparency, the city has a report of every meeting in the local paper,and if you dare ask what happened at aTownship meeting,you are looked upon with scorn.Why does’nt the Township invite the paper to it’s meetings?What has been discussed at the last few meetings since these very serious allagations have been brought to the public?Joe, why do you feel that you must email Terry,what’s the matter with a public forum such as here,because I asure you a great many people are follwing this web site.I encourage you to call Terry,he asked Steve for a open mind,I would hope you are opened mined as well.J.W.is right this town heal and move foward.

  28. Joe Hackler this is JW Dagott lets talk right here. Can you publicly answer a few of the questions listed below from the post Of questions. I know you are new at this but surely you agree that the public is entitled to there own information, unless it is a question about employees of which as far as we know, there is only two that work for the township. And I do hope you agree that the taxpayers have a right to know how you are spending our money. So if you think there is some sensitive questions that you cannot answer please list those out and site the law where they cannot be answered publicly. And then answer the rest truthfully and then I would assume we could start having some good dialog . If you would like to team up with your new trustee Butch Mast and the both of you find the answers that would be great. Look forward to hearing from you guys and then we might start to put this town back together again and moving forward with positive momentum.

  29. Joe I can’t speak for fed up and I don’t do email,but I’d be glad to talk to you.Give me a call and we can get together.Thanks Terry

  30. The long weekend is here and Harleys will be out and about everywhere.Has the Arcola Twp. Board oked any travel vouchers for the seceretary.Travel plans may inclued a taxpayer trip through the south on a route already well know by the Twp. seceretary.You see when your on the road it’s always nice to see a familiar face,that way a person feel’s better knowing where the money is going,even if it’s not your’s. Enjoy the weekend Arcola Twp. Taxpayers you probably payed for it.

  31. Jack,George,and Eagle;your silence is deafening.It’s becoming very clear just who you guys are.With all the material posted by jmkraft and the Dogs new found fame,it’s no wonder you guys are nervous.The Fox artical said they worked on that project for over 8 months,their just getting started on you boys.And with the IL.Att.Gen.all ready involved,may the Chicago Tribune will pay a visit to Downstate Dixon, Arcola Township.Gosh, who would have thought after you guys ramroded thru the election,you would have come up against a wall like this.Have a great weekend and rest up Arcola Twp. the Dogs may become a little frisky.

  32. So you guys up at the Twp.still think this will just fade away?You might want to check the Fox News post,heck the way the Twp.office is ducking FOIA’s,and refusing information they just might make Fox News!Great Job ECWD,we deserve answers.

  33. Below are questions asked that have not been answered,and by that I mean actual facts,names,nunbers and locations.Not just because Someone thinks it’s so.
    Q-Eagle,why is Twp. trying so hard to keep info. from public?
    A-
    Q-Who are they trying to protect

    Q-Why is the Twp. trying so hard to keep info.from goihg public
    A-
    Q-Who are they trying to protect
    A-
    Q- How can sec. Manipulate 4 grown men?
    A-
    Q-What does Fire Board Know?
    A-
    Q-Jack says people are”spreadin misinformation&hate”where’s the proof?
    A-
    Q-Twp. Citizen to Jack-1.Denied FOIA’s2.overpaid sec.3.Rd. Comm.-favors4.document’s destroyed5.gas card’s6.taxing for Comfort St. lack of use
    A-Misinformation
    Q-Why did’nt sec. issue herself 1099’s
    A-Board reconized “oversight and gave $4600 raise
    Q-How were purchases posted for review
    A-
    Q-Where are the receipts{no marathon in 1998}
    A-Show charges in different places
    Q-Why does the Twp.need the attorney
    A-
    Q-Who pays a part time sec.the same money in a comparble Twp. of this size
    A-
    Q-Is I.R.S. going to be notified
    A-
    Q-Is sec. to pay back taxes
    A-
    Q-Does sec. smoke in Twp. office
    A-
    Q-Does sec. do Fire Board books on Twp. time
    A-
    Q-Why does’nt Clerk Coombe{FOIA off.} attend trial date with Supervisor Clark
    A-
    Q-Is Board legally bound to contact I.R.S.about 1099’s
    A-
    Q-Twp. got audited for year’s and did’nt find 1099’s.Why no full independent audit
    A-
    Q-What about cemetary audit
    A-
    Q-Is Steve H.going to meet with Terry F.
    A-
    Q-Can elected or appointed people do there job’s without someone else
    A-

  34. Why should anybody bother to vote in Arcola Township anymore?This has turned into a dictatorship,answerable to no one.Foia’s are sumitted and information given is incomplete or not given at all.The Township has said they have never been question before,and now when they are, feel compeled to answer through their attorney.One would think with a FOIA officer in place,it would be much quicker and cleaner for that member to simply return the information.It’s been asked why the Supervisor does not call for an audit or investagation,it’s because he has no power or influence over the board.He is chairman of the board in name only.New boardmembers recently elected I assume ran for their positions freely.One stated before the election,”after being elected I will hit the ground running”.I now wonder just how hard he hit,because after reading jmkraft above it appears he may have hit hard enough to knock him unconscious.Nothing has changed,if anything it’s gotten worse now that the IL.Attorney General is involved.Even to a lay person with little knowledge of everything involved,it is obvious there is a problem,yet nobody moves to correct it.Sadly the entire Township is being drug through the mud by the actions of a few,some hired some elected.Why?From the looks of it,to save their own hides and keep their tracks covered.After all,they’ve “never been questioned before”.

  35. Mike our board is no better than the Twp. board.She tried to control a past Fire Chief and could’nt get the job done.This plac that’s going to be hung on the new Fire Station is a joke.How many fireman are on it?The fire chief who started the process is not on it because she could’nt control him.But oh yes,she’s on it because if it were’nt for her there would’nt be a fire district.And just to refresh your memory,she was hired by Bob Coombe when he was a trustee on the fire board.Name sound familiar,I guess he could’nt do his job without her either.

  36. With all the comments made,accuations leveled,and requests for information denied,I’am asking why no complete internal investigation.I’m not talking about one with the people in charge now,their creditabilty is very low at the present time.To Richey Rich,Joey and Butch have had plenty of time to fix this,and so far as we can see they have sat silent.This could be just a grain of sand on the beach,question is how big is the beach?

    • Fed Up – You mentioned my name so I just wanted to let you know you can email me anytime with your name and I would be happy to talk.

  37. I seriously don’t think they are hiding anything. They have the mind set that all the abuses are deserved. Her importance entitles her to a paid cell phone, and from what I have heard, all her gas paid for. They do not have receipts so don’t feel they have to provide them for FOIA. And Mike, the $11,000 plus the FD is paying her already shows this behavior has carried over to FD.

  38. Supervisor Clark,I believe you are susposed to be chairman of the board,and yet it looks as if you have no control.This lawsuit has tarnished the good name of Arcola and it’s citizens while you sit silent.For the good of the Township step up and take control.Richey Rich is dead on,this is pathetic!

  39. I don’t think they feel they are hiding anything. I think they feel all of these abuses have been deserved. Her importance entitles her to a paid cell phone and ,from what I hear, all of her gas paid for. They don’t have receipts, so don’t feel they need to provide them for FOIA. Whether found guilty by AG or civil suit, they need to make a LOT of changes in their office, but I don’t get the impression that yt? st think they have done anything wrong. Oh and Mike, this behavior is already in the Fire department. Remember you are paying her $11,000 to do your books. How much schoolwork can the FD possibly have to do?

  40. We sure hope this behavior is not carried over to our fire department. The same two are running it also. Come on you guys on the board step up and see whats happening.

  41. If all of these people are hiding things as it appears they should all step down and apologize to the people of Arcola. We know all of these people and this is a disgrace to Arcola. Have they been in that position so long as to think the township is theirs and not the taxpayers. Ok everybody it is time to step up and put a stop to this. All of their phone #’s are on the window up at OUR office,give them a call and let them know what you think about this. See if they could look you in the eye and tell you this is the only way they can do what they are doing. If they can please re-read the first few lines above. I hope they don’t think they are going to get away with all of this deceit. Arcola does not need this negativity that the township is sponsoring any more. We need to be back to the proud community we used to be before all of these control issues arose out of the township.

  42. Seems clear to me that credit card “reciepts” were requested through the FOIA. Why cant the Township Clerk do his job? I don’t blame anyone but him. It is his duty to provide those documents. This is pathetic. He should step down. Give Joey and Butch a little time. They just got there and are the new kids on the block. Well, just one kid.

  43. Eagle and his cronies have sure been quiet lately. Is it because at their township meeting on Monday, they were told that they were talking too much and giving out too much information?
    What is ultimately the saddest part of all of this is the fact that the town of Arcola will now have this big black eye because of a few people that don’t want to follow the law over at the township. Why they just couldn’t submit the receipts like the FOIA requested is beyond me. It seems that Deana, Mark, and anyone else over there have all had their hands in the cookie jar for far too long and finally someone called them out on it and they are like deer in the headlights. It’s a shame that people have been fooled for so long by these people. I hope that they all get what is coming to them!

  44. Pictured above Bill Coombe , Corky Clark , Dale Knowles how long are you three going to let this go on. After reading the above are you three buying in to this really. There surely is a way you guys can come clean. And Joey Hackler and Butch Mast is this what you had in mind when you were talked into running for your position. We assume since you guys are just new, you do not want to get in much deeper

  45. Good post JW,but from where I stand I’ll bet this is not the end of the rainbow,but turns into a tsuami.ECWD it would appear have just scratched the surface.She’s liable to leave a path of destruction a Township wide.jmkraft it would seem is more than up to the task of sorting out all these cover up’s and stalling tactics regaurdless of who the Twp. hires next.Remember that desk we talked about earlier,Dee Wayne don’t you think if the 4 of them went together,they could get that box back?

  46. I do have a little legal background, I have had to deal with liars, cheats and thieves in my career. I have hired an attorney or two and they do know how to syphon money from there clients. They will defend there client whether right or wrong as long as they get paid. I think they are programed like that. Enough bashing attorneys. If the township is spending taxpayers money for personal use then that is stealing. If the board is hiring an attorney to try and cover this up, then that is lying and if they were letting this happen knowingly then they were cheating the taxpayers. Common thieves usually are liars and cheats. I hope not all of the board condones this behavior. I do hope they all get to read this post then they will be able to form there own opinions. I am confident that this is not the end of the rainbow just the beginning

  47. Are you kidding me. Have any of you taxpayers woke up yet? I noticed one glaring bit of information in the above there is a Foia officer Bill Coomb Supervisor Corky Clark Road Commissioner Mark Nacke Lawyer Mark Petty yet the response back to Mr. Kraft was ( she ) said . I remember back to a post about a box in her office filled with something. I have some advice for you 4 guys if she offers you Koolaid or Crown don’t drink it.

  48. Mr. Kraft; I would like to thank you from the taxpayers of Arcola for caring about how a taxing body is spending our hard earned tax dollars. I see from the above statements from both parties that really all you have ever wanted was honesty, not lawyer double talk.
    So why Bill Coombe are you doing what you do with our information. And both you and Corky Clark you may run your business this way but I am a tax payer and I don’t want my business run that way. I am pretty sure all of those people that voted you to that position is surely questioning themselves now. If not then I wonder about Why. Gas cards, High Wages, Oral permission for vacation with no record, Vacation trip, hiring lawyers to cover tracks with double talk. Mr. Kraft you have just asked for a very short period of receipts( 3 months maybe) and as we have been made aware of by Corky Clark this practice has been going on since 1998. We as taxpayers would like to see a lot more Please. You should make yourself for hire

  49. Misinformation,really Jack! Now I see why you George and Eagle have been so quite.jmkraft is way ahead of you guys,and you have’nt learned your lesson yet.I see where the Seceretary is mentioned above,when are you guys going to learn?

  50. This is a great example of the saying”taking a knife to a gun fight”.Arcola Township,you are fixen to get your butt hauled to the wood shed.Mr. Kraft not only presents a very articulate case to back himself up, but makes you and yours good rather silly.

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