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February 29, 2024

Arcola Atty: “Transparent Is A Ridiculous Word” & You Paid For A Vacation Trip –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 27, 2013


After review a recent FOIA request from Arcola Township, one very telling item stuck out like a sore thumb. That “sore thumb” is a written statement by Mark T. Petty, Attorney for Arcola Township, in which he said “…transparent is a ridiculous word…” when he was talking about the Freedom Of Information Act and public records. If that is truely what you believe, Mr. FOIA Atty for Arcola Twp, please resign and let someone else do that job.

Another item for this article is that I received a copy of a credit card statement that showed charges made in several other states for small amounts. This “could be” attributed to candy, food, cigarettes, lottery ticket, OR gas for a 4-state Harley Davidson trip – which is why I requested a copy of the actual receipts instead of a copy of the credit card statement. Whatever the card-holder purchased was purchased with an Arcola Township Credit Card and the taxpayers of Arcola Township paid for it. You can view the map to see where these credit card charges were made.


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  • Angela Mason
    Posted at 12:32h, 27 August

    Angela Mason liked this on Facebook.

  • High Rider
    Posted at 13:52h, 27 August

    The only thing “ridiculous”about the above information,is the fact that the Atty.for the Twp. and the Twp. itself are trying to defend these actions.It’s no wonder the Twp. refuses to give out credit card receipts,and fights so hard to keep from answering FOIA’s,it looks so incriminating.

  • SOS
    Posted at 20:56h, 27 August

    I think it is time more gas credit card bills are FOIA’d to see how much gas “we” paid for out of town.

  • ANW
    Posted at 23:36h, 31 August

    You have all of Petty’s responses in full on here – why would you redact everything except half of a sentence on this one? Out of context much? More like Edgar County SpinDoctors.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 06:54h, 01 September

      ANW: The redactions were from us in order to make it more difficult for him and others to determine where that letter came from. All of the others were sent to us by him, so there is really no secret to those…

      • ANW
        Posted at 11:42h, 01 September

        That is complete BS. You really think putting AT LEAST the full sentence is going to blow someone’s cover? Edgar County SpinDoctors. Put it in context or shut up. Don’t accuse others of incomplete disclosure and you yourself display the most obvious case of non-disclosure.

        • jmkraft
          Posted at 12:42h, 01 September

          I did disclose he was talking about FOIA and it was an actual response to a FOIA request. Sounds to me like you know him and are upset that you can’t go intimidate the person that gave us that letter.
          Think what you want, but it is in its intended context. As a matter of fact, it fits right in with the partial compliance and denials that I have received from him.

          • ANW
            Posted at 14:42h, 01 September

            You are a joke. Correct me if i am wrong but do you not file your FOIA requests as “media”? If you tried to get away with redacting everything but HALF a sentence in the news or a newspaper you would be laughed out of the business. Have you no decency?

          • jmkraft
            Posted at 14:57h, 01 September

            So now that we know you have never requested public records through the FOIA, here is a quick lesson: You DO NOT file a FOIA request as “media”; only as commercial or not commercial. I did not get that particular piece of paper thru FOIA.

            Please read the FOIA before commenting further:
            You might also want to read up on that pesky little law that says one does not have to reveal their sources.
            Still makes you mad doesn’t it…

  • mbg
    Posted at 13:29h, 01 September

    ANW get over it. Mr. Kraft does not have to disclose anything. It is not our tax dollars he is spending and he is not a public office. That is what township is suppose to be doing. I for one am glad he is bringing this all out. It was quite obvious it was not going to done locally.

  • Aware n Arcola
    Posted at 13:50h, 01 September

    jmkraft,sounds like they are starting to figure out just how tencious ECWD are.It may just be the Queen and her court are starting to worry a little bit.The attitude is very different when a person is the hunted and not the hunter.

  • omg
    Posted at 15:45h, 01 September

    ANW,you guys don’t worry about laws do you?jmkraft,wouldn’t it be fun if the “media” stopped by the Twp. and started asking questions?

  • Toasted!
    Posted at 17:09h, 01 September

    Holy cow! Looks like the Watchdogs are kicking butt and taking names………AGAIN! Arcola township on the run. I cant wait for them to be exposed for what they are!

  • Arcola Lola
    Posted at 19:37h, 01 September

    Maybe it’s time to get the local news channels involved in this…

    Anyone want to do the honors?

  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 07:10h, 02 September

    I agree Arcola Lola.A story like this would sell alot of commercial space and bring to light just what this Township been up to.

  • mbg
    Posted at 09:07h, 02 September

    Do we really want our dirty laundry aired anymore than it already is? Let the legal system handle it.

  • omg
    Posted at 13:05h, 02 September

    mbg,if it weren’t for the ECWD and some local citizens the Twp.
    would still be running unchecked,doing what ever they pleased with our tax dollars.It’s been said “sunlight is the best disinfectant”.Well now that the “dirty laundry”is out in the open,we intend to clean it up.The Twp.has run rough shod over people in the community and now when they come up against a worthy opponent such as the ECWD they become more concerned about community’s reputation and what people may think.What people need to know is this mess will get cleaned up,it’s just a matter of time,and possibly doing time.

  • mbg
    Posted at 15:57h, 02 September

    I didn’t say I didn’t want it cleaned up. I’m not sure the media is the way to go. I’m all for what ECWD is doing.

  • scorned2020
    Posted at 11:43h, 03 September

    ANW, I completely agree with your “spin-doctors” term, there is a lot of that going on locally. Mr. Foran and his team of shadow puppets seem to be fueling this wild fire. But as we recall Terry, didnt you work for this township? And while working as a PART TIME employee, didn’t you receive benefits to that of a full time employee? And Mr. Foran is it not true while on taxpayer time you worked on your planter at this township shed? As well as your pulling tractor, to which there is photo evidence of this white international tractor at this shed. Lets not forget about the Kubota tractor that too was being serviced on township payer time.
    Furthermore, Mr. Foran, can you please explain to us where the lift basket you as well as Rex Willison use was constructed? Perhaps on taxpayer time? Maybe at the township shed also?
    Mr. Foran, seems a couple years back you installed culverts near Humboldt, and can you tell us please where you got the materials for this project? As well as what piece of equipment you used to install them with? It wasn’t a John Deere backhoe belonging to the Arcola towhship was it? yes….. yes it was. See there are a few skeletons hiding in your closet.
    Terry Foran can be reached at 217-254-xxxx, feel free to contact him.

  • scorned2020
    Posted at 19:48h, 03 September

    editing issues here…….xxxx (ADMIN edited this out. Please do not list anyone’s phone numbers on here. I have only had to edit things out twice in the past 2 years, let’s keep it that way. If they are a current public official and it is their work number it’s a different story).

  • Shadow Puppet
    Posted at 22:02h, 03 September

    Scorned, You sure know a lot about what goes on there at the Road Shed. You were either apart of it or you condoned it. I think you are a puppet yourself allowing the queen bee telling you what to do. Have you looked for that box at the door lately? It probably has a couple of items that are yours. The real root of the Townships problems come from the same person that holds that box. So you can point fingers all you want but just remember there are fingers pointing back at you. I don’t agree with it, but there has always been the good ole boys club at the Arcola Township Shed. I hope with things coming to light this will end. From what I have seen lately it has slowed down but has not completely stopped. If you are not part of the solution than you are part of the problem.

  • Terry Foran
    Posted at 09:01h, 04 September

    Yes scorned as you said I was part time.As for the full benefit package,I disagree I got part of my health ins.and some retirement,not nearly the benefit package you gave up in your previos job.But I’ll get back to that later.Now as for work done at the Twp. shed,as you say I was part time and yes Mark let me use some shop space.Yes he approved of the work being done in the shop.Now let’s talk about some of the work that was done in the shop.Over the years I’ve worked on various projects for people on the county board down to the twp. board,past and persent,elected and hired.I’m not going to get into all that and drag everybody down to your level,you made this about me,so let’s talk about me.Mark is a cattle guy not a tool guy.Since I’ve worked at the Twp.I have had a wire welder,plasma cutter,air tools,wrenches,tire tools and other equipment used at the Twp. for repair,fabrication,and maintance of Twp. equipment.All at no charge to the Twp.You stated that I built a lift basket and that is true,but your facts are incorrect.I bulit the basket for Arcola Lumber Co.,which is owned by Mick Snyder,Jermiah Snyder,and Rick Biggs.Oh and by the way the first job it was on was Mark’s barn.I own a 10′ tilt trailer that was used for years at the transport mowers from the cemetery to the shop for maintance,usually on a weekly basis.No charge to the Twp.We were building a road north of town and the roadgrader went down(broke),I took my service truck to the grader,we took it apart,got parts and put it back together.Repair took about 2 days and this just the one time,there were other times the truck was used for repairs.All at no charge to the Twp.Many of you are aware of the crush pile east of town out by the interstste.While the crusher was working one day the wind was out of the east blowing the dust across I-57.The State Police said to either stop the dust or shut the crusher down.I took a truck,trailer,and water tank to the crusher,we hooked the water tank to the water suppression system on the machine turned it on,problem solved.My equipment was at the crusher for a good part of the summer.No charge to the Twp.This is part of my contribution to the Twp.over the years of my employment,all without compensation for it.So if you want to compare what I’ve used to what I’ve donated over the years,I’m more than glad to.I think that’s enough about me,let’s talk about you.Yes I know who you are and why your knickers are in a wad over me.You’ve made some choices recently that did’nt turn out the way you thought they would,and wanted a do over,did’nt happen.Your burning bridges you may need later,so think about it.If you want to talk about this some more give me a call,you’ve got my number.

  • scorned2020
    Posted at 13:33h, 04 September

    Pretty blunt statement isn’t it? Either with us or against us mentality. Sure that works. I don’t need to speak with this “queen bee”, some of us in town are still smart enough to really see whats going on. ( hard to believe anymore) . Since Mr. administrator won’t allow for free speech, calls can be directed to Arcola City hall,. Leave a message for Alderman Foran.

  • mbg
    Posted at 18:22h, 04 September

    Scorned, just remember, Terry had a boss that was allowing things like this to go on. Oh, and that would be the Road Commissioner. He makes it common practice to do things like you described.

  • mbg
    Posted at 07:59h, 05 September

    Scorned, you made your own choices. Stop trying to blame other people. None of your post have anything to do with issues at hand.

  • Puppet
    Posted at 14:42h, 05 September

    Scorned, I was off base with my thoughts. I just had to go and ASSUME I knew who you where. You know the old saying about the word assume? I will have to apologize to you for being an a$$ if you will concede that you are one. You say you are smart. Lets see how smart you are when all of this comes crashing down. Mr Foran has nailed you.

  • Shadow Puppet
    Posted at 14:49h, 05 September

    Scorned, I was off base with my thoughts. I just had to go and ASSUME who you where. You know the old saying about the word assume? I will have to apologize to you for being an a$$ if you will concede that you are one. You claim you are smart, lets see how smart you are when this all comes crashing down. Mr Foran has nailed you. This is really about FOIA’s anyway.

  • scorned2020
    Posted at 16:49h, 05 September

    Careful with assuming Mr. Foran, as we all know what that can do. Also check your arrogance at the door. What you know and think you know arent close my elected official friend. Hard to believe anything that comes from you of your ” friends”. They are going to get what they want from you and wad you up and toss you to the curb like they do. Good luck on your scheme.

  • Big n Bowdre
    Posted at 07:57h, 06 September

    scorned,Terry must of have hit a nerve with his post.You don’t seem to have much to say about what he had to say.In Bowdre Twp. we have to pay prevailing wage or scale for some of the work done,it has to do with using dollars you see.So to help vent your bitterness try this,add up some of the work he has done and put it to scale and see what that would cost the Twp.That might look “pretty blunt”to you as well.

  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 17:23h, 06 September

    scorned,when you talk of the ones “still smart enough to really see whats going on”,are you talking about the ones that are being sued or the ones being looked at by the Il. Atty. Gen.or both?By the way,you seem to have an ax to grind with the city.Be that as it may,I agree with BnB Mr. Foran schooled you.Oh by the way did you do the homework assignment that BnB gave you?You are going to need a calculator.

  • scorned2020
    Posted at 14:25h, 11 September

    Not really sure what school you went to, but to each their own. If this was really about FOIA why wasnt it done long ago…? Because he was involved in his own way. After what we will call “Plan A” which involved overthrowing Mark failed, this so called mob decided to go after another target. This time someone maybe a little easier to attack. After this plan fails then what/ who? Gonna spin another story up about the AG, or the court being flawed?
    This little “click” has started a civil war in town and good luck washing your hand of the brand you and your families now have.

  • Shadow Puppet
    Posted at 20:56h, 11 September

    Scorned 2020, You are way off course. You seem to be the one throwing daggers on here. As someone said before you must have some axe to grind with the City. This isn’t about the City. This thread is about a hired employee taking a motorcycle trip using a Road District Credit Card. Then a FOIA request was sent to get the records of that trip. The Clerk is not releasing those records. Please tell us if you approve of this kind of action with your tax dollars???

  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 07:36h, 12 September

    Scorned you hit the nail on the head when you said to each their own.Shadow Puppet is dead on,you must condone the actions of the Twp.because I don’t see you standing up against them.Since when is a group of voters that that feel a change is needed called a mob?This “civil war”as you call it started because the Twp. refused to release taxpayer funded information requested by FOIA’s sent to the Twp.Judging from the resistance the showing there must be some proplems in that office.This “mob “as you call it has brought these proplems out into the open.Now you can try to defend your group to the bitter end,because the way the Twp. is fighting this,it appears the end will be bitter for them.

  • Watch Tower
    Posted at 19:43h, 12 September

    scorned,talk about spinning a story,how about a Twp.atty.getting a court date canceled because of a medical problem.And come to find out he’s out walking the dog and enjoying the broomcorn festival.You guy’s have said you’ve never been questioned before,yet when voters cast votes for a change they are labled”a mob”.”Plan A”,overthrowing Mark,try this on for size,if he was’nt concerned about his place in the Twp.after all the years of running as a democrat,why did he run as a independent?”Civil War”,no it”s called civil unrest,and some of us will not rest until those in charge are held accountable.Lastly,Terry Foran kicked your butt and you had no answer for him.Instead you move the direction of the conversation with misinformation and attacks on the city.Shadow is right,it’s all about the FOIA’s,and the Twp.’s refusal to answer them.Never been questioned,you’er about to be.

  • Math Wiz
    Posted at 17:39h, 15 September

    I think it’s time to layout just what is in play here.I’m no different than most in this community that have payed taxes to the state and federal govt.,and wished it was better spent by the elected officals.It’s a check we all hate to write every year,but it’s the law and this is a country of laws.That said we know the Twp. Supervisor said the seceretary has had a gas card since 1998,that’s 15 year’s.The current board found she had the cards,took them away and replaced them with a $4600.00 raise.Now I don’t know how they arrived at that amount,but there must have been discussion on the value of the cards to her and the amount agreed upon.To be fair and not over inflate the amount owed the I.R.S.lets use $3800.00 for the average yearly amount not reported.So we have 15 year’s@$3800.00/year that comes to $57,000.00 tax free compensation.No 1099’s filed.After 15 year’s of no 1099’s being filed,I’m sure there will be a fine of some sort,so let’s use a conservitive number,10% it’s bound to be higher.So now we have $57,000.00+10%=$62,700.00.In a state thats broke I’m sure they will want there money.We all know the Twp. is fighting the FOIA’s,my question is after they are investigated and the indiscretions are found out,who is going to pay the tax owed and the penalty?Would’nt it be better to come clean and own up to the violations with the I.R.S.and work out a deal.As for the FOIA’s,who knows what the board is thinking in fighting those,I can only see them getting more if they lose the lawsuit.

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 22:01h, 15 September

    Math Wiz, rumor has it she charged MUCH more on gas cards than figures you have used. I think we have a right to know just how much gas we have paid for. I’m sure we would all be shocked!

  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 07:57h, 16 September

    Just Wondering,good luck trying to find that out.The Township is’nt real big on giving out taxpayer information.It appears certian the Township won’t answer any FOIA’s completely untill the court system makes them.When that happens it’s my guess you are right,it will be shocking!

  • Porky
    Posted at 16:40h, 16 September

    Math Wiz the raise amounted to 10% which now makes her base salary over 50,000.00 which wasn’t a raise just shifting illegal gas money to wages, plus 12,000.00 tax money from fire department. plus they just took her gas card away what about the other cards she has to buy her other stuff like food, liquor , and wine. All of a sudden we have with benefits a 100,000.00 a year job for maybe 30 hours a week. How many roads can you fix since 1998 with just her wages? $1,500,000.00. One Million Five Hundred Thousand are you kidding me. Is everyone good with this?

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 16:44h, 16 September

    Didn’t I also read that we are paying for her phone? What does she have that we all are not seeing?

  • Aware n Arcola
    Posted at 12:15h, 17 September

    FOIA’s not properly answered,court dates postponed,Twp. atty.enjoying broomcorn and walking his dog,and the office on lock down.How much more does the taxpayer in Arcola Twp.have to endure?Those asking how much more is out there unaccounted for have every right to ask,it’s our money.ECWD we understand your busy and have several fires burning,just remember alot of us are in your corner and looking forward to you having your day in court.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 21:51h, 20 September

      November 14 – 10:00 a.m.

  • Big n Bowdre
    Posted at 19:25h, 17 September

    When are you guys going to learn,the Queen is keeping all her pawns where she can control them.The kitchen must be getting a little warm,Jack,George,and Eagle have gone missing.The Twp. seems is in good health,the bake sale was a bust,and your board sits on it’s hands.Where has your tax dollars gone,I’ll tell you where ever she sees fit to spend them.What does she have that you’er not seeing?From the looks of it,more than you think.

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 19:46h, 17 September

    As I understand it, the Township whines about being broke yet it’s ok to spend thousands of dollars for personal gas, a personal phone, personal favors done by Road Commissioner, pay twice as much for insurance than they should be paying, and the big one, well over $50,000 annually for a part-time secretary that no other Township of our size even has. Then there is the $300 checks drawn from several accounts payable to her at Christmas time that someone says they have copies of. They have the nerve.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 20:53h, 17 September

      And I thought I posted those checks already, well, I guess I’d better get to writing…

  • Smokn Hot n Arcola
    Posted at 08:49h, 18 September

    3 wk’s ago I asked about the plac at the fire station and got no responce.Now I see there was $300 worth of checks written to the Twp. sec.out of different accounts.Does the fire board do the same and if not,why not a plac with the firefighters on it.

  • Richey Rich
    Posted at 15:59h, 18 September

    Smokn Hot n Arcola, I don’t think you will find the answer to your plaque question on this forum. I would ask Fire Dept Board. Porky your numbers look to be way off. But there shouldn’t be any money spent on a secretary whatsoever. The board should be doing all the books. $4,600 buys a lot of gas and I am not sure one person can use that much in one year. Must have had some help with those gas cards to come up with that raise.

  • Porky
    Posted at 07:26h, 24 September

    I assume we have scheduled another court date for Nov. 14 , maybe Bill Coombe can attend that one and not cost the taxpayers any more money than they have already. I hope we do not have to pay the lawyers medical bills. After this date maybe they can keep busy thru the holiday season answering questions that everyone is asking or are they still going to have the arrogance to think they don’t have to answer to the uninformed taxpayers. I have heard they think they are much smarter than most everyone else. You all up at the township office are a piece of work. ECWD keep it up

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 09:08h, 24 September

    A lot has come out regarding how the Township is WASTING our tax money. It is quite apparent the current board is not going to make any changes. We need to keep all of this in mind come next election!! They all need to go!! Maybe then we can get her out of there.

  • Mike
    Posted at 14:25h, 24 September

    It is quite apparent this current board is still being run by the part time secretary as well as the Fire Department board. Let me list the names that could take care of this problem unless there are issues that we are not aware of such as ( I do not want to do my job) or (I don’t know How to do my job) or ( I have got something to Hide) 1.Corky Clark Supervisor. 2. Bill Coombe Clerk 3. Corky Clark President Fire Board 4. Dick Mohr Secretary fire board. And as Just Wondering stated all of the current board members are in the same position as the ones above. If you guys don’t want to be there then let someone that wants to do something about this give her a shot. We are sure the County Board that appointed the fire board could step up to the plate and help out. And as taxpayers we all know the township could find a replacement for her position in about 60 seconds with a fourth of the salary.

  • Shadow Puppet
    Posted at 17:02h, 24 September

    Mike, your comment about a replacement is true. But reality is the Township DOES NOT need a Secretary. No towhship this size has one. The board should be doing the work. This board must not be smart enough to see she has been taking them and the tax payers for a ride. They have allowed it, so I guess they have blinders on. Word is the road commissioner has been spending a lot of time at the Township office again. I assume all the road work is complete???

  • High Rider
    Posted at 20:16h, 24 September

    It sure is strange how quite it has been.Jack,George,and Eagle must have been given their marching orders.If a new court date has been set,are we in for a new medical emergency,or will they finally answer the lawsuit?Word on the street is the Fire Board has told it’s people to not post anything on this site,if true the dictatorship is alive and well!

  • Watch Tower
    Posted at 07:19h, 25 September

    Mr. Hackler,I see where an item on the agenda Monday night was a letter from the Il.Atty.General.Since the Twp. Board refuses to put the minutes of the meetings in the paper for all taxpayers to read,you could post here what was discussed concerning that letter.Or are you under the same orders that Corky Clark and Dick Mohr issued to the firemen,stay in line and do as your told.We are watching.

    • Joe Hackler
      Posted at 09:22h, 25 September

      Watch Tower – The letter from the AG was a copy of their response to the Watchdogs. Basically, they ruled in our favor but the Watchdogs can go into more details about that.

      As for the minutes – No news media is precluded from coming to the meetings to report on what we do, in fact, Watchdogs did that themselves a month or two ago which is totally fine. Since no one else comes to meetings to do that then the only way to see the minutes is to simply ask for them one month later when they are approved at the following meeting. After being approved they are public documents and nothing prevents anybody from going to take a look at them. No taxing body has their minutes in the paper accept what is reported – no reporter comes to our meetings.

      • jmkraft
        Posted at 09:47h, 25 September

        Said by Joe Hackler: “The letter from the AG was a copy of their response to the Watchdogs. Basically, they ruled in our favor but the Watchdogs can go into more details about that.”
        Why did you feel the neeed to lie making it look like the AG “ruled in your favor”? Basically they ruled in our (twp) favor? LOL. What that letter said was that since I received the requested documents, albeit late and after I filed the complaint, then the complaint is closed due to receipt of said documents.

        I agree with the AG on their assessment, but by NO means did they “rule in your favor” —-unless you have a paper I don’t have from them…

        • Joe Hackler
          Posted at 10:11h, 25 September

          Sorry, did not mean to mislead anyone. It has been made on this website to look as though the AG is starting to “look into” things. So, because of that, when the AG sends you a letter saying case closed I took it to mean that the twp did what they needed to do under the law. I’ll agree, I could have chosen better words though.

          Lastly, I am not saying sorry because I am young and you intimidate me – it’s actually because I am an adult and recognize when something could have been worded differently. I applaud your efforts to root out corruption but I would also caution you to not jump immedietly to the conclusion that good honest brokers are lying or trying to decieve. Not the case here.

          • jmkraft
            Posted at 10:38h, 25 September

            Thanks for the update.

            The fundamental issue here, is the right of the public to how their money is being spent. While they may not agree with how it is spent, they have a right to know what it is being spent on.

            Not keeping receipts violates that basic principle of right to know. Anyone can show a credit card statement from, for example, “Bob’s Computer World” and say it was for “office supplies” — but unless a receipt is shown, nobody knows what was actually purchased. Somebody could have bought an x-box or PS3 in this example and just said it was for office supplies. ***This is simply an example and not what has actually occurred.***

            Why is it so hard to produce receipts and complete cell phone bills? Simply logging into the account and printing the statements takes minimal effort and time…but YOUR township would rather spend a few thousand dollars taking things into court, defending what I predict they can never win, instead of simply doing what is right and legal.

      • Shadow Puppet
        Posted at 20:09h, 25 September

        Joey Hacklers Quote: (After being approved they are public documents and nothing prevents anybody from going to take a look at them) So Joey, are you saying Bills paid and receipts for those bills that you approve are not for the public to look at?

        • Joe Hackler
          Posted at 21:24h, 25 September


  • Taxpayer
    Posted at 11:28h, 25 September

    Mr. Hackler: You said they ruled in OUR favor. did you mean your little regime up town or did you mean the taxpayers that you were elected to take care of. Come on Joe do you think this is going away and by the way you seemed relieved that the AG sent you a letter not telling you to come up with receipts that we as taxpayers have the right to see. Good way to start your career in politics. Hope your real proud of your first victory in the art of deceit. ECWD keep hammering these guys they will get what is coming to them

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 11:42h, 25 September

      Nothing in the AG letter stated that they didn’t have to come up with receipts

  • Mike
    Posted at 11:47h, 25 September

    Joe Hackler is your conscience good with all of these explanations, first you paid for your secretaries vacation with taxpayers money, then you take a gas credit card away from your secretary that she was using for her personal gas, then you give her a $4600.00 raise because she is doing such a good job of keeping account of taxpayers monies, then you hire a lawyer at taxpayers expense to hide receipts that the secretary does not keep. And according to Bill Coombe that is a general practice for this office. Are you real solid with all of these decisions or should we get some outside help? AG please revisit this office soon Thank You

  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 15:06h, 25 September

    Joe-Joe-Joe-Joe,did the corruption start at the Twp. office or during your internship in Springfield?”did not mean to mislead anyone”,come on Joe you thought you could post a false statement and nobody would call you on it.jmkraft showed you are in over your head,your applause for rooting out corruption falls a little short.You ask ECWD to use” cation and not jump immedietly to a conclusion”,well then just answer the FOIA’s and let the truth speak for it’s self.One more time,they are called RECEIPTS,R-E-C-E-I-P-T-S,RECEIPTS!

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 16:00h, 25 September

    JMKraft. Can you just give us a reminder of what was in FOIA request that township did not complete that you filed complaint with AG and what information did you receive from Township that satisfied AG.

  • Mr.Why & Miss.Should
    Posted at 16:15h, 25 September

    1-Why won’t the Twp. answer FOAI’s?
    2-Why are we paying a seceretary $100,000.00/yr.?
    3-Why is the Fire Dept. paying the same seceretary $12,000.00/yr.?
    4-Why is Corky Clark not doing his job?
    5-Why did they fight so hard to keep Corky Clark in place?
    6-How could seceretary be appointed Deputy Clerk when she does not live in the Twp.?
    7-Why are we paying the seceretary’s phone bill?
    8-Why did we give the seceretary credit cards in 1998?
    9-Why do we pay the seceretary’s Internet in Kemp?
    10-Why do we pay the seceretary’s gas bill?
    11-Why do we pay the seceretary’s Vacation Bill’s?
    12-Who used the other Credit Cards for non-Twp.expense?
    13-Why did we give $300.00 to Sunrise gas and for what?
    14-Why did we buy a$2600.00A/C unit for a house trailer?
    15-Why is Bill Coombe condoning all of this?
    20-How does the Road Commisioner farm without a fuel tank?
    21-Why is there a $80,000.00 Comfort Station?
    22-Why is the door locked at the Twp.?
    23-Why is the Comfort Station open only 30 hrs.a week?
    24-Why is it the Twp. say’s it has no money to work on roads?
    25-Why are they spending money not to release information?
    26-Why can’t Twp.boardcorrect these proplems?
    27-Is a little bit of illegal activity alright with some taxpayers?
    28-Should Bill Coombe be obligated to publish minutes of every meeting?
    29-Would the board not want that to clear their name?
    30-Should Corky Clark demand a Full and Independent audit?
    31-Should Mark Nacke hold 2 paying positions w/Twp.Rd. Comm./Sexton?
    32-Should the Road Comm. not be held responsible for tracking expenses?
    33-Should we look into Insurance premiums?
    34-Should we bid all insurance?
    35-Should we bid all mechanical maintance?
    36-Should we look into closing Twp.Office and doing away with the seceretary?
    37-Was new shed offered to Twp.?
    38-Should we loo into Twp. spending back as far as possible?
    39-If the Twp. won’t let us see 3 months what else is there?
    40-Is it legal to spend taxpayer money to hide information?

    Above are some of the questions raised since the Arcola Township has refused to answer FOIA’s sent to them.Now they are being sued and looked at by the Il. Atty. General,fighting it with YOUR TAX DOLLARS!There will be more questions and more concerns of the money you send to them for the benfit of the Township.Forget about Washington for now,let’s clean up our own back yard first,after all this is where we live.If we don’t fix this nobody will.

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 21:18h, 25 September

    Joey Hackler 3wks ago “This is my absolute comment. I have not read and do not plan to read the rest of the comments.” Wonder how he knew what was being said?

    • Joe Hackler
      Posted at 21:26h, 25 September

      I apologize for defending myself and being willing to talk.

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 22:13h, 25 September

    But Joey, if you have not read nor plan to read comments, how do you know to defend yourself? Just kind of shows how truthful you are.

    • Joe Hackler
      Posted at 23:27h, 25 September

      I planned to read responses to my initial comment and then y’all went off and things changed. Sorry if you think I am a liar.

  • Broom Corn Joni
    Posted at 07:35h, 26 September

    Joe can’t you see the corner you have painted youself into?You said you”apologized for defending yourself”.Well if you didn’t try to post misleading information about the A.G. letter you would’nt have to apologize and jmkraft would’nt have to set the record straight.You and the Twp. have only yourselves to blame for the mess your in, and unlessyou guys change your ways,your not done apologizing.

  • Richey Rich
    Posted at 14:31h, 26 September

    Joey Hacklers words yesterday on this forum>>(it’s actually because I am an adult) His words recently on Facebook>>(for us college kids)
    Are those words on Facebook from an adult? I think not. You don’t have to claim you are an adult. Others will know when you are one. It doesn’t appear that you are yet. I need to get a Facebook account so I can see what I am missing.

    • Joe Hackler
      Posted at 11:41h, 27 September

      How would you know what I put verbatum if you do not already have one? Creepy.

      • Arcola Lola
        Posted at 15:27h, 27 September

        Joey, why don’t you worry about answering the questions instead of worrying about things that you post on facebook being seen by people that don’t have facebook accounts? I am still waiting….

      • Richey Rich
        Posted at 16:25h, 27 September

        Joey, you are at it again. Avoiding the obvious. What’s creepy is you talking out of both sides of your mouth. Its ok if you don’t believe me. You proved it one more time that you are not ready to swim in the deep end of the pool. So prove me wrong. What is it going take to get reciepts from the gas card or cards that Deana had?? That is a direct question. I would like a direct answer. JW your are correct.

  • CPA
    Posted at 13:55h, 27 September

    Hey Joey would you welcome an outside audit on the books at the township if private money was used. It would sure clear all of this up.

    • Joe Hackler
      Posted at 15:34h, 27 September

      I cannot say I oppose or approve of such an action without a little more information but I can say that we already had an audit done in May or June per Illinois law for post election/new terms and of the few minor things brought up – all were addressed by the board and action was taken. Email me if you would to like discuss further jnjhackler AT

      • Arcola Lola
        Posted at 22:02h, 27 September

        Joey, really. Either you are for it or against it. That’s what adults do, they make decisions.
        Or, is the fact that the taxpayers are getting screwed by your cronies not something that concerns you because you really don’t care what happens here. You will be gone in 3 years trying to follow some dream that you have for political success?

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 14:00h, 27 September

    Joey, you know, not everyone has facebook but those that do, do show posts to other people. I don’t have facebook either but from time to time someone will show me a post. What is so creepy about it?

    • Joe Hackler
      Posted at 15:19h, 27 September

      Well, in this context it would mean someone saw I posted something about a television show I liked then decided that was interesting enough to go tell/show someone who doesn’t have a Facebook about it. Seems odd given it had nothing to do with this. Should I be flattered people who do not know me personally find enough time in their lives to talk about something I posted on Facebook, especially when said post has nothing to do with twp and/or Arcola? I don’t know, but either way I hope people can recognize that the original comment by Rich was a gross distraction to begin with…along with other posts about my internship or other personal matters. I have repeatedly invited people to email me (jnjhackler AT if they would like to discuss the issues as equals, public person to public person. I have only received one email and they would tell you I was willing to listen to what they had to say and responded in a respectful manner and was even willing to help them out. If only others could be so big.

  • Watch Tower
    Posted at 15:54h, 27 September

    I agree with CPA, Joe how about you?Private money,no cost to the taxpayer.Surely you don’t have a problem with that.

  • Shadow Puppet
    Posted at 18:12h, 27 September

    Joey, Blah Blah Blah, I have not heard such double talk in my life. Open your eyes, ears and not your mouth. RR was simply saying you are not an adult. You must have not recieved the memo. You really need to quit while you are behind. You stick your nose in and it gets bloodied and then you run away like a kid. All you want to do is talk with no action. I will not email you,and you are not my equal.

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 19:25h, 27 September

    Joey, you are a joke. Pretty sure you didn’t run because of what you can do for us, but more what we can do for your resume. Are you seriously going to be around for 4 years to finish you’re term? Probably not.

  • Aware n Arcola
    Posted at 19:30h, 27 September

    Joe, we the taxpayers in Arcola are not (flattered) by the fact that we are being sued and questioned by the Il. Atty. Gen. I don’t give a flip about your facebook or internship,after your post of one term you told me all I need to know.Keeping everyone at arms length and avoiding questions has made it clear your only concern is self preservation.I am going to support the private audit,and look foward to your argument as to why the taxpayers of Arcola Township don’t deserve it.

  • Big
    Posted at 07:22h, 28 September

    When you were running for this position you said get me in there and I will dig into this and take care of what is going on. Well you are in there and the only thing that we heard you corrected was you gave the secretary a big raise. Way to take care of things. There is a lot of talk about this comfort station that you have up at the township office is there a diaper changing station in either of the restrooms?

  • Richey Rich
    Posted at 09:20h, 28 September

    Big, Joey will set you straight on the raise for Deana. He voted NO because he didnt want it taxed. Joey please tell us what you meant by that.

    • Joe Hackler
      Posted at 11:02h, 28 September

      As I said before thats not the case and you know that. In 1998, in lieu of a raise the secretary was issued a gas card for personal fuel. Fast forward to now and the board had what amounted to two options, just vote a raise authorized by the BOARD or make her keep a log of some sort and the gas would be tracked in order to be taxed. I voted NO on board authorization of raise because 1) the gas card does not come out of town fund but comes out of road fund currently. They are two seperate things and I as a board member only have a say in how the town fund money is spent. We aprove road fund budget and the the road comissioner can spend it how he pleases. In my vote the issue of the gas card would stay with road but at least be more transparent, taxed, and accountable. If folks do not like the practice of the card then there are elections, not to be snarky. Finally 2) I did not run for election to cut a working womens salary. I and everyone else ran for one reason and thats TIF. Its no big secret. Everyone knew her salary and people tried to make an issue of it but it failed, why would I go against the overwhelming majority of voters who basically said we know and trust these people and they deserve what they are paid.

      Ill say it a different way: if the board voted down the raise then the road fund could still be issuing a gas card, but the board decided to make the issue theirs by granting a raise, and I didnt want that to be the case. Finally, again, I didnt run for a small local office to reduce a persons living wage especially when an overwhelming majority of voters belive they deserve it. I’m sure most of you disagree and thats fine but I absolutely did not vote to have the benefit be untaxed.

      Typing on my phone, btw, so might be errors… sorry! 🙂

  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 14:19h, 28 September

    “As I said before thats not the case and you know that. In 1998, in lieu of a raise the secretary was issued a gas card for personal fuel. ”

    Did you issue a 1099 reporting that? Its a felony to use public money for personal items, fuel included. No 1099 then what you did was wrong! FIX IT!

    • Joe Hackler
      Posted at 14:34h, 28 September

      The issue was resolved going forward per the auditors recomendations. The new board adressed it already. I was 6 when the card was issued, I cant change what happened then.

  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 16:38h, 28 September

    I understand you were 6 when the cards were issued,but your not 6 now so quit acting like it.People have asked pointed and specific questions and you refuse to answer them.Kirk Allen is right,what you did was wrong and you guys won’t fix it.About that living wage your so proud of,with the kind of money she makes,it truly is fit for a Queen.

    • Joe Hackler
      Posted at 17:50h, 28 September

      Ok, I just explained what happened to address the situation. I’m not sure what “I” did wrong since I just got elected. This is a new board and I am new. We are in compliance with the law now in regards to taxed benefits. It is fixed. Please explain what we “won’t fix”? If your problem is that the Secretary is paid too much then I understand but that is not a matter of legality, it’s just your opinion. An opinion in the minority but an opinion none the less. Like I said before I did not run to dock someone’s pay that was set up way before I got here.

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 19:48h, 28 September

    The gas card was never given to her in lieu of a raise. The Board members from 1998 to current board didn’t even know she had it. Show us in . If this is the case it should be in minutes. Show us that.

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 20:10h, 28 September

    With the thousands of dollars the Township has spent over the years allowing her to go to all the meetings that makes her so invaluable you would think she would know she can’t use township money to pay for her personal gas. And JOEY, are you saying you don’t know how many thousands of dollars the Township had spent for her gas because it was never logged? Little hard to log something no one knows anything about.

  • Politically Correct
    Posted at 12:32h, 29 September

    Did I miss something in the paper this week?Saturday morning I believe I saw the Township seceretary and Clerk’s cars parked in front of the Township office.Did they have a bake sale,clothing drive,or were they doing something as innocent as filing out a new application for gas cards?Recent history tells us the hours kept by the Township are somewhat irregular at best,so why is it nessary to meet on a Saturday morning?I don’t believe it was open for broomcorn weekend.Could they be getting ready for an audit or writing a doctors excuse for their attorney?Joe after you check your compliance with the law,could you find out what was going on,or do you have the combination to the door?

  • Shadow Puppet
    Posted at 19:02h, 29 September

    Joey, Seriously you & the others ran for Trustee because of TIF? I guess that says it all. I wouldn’t worry about anything else to do with the Township & Road District because its just fine. (Sarcasm if you didn’t catch it) The TIF funded almost three quarters of a million dollars to the Township because of its lack of proper insurance coverage. Also there was a property tax burden Arcola taxpayers got hit with. I believe the bond got paid off last year. At that point property taxes were reduced. With that said the Township hasn’t done Arcola taxpayers any favors. I seem to remember on your campaign tour you opposed TIF. Looks like you are on a mission to stop any chances of a TIF extension. If the Township & the Road District is in such bad financial shape maybe they need to play more in their own sandbox and not in so many others. People can say, oh it is for a good cause. There have been some very good points about Mark and crew doing work where they do not need to be. Fuel, man hours, equipment wear and tear take money away from the Roads that they need to be working on. Joey you do not have to respond because I don’t need your double talk and I wasnt born yet routine. A word of advice, When you live in a glass house you best not throw stones.

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 20:32h, 29 September

    Shadow Puppet, good point. They need to clean up their own house and stop complaining about someone else’s.

  • Unhappy Taxpayer
    Posted at 07:23h, 30 September

    Joe,the only good thing I can see about your blind opposition to TIF,is the fact that the Township has brought to the surface just how wreckless they are with the taxpayers money.Shadow Puppet nailed it,and now because of the actions or should I say inactions of the Township,you guys are fighting a lawsuit and will have to answer to the Il. Atty. Gen.Kirk Allen posted eariler about the use of public money for personal items and a felony,Joe have you got that fixed yet?

  • Wally
    Posted at 07:27h, 30 September

    Joe you have already admitted your guilt in the matter of the gas card
    and yes you are guilty you and all the people on the board. And now you are still letting Bill Coombe and Corky Clark try to hide any other, as Kirk Allen would say Felonies by not releasing any more information. After all ECWD was only asking for 3 or 4 months worth of information. Have they told you yet how they are going to get around 3 or 4 years? The hole gets deeper

  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 07:18h, 03 October

    I see where Judge Carroll is going to retire after the first of the year,didn’t he reup about a year ago?I don’t suppose the Township’s lawsuit and his relationship with the Township’s atty.played a part in his up coming retirement.After all you know what they say about the “heat in the kitchen”.It will be fun to see what happens from now until Nov. 14th and from the 14th until the good judges retirement.

  • Smoken Hot n Arcola
    Posted at 08:03h, 03 October

    I read in the paper where the plaque dedication for the new fire station will be held Sunday.Let’s see who’s on the plaque and who’s not.Will the Fire Chief(Doug Meyers)who was chief when the project started be on it?How about the people who really count,the fireman,will they be on it?Stop by the open house,enjoy the punch and cookies and read the plaque.

  • Back Draft
    Posted at 19:38h, 03 October

    Smoken,you know as well as anybody who is willing to admit it and is aware of how the Queen works,the people on the plaque are the people she wants on the plaque.Those of us who remember know she tried to push Doug Meyers around and didn’t get the job done.When he was Chief he did his own reports and told her that was part of his job,not hers.She didn’t like it and you won’t see his name on the plaque.Our board has been lead around like a bull with a ring in it’s nose,and she holds the lead rope.Arcola I hope you enjoy the punch and cookies on Sunday,they only cost you $12,000.00!

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 20:22h, 03 October

    Joey, are you looking in minutes for where they voted to give her gas card in lieu of a raise?

  • inscam
    Posted at 19:18h, 09 October

    A few people on here have stooped low enough to drag our firedept into this mess. I took backdraft, and smoken’s advice and went to view this plaque in question. Seemed very tasteful way to honor a man who really played a major roll in our fire dept. I also noticed a plaque with all of our firemen listed. While you may not thank them or give two sh1ts about them, many of us do.
    Joey- keep fighting the good fight son, these idiots will soon go after someone else. You shouldnt give these guys the time of day on here. If they want to talk they can make it to a meeting.

  • Back Draft
    Posted at 05:15h, 10 October

    inscam,nobody has a problem with the plaque for Larry.If he were here I wonder what he would have to say about some of the internal issues at the department.About the plaque for the fireman,just maybe some of the posts here got that one put up.If you want to be tasteful watch the language.

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 07:08h, 10 October

    Inscam, nobody has drug the Fire dept. Into this. It is the Fire District board that we have a big problem with. Are you saying you feel everything the Township is doing is just fine and dandy? Paying a part-time Secretary what she gets paid, the waste of road & bridge funds doing personal favors for people? The fact that she (and her family) were getting all their gas paid for by the Township and the board never knew? The list goes on & on. This waste of our tax dollars is ok?

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 07:54h, 10 October

    Inscam, no one has a problem with the Fire Dept. They do a great job. It is the Fire District board we have a problem with. So are you saying that you feel the huge salary the Township is paying a part-time secretary, the waste of Road & Bridge fund money doing personal favors for people, the Secretary (and her family) having all their gas paid for for years without Boards knowledge, us being taxed for a Comfort Station that is not used, and the list goes on & on, all this is ok? Oh yeah, and the fact that they are not completing simple FOIA request.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 07:59h, 10 October

      If you have a problem with the appointed fire district board, force them to become an elected board.
      A petition and a few signatures will put the question on the ballot, if it wins then the following election will be for the fire district board members.
      Shoot me a message if you want to make that happen…

  • Just Wondering
    Posted at 08:44h, 10 October

    I would like the board to be an elected board. We need to get people in there that will actually do their job instead of paying her $12,000 to do it for them. Thanks Mr Kraft.

  • Shadow Puppet
    Posted at 09:02h, 10 October

    I for one, didn’t see the need to bring the Fire Dept in on this issue. The common denominator is Deana. She is secretary for the Fire Dept and the Township. Corky Clark is the Fire Dept President and the Townships Supervisor. The Fire Dept pays her a salary for her work. Or should I say the Boards work. That is their problem. The fact that the Township will not comply to FOIA’s is the real issue here. inscam, Little Joey can bring his knife to a gun fight all day long and he will get schooled for his double talk. He is just a College Kid that wants some fame. He doesn’t even live in the Arcola Township. He said the reason he ran for the position is to stop the possibility of the TIF extension. There were a lot of lies going around about how the TIF was so bad and that is why Joey and others should be elected. One thing about lies they always surface. They blame the TIF for their financial issues. Their financial issues are inhouse. How dare anyone question that. All in all the Township is a big joke. It is a waste of tax money. They give out some assistance to those in need at a tune of $300 a year and some get more than that. I say the county should take over the rural roads and abolish the Township.

  • High Rider
    Posted at 20:31h, 10 October

    Good post Shadow,but I don’t think turning the Township roads over to the county is the answer.Better use of the taxpayers dollar is the answer.Closing a $80,000.00 Comfort Station,doing away with overpayed staff,and avoiding lawsuits by answering FOIA’s is a good start.Oh and by the way,remember when the Township though all the questions would go away after the election?Well Shadow,the joke will be on them after the court date in November,the problem is the taxpayer will pay for the punch line.