EDGAR CO. (ECWd) -
Monday morning, during a county board study session, Kevin Trogdon was asked by the chairman to resign from the East Central Illinois Mass Transit District Trustee position. The reason for the request was because that position is statutorily incompatable with the county board position.
He did resign in his own unique way, by stating he would not write a paper resignation and the chairman could use "this" (fortified with a vulgar hand jesture for which one finger is customarily used) as his resignation.
It looks like someone finally read the statutes governing the board and concluded that one would have to be a complete idiot not to understand the one sentence we have pointed out for the past 3 months or so.
Almost thirteen weeks ago we informed the Edgar County Board that two of their appointed East Central Illinois Mass Transit District (ECIMTD) Trustees were statutorily disqualified from serving as trustees of the Mass Transit District. We came across the issue while reading the statute governing the district.
Craig Smith (Mayor of Paris) and Jerry Lowery (Clark County Board) are the remaining two illegally appointed Trustees of the East Central Illinois Mass Transit District.
"No Trustee may be an Elected Official..."
The statute was easy to read and comprehend, as are most statutes. There is no reason to believe one need be an attorney to interpret it the way the legislature intended...wait, one of them, Craig Smith, is an attorney who obviously read neither the statute nor the by-laws of the board.
It's one simple sentence: "No Trustee of any District may be an elected official of the municipality or municipalities or county or counties creating the district." Looks pretty straight forward to me, and I would think anyone with a 3rd grade education could understand it. If that's not enough to cause their immediate termination, the ECIMTD's own by-laws include the same language, as does the statute governing Counties - but it includes many more restrictions other than just a transit district restriction.
Be that as it may, we informed the County Board, during at least 2 meetings, in writing, with a copy of the statute as well as verbally at least 3 different times during public meetings and it still took this long to act. Only after writing the State's Attorney did any action take place, and that still took well over a month.
I also sent a letter to the Clark County State's Attorney and the Clark County Board informing them they had a county board member illegally appointed as trustee to the district. Clark County took some action, but we are still unclear as to what that action was/is.
Our previous articles on this subject: