Clark Co., IL. (ECWd) -
The videos are finally uploaded thanks to Dee Reel. We know it takes a long time to upload these and appreciate her dedication to the citizens of the Clark County Park District.
During the entire meeting, board members (and the attorney) were discussing items privately instead of with the entire board and being generally disrespectful of the public and fellow board members. These sideline discussions we not loud enough for the public to hear what they were saying.
The videos are below in three parts, and an approximate video timeline with the key events are listed as follows:
Video “Part 1”
2:08 - Public comment.
6:34 - Glen Keuhnel – Couldn't do anything the past year and a half because of “The negative things that take place around here due to the watchdogs” - Completely dismissing the fact that he can't seem to complete a budget (see "Let's just add income to show a break even budget" article) - that he failed to publish the annual financial report - that Charity Murphy can't seem to provide correct financial numbers to the Board.
Glen, try this: "Follow the law."
8:35 – Keuhnel talks about negative reporting, never recognizes the majority of the board and its director have been the sole reason for the negative reporting.
13:15 – Stepp goes on his rant about FOIA requests - we will answer this in a separate article that special kinds of rants like these deserve - it is that special kind of rant only a public official completely ignorant of their responsibilities would spew out.
17:56 - Keuhnel chimes in and calls FOIA requests ridiculous.
19:30 - Payment of the bills. The bills were not available prior to the meeting and had to be reviewed during the meeting.
25:20 – Dimond Financial bill – Ewing and Romero asked questions of them (Dimond) – nothing was said by Dimond Financial about incurring a debt to the District with this bill (except for Romero’s question).
26:51 - Stone says Ewing is allowed to incur debt (which is wrong, and I would be more than happy to teach Mr. Stone how to read and comprehend 70 ILCS 1205/4-6). Audience questioned Stone on that statement and the attorney opened her mouth and said there would be no more questions like that (thinking she has the authority to make any decisions during a meeting).
28:10 – Stone talks about Romero incurring debt with the attorney (see our previous article that puts this issue to bed) – the attorney talked about a process that was never discussed in an open meeting. Even admitting to having conversations with other commissioners without billing the District – so it appears she billed this time to try and prove a point to make Romero look bad while letting the other Commissioners slide by undetected. She admitted to talking to other commissioners more than 5 and less than 20 times without billing.
32:45 – Wallace made a good point, but the issue is still that venders must inform the people they talk to that they are incurring a debt – including the attorney.
35:00 – Ewing was correct that the Director is the one that should be gathering the info for the Commissioners – but failed to mention that she is now requiring at least one commissioner to submit a FOIA to get information, while letting other Commissioners have the information without FOIA requests...you know, that selective dissemination of information that creates the distrust in her ability to obtain an unbiased answer from venders. Remember, answers are only as good as the questions asked, how they are asked, and who asks them.
36:28 – The attorney gets snippy about Blankenship’s fiancé and an ethics complaint. Prior to this she scolds him for bringing the subject up, now she wants to slam him in open session for something "his fiance'" supposedly did. that in itself should be cause for terminating her contract as the district's attorney.
40:52 – The Meyer Capel bill – Stone motions to approve a bill knowing it is in violation of the Park District Code. I suggest the Executive Director send a letter to Meyer Capel and demand return of the $75.00 unauthorized payment.
41:33 – The attorney questions a board member Wallace about why he keeps voting against her invoice. Is that appropriate? Should a vender providing legal services question an elected official during open session about his votes on her invoices? It appears to be some sort of conflict in this line of questioning.
42:55 – The attorney tells Wallace to figure it out. She admits there is a “barrier” between her and the board members and states she knows that they shouldn’t have called her in the first place, which supports my earlier article that she should not have invoiced the Park District for the questions from Romero.
Lots and lots of chatter between members, the director, the attorney, etc where the members of the public could not hear what was said as required by the open meetings act. (45 min).
45:00 min – Air conditioning discussion.
50:30 – More air conditioning “bid” process.
Video “Part 2”
19:29 – Lease to Yargus
20:20 – Ewing explains the resolution - .09 acres and ? square feet in two separate locations – for a total of around 6000 square feet. Yargus wants to build an outdoor room on one lease, and to cover his a** for having his electric and water well on park district property on the other lease.
22:20 – Ewing talks about the meeting (July 11, 2015) talked about reviewing the documents during the committee meeting. the problem with this "meeting" was that it was never publicly noticed, had no published agenda, was held in secret, and was outside the stated scope of review for the committee holding the meeting.
24:30 – Romero asked if anyone knew about the architectural control committee meeting – the room fell to complete silence for several seconds - which tells us they held an illegal meeting.
25:00 - Motion to lease made by Stepp, second by Stone to approve the lease.
25:35 – Bogue does a point-of-order saying that the board must declare the property no longer needed for public recreation and park purposes prior to a vote to lease the property.
28:00 - Bogue reads the paragraph in the law (Park District Code) supporting his comments.
30:00 – The board took a recess for a “10 minute break” to review the issue – which in itself turned out to be an illegal-meeting-within-a-meeting.
35:00 – Stone thinks this is the same thing as leasing the docks – but the difference is that the park owns the dock, not the leaseholder - AND a dock does serve the purpose of furthering the ability of individuals to enjoy the lake and its recreational opportunities. This lease is for an outdoor room for one person and for a water well for one person - neither having anything to do with the lake.
40:20 – Ewing states they are back from recess and now in session in open meeting.
40:33 – The attorney discussed “the purpose” of tonight’s discussion – and asked them to “reach a consensus” or a “straw poll”, etc.
51:25 – Bogue talked about the discussing public business during a recess of the meeting (previous article here).