Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
We want to begin with some history dating as far back as 1961 relating to Compensation for County Board members. The purpose of the history lesson is to show that there is no excuse for some of the actions we see with our elected officials as the path was paved a long time ago.
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.
Thirty-Eight Pages of legal history from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, primarily on one topic, County Board compensation.
- April 17, 1961 – “It, therefore, follows that a member of the county board cannot collect two “per diems” from the county for the same calendar day“
- September 9, 1964 – “A Supervisor can receive additional compensation for the performance of ex-officio duties“
- November 18, 1964 – “…a member of the Board of Supervisors cannot receive two per day fees for attending two committee meetings on the same day.”
- May 20, 1970 – “It, therefore, follows that the Board Chairman could not collect two per diems from the County for the same calendar day“
- November 9, 1972 – “Consequently, a rule or resolution or a county board which would permit a county board member to·receive payment for two or more board committee meetings on the same day or for a board meeting and also for one or more board committee meetings on the same day would be Invalid.”
- March 28, 1973 – “The holding of that Opinion was that he could receive three per diems since he was acting in three separate capacities“
- July 20, 1972 – “Counties Code does not authorize the board to compensate its members on a “per meeting” basis“
- October 8, 1993 – “A county board member is entitled only to receive the established per diem regardless of the number of meetings attended on a given day.”
Shelby County adopted a Compensation Setting resolution that is compliant with the law. It set a per diem rate for County Board members for Regularly Scheduled County Board meetings of $60.00 per day ($70 for Chairman), and $45.00 for scheduled committee meetings.
So with fifty-nine years of legal history on how County Board members are to be compensated, how is it that we have a County Board Chairman violating well-established law and their own resolution?
Chairman Bruce Cannon has turned in 17 claims for more than one meeting on the same day over the last two years. Assuming those claims were paid at $45.00 each, equates to $765.00 in compensation that conflicts with fifty-nine years of established law as well as their own compensation setting resolution.
While we will never understand how these types of things continue to happen with such a solid history on the right way to do things, the fact remains Chairman Cannon has been compensated in violation of their own resolution and those funds should be returned immediately.
We hope this becomes a moment in history where corrective steps are taken to not only follow the applicable resolution but well-established law.