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May 25, 2024

Paris Beacon Missing in Action

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On December 15, 2011

Numerous issues were raised in the November County Board meeting and after reading the reporting from the Paris Beacon its interesting what was reported, versus what actually took place. 

So there is no confusion, you can watch the video and see for yourself.  That offers the people a real representation of all the facts and all the events that took place, not a snippet of information with less than complete information.

 (33:40 – 38:23)

Sadly, the Paris Beacon stated the following pertaining to the county board and administration fees from the 911 fund.

 “Although the board could not specifically give an answer, they said taking money out of the 911 fund for an administration fee was not illegal.”

 Could not specifically give an answer?  If that is true then what is the answer the Beacon provided?  They reported a statement claiming they said taking money out of the 911 fund for an administration fee was not illegal.  How is that not a specific answer?

What’s so amazing is the fact that there was no reporting on the claimed position of our past States Attorney by the County Board Chairman, Jim Keller.

Mr. Keller claimed that the former States Attorney, Mat Sullivan confirmed there is nothing in the statute that allows you to do it!   Then, he claims he also stated there is nothing on the state statute that disallows it.

Do they hear themselves?  They agree that the law does not say they can do it, and then take the position nothing in the law says we can’t?  How does a newspaper reporter miss that statement?  It’s like trying to tell the cop that pulled you over for doing 55 in a 35 that the law doesn’t say you “cant” do 55.   YES IT DOES!  It’s a limit in speed!  Trying to take the position it doesn’t say you can’t do 55 just doesn’t makes any sense and defies not only logic but the very foundation of our justice system.

 The law is a limit of power.  Local governments are regulated by provisions of Article VII, Sec. 8 of the Illinois Constitution which states in part, these governments

 shall have “only” powers granted by law.

So if they only have powers granted by law, and they agreed that the power is “not” in the statute then you don’t have the power to do it, PERIOD

In the late 1800s, John F. Dillon, a Supreme Court Justice in Iowa, developed this legal principle, which is known as Dillon’s Rule. In plain language it means that if there is no statute allowing government to perform a function or service,  

the government or official may not carry out that function regardless of how much it’s needed or wanted. If the statutes are silent (do not mention) regarding a particular power or function, it does not exist. If the power doesn’t exist, the government (or official) may not perform the service.

For the County Board Chairman to take such a stance in clear opposition of both the intent and spirit of the law should scare the hell out of people. 

As if that stance was not shocking enough, how about his other response?

 “I was told there was other counties that are doing it”

 How on earth does a newspaper reporter miss those kinds of comments?

Can you imagine a Governor of another state saying, well Governor Blagojevich in Illinois is doing it as a justification to violate the statute, which by the way Mr. Keller acknowledged DOES NOT let them do what they are doing?  Mr. Keller’s justification flies in the face of common sense.  You people elected him and fortunately for this county he is not going to run again! 

Maybe we should now think about the reporting, or lack of, in our papers we read.

Says Who, and With What Proof?

It’s time for the citizens of this community to demand accountability both from their elected officials but also from the business’s they spend their money with.


Stay Tuned for reporting on everything missing from the paper in the December County Board meeting! 


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