College of DuPage (ECWd) –
Reading the newspaper articles this week on the vote to terminate Breuder may lead people to believe that it takes 5 COD trustees to terminate his contract. We believe that to be false for the following reasons.
Back in July 17, 2014, during the COD Board of Trustees meeting, Bruno Behrend spoke during public comment on the “super majority” clause in Dr. Breuder’s contract, and is discussed below.
First, Dillon’s Rule applies, which is that a local public body only has the power granted it by the legislature. The legislature did not grant them the power to require a super-majority.
The Community College Act is very specific about how measures are passed by the board:
A majority of full voting membership of the Board shall constitute a quorum. For all meetings of the Board, a quorum of members must be physically present at the location of the meeting. When a vote is taken upon any measure before the Board, a quorum being present, a majority of the members voting on the measure shall determine the outcome thereof. No action of such board shall be invalidated by reason of any vacancies on such board, or by reason of any failure to select any nonvoting student members.
Can the legislative intent get any clearer?
The reality of this section of the Act means that if only a quorum of the full board, which would be 4 trustees, were present, and only 3 trustees vote, with two voting yea and one nea, the measure passes. Likewise, if the full board is present, which is 7 trustees, and a vote is taken, then the majority of those votes cast prevails. I read this as to state that there are no “abstentions”, or “present” votes on a community college board of trustees.
If the legislature had wanted any other requirements for passage of a measure, they would certainly have included language to that effect. An example would be the statute covering Public Water Districts, and the legislative requirement of a unanimous vote of all trustees in order to terminate a director [general manager] of a water district.
The College of DuPage cannot legally give its power away, thru a contract or otherwise.
Watch Bruno’s comments at 1:44:30 in the meeting video.