Downers Grove, IL. (ECWd) –
Corrected to reflect she is not currently receiving a pension (but has been seeking one).
Laura Hois is a Candidate for Downers Grove Township Assessor, current Downers Grove Township Clerk, and Deputy Assessor for Sugar Grove Township, and has been seeking a
higher taxpayer funded pension for the past several years. She is also an experienced attorney.
It is clear, from the affidavits and other statements trying to quantify the hours worked, that she is attempting to qualify for IMRF, and back-date the qualification, in order to bolster a taxpayer funded pension.
The problem is as we have noted in other public bodies, and in particular, the DuPage County Board, is that Downers Grove Township never included IMRF for the Township Clerk in its resolution setting the compensation for their Clerk. Without being included in the resolution, it is unauthorized according to law – “compensation shall not be increased nor decreased during the term of office”
WHAT DO THE MINUTES SAY?
During the Sep 2016 meeting in which compensation of elected official was discussed and voted on, the Township Board voted to EXCLUDE the Clerk from IMRF for the upcoming 2017-2021 term of office – which is a good thing!
However, later in the same meeting, the Board approved a resolution “acknowledging” that the Board, in October of 2012 (minutes), approved IMRF for the Clerk (and others). Based on that, this Board, in Sep 2017, approved a resolution authorizing IMRF for the Town Clerk for the 2013-2017 term. All present voted in favor except for Trustee Cuthbert, who voted “nay” – and incidentally, is the only person who voted correctly.
WAS IMRF PROPERLY APPROVED IN 2012?
In order for an item to be voted on by a public body, during a public meeting, it must first be properly placed on an agenda as an action item to be voted on.
The agenda for the 2012 meeting in question only states they were going to “revisit salaries/benefits for next term” – it says nothing about taking a vote on the item, which should make any vote for approval void and improper.
ATTEMPT TO CORRECT
During the October 2016 meeting, there was an attempt to correct the minutes for Sep, and it was voted and approved to correct it, but the Township Clerk never made any corrections to the posted meeting minutes, leading readers to believe that IMRF was actually approved for the 2013-2017 term. The only amendment to the minutes was an annotation of a “motion to amend these minutes” but no text explaining that the motion passed, and no text of what was actually amended.
The short version of what happened here is that Laura Hois tried to ram-rod IMRF, and backdate it, for herself under the guise that it was previously approved in a set of minutes from 2012. However, nothing was on the agenda to vote on for that meeting, leaving any vote VOID. Additionally, the Sep 2016 meeting where a vote was taken to approve IMRF for the earlier 2013-2017 term of office was never presented with the fact the agenda was improper and therefore no legal vote could be taken. During the Oct 2016 meeting, the board voted to amend the Sep 2016 minutes to reflect an incomplete vote, and took a new vote which nullified the resolution granting IMRF for the earlier term. Hois never amended the minutes, only placing a note that a motion to amend them was made.
I suggest the board look at the posted Sep 2016 minutes and demand they actually be amended as they voted to do in Oct 2016.