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June 22, 2024

Edgar County Board Meeting Comments – April 2012

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On April 14, 2012


The Edgar County Board held a meeting on April 11, 2012 at 9:00 A.M. in the Edgar County Courthouse.

If a person relied on the trusty Paris Beacon News for information pertaining to the Public business of the county, they would be completely misinformed. It has come to the point that we are starting to believe the board members are dictating to the paper which items to include in their reporting of the meeting. I’m wondering when the local paper will step up and do their duty, unless it’s all about the money.

Anyway, enough of the ramblings – the Edgar County Watchdogs, as you should know by now, have this meeting on video – unedited – the good and the bad – as we always do, and with the audio loud enough to hear every word said. This is in an effort to keep you informed of everything our public servants, the county board members, are doing “on our behalf.”

You can watch the video that has already been posted while you read this if you like and I will only discuss some of the items that were not covered by the other news outlet in town.

1:28 in the video – the Edgar County Farm Bureau requested permission to use the north side of the courthouse this summer for the annual Farmer’s Market. Item was clearly on the agenda, motion made, seconded and approved. I urge you to support your local growers this summer and purchase some of your food item there.

4:30 in the video – I talked about the following issues: Edgar County leased property that is taxable and the fact that the county is paying the property taxes on the property instead of the leaseholders. I talked about the discovery I made with the City property (Transfer Station) that has been listed as tax exempt when in fact it was leased – again no property taxes paid to the county as there should be. I talked about the fact the City of Paris has been submitting false certificates of tax exempt status to the county assessor. The signature at the bottom verifies the information provided is true – in this case it turned out to be false. Finally, I talked about the lack of FOIA and OMA office in the farm/airport committee and Mr. Trogden’s, as a member of that board, refusal to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request.

7:24 in the video – Kirk Allen talked about consent of the board required for all actions taken – basic board procedures. He talked about $12,700 dollars worth of county equipment given to Mr. Dee Burgin, prior to him selling the ambulance service, without board knowledge or approval. He asked why Jim Keller, the board chairman directed the assessor to “charge Kansas as much as you can” in relation to assessment costs. This approach ended up saving Vermillion Township, and costing the county, money this year! He talked about the fact that Keller complained about Mr. Wright’s payment from Kansas multi-township. Finally, he asked the county board, again, to collect on the valid contract where Dee Burgin still has not paid the $100,000 purchase price for the Ambulance Service, even though he has since sold it to the current owner.

32:16 in the video – Illinois State Representative Brad Halbrook is looking for an office (not for campaign purposes)  in Edgar County, the board will research maybe renting part of the Kreckman building to him. None of the following items were on the agenda; consequently no action was allowed to be taken on those items: Pay Rates, Rate of reimbursement for Assessments, Building Lease at the Airport.

43:40 in the video – I informed the board, that according to the Open Meetings Act, the motions made earlier were too vague on the agenda, not informative enough for the average person to know what would be discussed,  and therefore action was not authorized.



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