Paris, IL. (ECWd) –
The Edgar County Board held a Study Session at the Highway Department on Dec. 22, 2014.
Among the topics discussed were:
– talked about receiving undated information for the airport grant from the engineer? and that the county board would have to approve any resubmission of the paperwork
– checking to see if ETSB could spend money on a repeater on the south end of the county to use for radios and dispatching
– Zuber talked about using the “self evaluation” exception to go into closed session (our opinion below)
– Voigt said there was a “fix” for the policy manual for the January board meeting – something we’ve been after them for over a year and a half to fix, because currently their own policy does not allow elected officials to receive benefits such as health insurance
– question was asked if they could rent space in the Kreckman building (our opinion below)
– when talking about the new fee structure (filing, copying, etc), Farnham appeared to be asking Augie about transferring part of the new fee money from “from here to there” and Augie stopped him and reminded him they were being recorded – 18:40-ish in the video
– talking about board members only getting a raise every ten years – they were wrong on their interpretation – Farnham corrected them – they can increase board member pay at any time, it just cannot become effective until after an election, and only for the board members that get elected in the new election. In short, there would be a period of time where some board members would get paid more than other board members if a pay increase was approved in an other than census year.
The “Self Evaluation, Ethics” reason for executive session, although an authorized exception to open meetings, must also conform to the Open Meetings Act. In particular, Section 2(C)(16):
(16) Self evaluation, practices and procedures or
professional ethics, when meeting with a representative of
a statewide association of which the public body is a
So, for instance, if the county board were a member of the Illinois Association of County Board Members, or some other recognized group, AND a representative of that association were present in a meeting for the purpose of assisting in a self-evaluation and ethics training, THEN the county board could use that exception for its stated purpose. It is built into the law to keep boards from using that reason without having the real purpose of self-evaluation.
Leasing public property can be accomplished, but the leaseholder (renter) must be responsible for, and pay, real estate taxes on the leased properties – even if it is only an office in a public building. In that case, the square footage should be measured and real estate taxes charged on that square footage. In no case would the public body be responsible for unpaid real estate taxes on leased property.
The video – thanks again to the Edgar County Clerk…