EDGAR CO. (ECWd) -
It appears the deception continues regardless of fair warning. The Edgar County Board held a special meeting last week for the sole purpose of expediting the dissolution of our Mass Transit District and then annexing it into another Mass Transit District from Southern Illinois.
By all indications, one of the key reasons for getting rid of it was because the current Board for the ECIMTD were tired of dealing with the plague of problems. Anyone who has ever managed a successful operation knows that the key to that success is leadership. Sadly, that was clearly lacking at both the Mass Transit Board as well as the County Board.
I say that because had there been proper leadership at the Transit Board, the improper spending would have been caught as soon as it happened. Leaders read and demand accountability. They failed!
With such clear failure visible to everyone, the County Board could have stepped up and fixed things. For starters, replaced the board that they appointed. It's what leaders do when people fail so horribly. Start fresh!
Instead of fixing the problem though, Mr. Patrick literally pushed for dissolving this operation from any County Control. This, just like Obama Care, was pushed through with little to no public input and by all indications not a shred of evaluating the words of those taking it over for accuracy.
Yes, the service will be available to those in the area, however, where do people go now when they have a problem with this service? Assuming this public body follows the law as it relates to board meetings, did they let people know the headquarters are in Harrisburg, Illinois, 160 miles south? Quite the trip to address a problem!
Yet another example of why LOCAL CONTROL is so important!
Of particular importance as it relates to deception are the comments at the 6:10 mark in the video. It's implied that the employees are protected by statute as it relates to keeping their jobs. Yes, there is a statute that offers those employees protection however there is NO PROTECTION when the District is DISSOLVED! When it's dissolved, it NO LONGER EXISTS! How can a statute protect something that doesn't exist?
Yes, by all indications they are going to keep those employed here, and I hope for their sake that bares out, but to claim the statute protects them is not the case. Mr. Bruner did ask if there was going to be a guarantee in writing on this matter and the response was ellusive at best. The new district bragged about keeping jobs local, yet by all indications the person who is going to be managing this district is not local! Did he mislead us? NO, not at all! The job is still local! He said nothing about keeping the local jobs filled with local people, nor did anyone ask that key question!
With a dissolution voted on one must again ask, has ANYONE read the statute and if you did, what part of the law don't you understand? In order to terminate the existence and services it requires a resolution from both participating counties that created it. In this case it would be Clark and Edgar County.
So before they can annex into a new district, both counties must first vote to terminate the operation. Did that happen prior to Edgar County Annexing into the new district? Did a single person ask to see a copy of proof that Clark County followed the statute? No, they did not. Neither their minutes nor their resolution reflects any vote taken to terminate the district.
They did include what is suppose to happen to the assets of the district "upon" dissolution however the resolution makes no reference to actually dissolving the operation, which is a requirement prior to annexing into the new district.
Language in that resolution makes it clear that they annexed into the new district and also gave them authority to apply for any and all Grants and Operating Assistance. If there was a dissolution, then they no longer have ANY authority to grant squat to another district.
In order to keep things simple, it requires both founding counties to terminate the district before either county can annex into a new district. Clark county has not followed the statute, and because of that Edgar County could not legally annex into the new district either!
They key statute relating to this matter is here. Specifically,
Sec 3.01 and Sec. 9.
What has yet to be discussed publicly is what happens to the property purchased by Kami Miller that has NOTHING to do with Mass Transit, or the Property that got sold in direct violation of the statute because it didn't go out for bid? Yes, the Edgar County Mass Transit board sold property it had purchased several years ago, and word has it that it was sold back to PEDCO. How convenient for Bob Colvin! To date there has not been a title transfer entered at the Court House. We will keep you updated when that happens.
We will also be keeping a close eye to see what is done with the close to $1 Million Dollars that was supposed to be used to build a new facility and parking area for the District. Any bets on who gets their hands on that money?
I believe that this entire mess will again prove to be a real problem down the road when more facts come out and more questions get answered. Questions that should have been asked, and if answered, some type of confirmation that the answer was true!