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April 18, 2024

CERWD – “Who Is This We”?

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 22, 2012


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)
    Sec. 15. 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)
    Sec. 4.2. 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...


 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).



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  • Incredulous
    Posted at 09:17h, 23 July

    Isn’t Colvin the guy that held the property out by the Hospital at a
    stupid price cause he knew the State wanted to build more public housing
    out there? I’m sure that deal was all on the up-and-up. Wonder who
    handled the planning and engineering for that project…

    Regarding the comments @ 8:03; Good grief, I wonder if a younger,
    more firm of brain representative would comprehend the concept of
    “Protection of Sources”

    Being upset at the assertion that actions are outright illegal is
    understandable but thrashing around like that strikes me as a bit immature.

    Come to think of it, why does it seem that all the representatives
    in public offices always over 50 years old? Check out the Edgar Co
    Board mug shots if you need proof…

    I’m not saying i’d trust a 20 year old with the job but maybe it’s time
    for the ‘old guard’ to bow out before their ‘this is the way we’ve always
    done it’ attitude exposes them to more potential litigation.

    I heard similar issues from the Coles Co rural water program. People paid
    but told they wouldn’t get service. Finally, the complete misappropriation
    of funds bankrupting the program.

    Keep up the diggin fellas (how many shovels can you guys swing at
    the same time?)

    • johnny
      Posted at 17:28h, 21 August

      Is it a coincidence that bob’s son christian is also an engineer?
      My understanding is that he has done work for francis and associates.
      Man, how is it bob can advise the city then bil the city. Then,
      attempt to convince the city to use his son at edward jones and his
      son can bill the city too? man, wake up people. How can the same
      people/families/circles of influence continue to profit from the
      general public?

  • jmkraft
    Posted at 11:07h, 23 July

    We can handle a lot more shovels than we are using now.

  • concerned citizen
    Posted at 11:16h, 23 July

    It seems the watchdogs are aware of wrongs going on…why dont
    any of them run for office so the wrongs can be fixed instead
    of just brought to our attention?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 11:39h, 24 July

      Are you aware that watchdogs perform a vital community service by keeping
      people informed of how THEIR government is operating and how PUBLIC
      money is being spent? It is a non-paying job, but someone has to do
      it. This is the role we have chosen to take and will continue exposing
      wrongdoing and corruption wherever it may be found.

  • Kathy Alligood
    Posted at 16:15h, 23 July

    This household does not want CERWD to provide us with
    water. In hopes our village will keep looking .

  • Rory Steidl
    Posted at 18:09h, 23 July

    Isn’t that the board that has some one who has held himself out
    as an “engineer” but is actually NOT an engineer?
    Edgar County…infiltrated by “The Network.” Funny to see
    “The Network” is slowly, but surely, being exposed AND crumbling.
    Great job WATCHDOGS! Keep nipping at their heels! Let’s see
    what else comes down the pike!

  • RetiredCopterPilot
    Posted at 00:05h, 31 August

    Be certain that the county clerk has learned the definition
    of the word ‘shall’ in the ballot referendum question.
    In the case of the Brocton Police Department ballot referendum
    question, he believes that complying with the results of a
    ballot question using the word ‘shall’ is optional.