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December 4, 2022

Shelby County – Clerk Identified Faulty Meeting Request By Several Board Members

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On May 22, 2021

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

The Illinois Counties Code, for those that actually read it and can understand plain language, outlines a very specific process for a County Board to hold a special meeting.  There are obligations for those making the request and obligations for the County Clerk.

(55 ILCS 5/2-1002) – Special meetings. Special meetings of the board shall be held only when requested by at least one-third of the members of the board, or when requested by the chairman of the board in counties where such chairman is elected by the voters of the county, which request shall be in writing, addressed to the clerk of the board, and specifying the time and place of such meeting, upon reception of which the clerk shall immediately transmit notice, in writing, of such meeting, to each of the members of the board. The clerk shall also cause notice of such meeting to be published in some newspaper printed in the county if any there be. In case a vacancy arises in the office of clerk, because of death or other reason, then the request shall be addressed to the circuit clerk who shall perform the duties of the clerk pursuant to this Section. (Source: P.A. 86-962.)

It’s pretty simple.  In the case of Shelby County, they need 8 board members to request the meeting and they have to simply comply with 4 things.  Not zero, not 1, not 2, but all 4.

  • The request shall be in writing
  • Shall be addressed to the Clerk
  • Shall specify the time
  • Shall specify the place.

Of the eight initial requests, only two people followed the law.  The Vice-Chairman, Bryon Coffman, simply responded to an email stating “I agree to a special meeting”, which fails to address a single requirement.  Larry Lenz,  well let’s just say his email to the clerk failed on all fronts.  Terry Metzger made a request but not sure for what type of meeting because he asked for a special/emergency meeting on or before a specific date, with no mention of time or place. The initial request can be viewed at this link.

For those that are unable to download the file, the following board members failed to comply with the initial request for a special meeting.

  • Denny Drmjevic
  • Terry Metzger
  • Robert Simpson
  • Larry Lenz
  • David Swits
  • Bryon Coffman

After the Clerk informed the board members of the requirements under the law, the appropriate requests streamed in.  It’s a sad day in local government when County Board members can’t even follow a simple statute pertaining to calling a special meeting.  Shelby County should be proud of their County Clerk who once again educated those in charge of your county government.

A Special Meeting is going to be held at the Shelby County Courthouse, Courtroom A, on May 27th, 2021, at 7 PM. It appears those who failed to gather enough votes for the lease of the farm for private purposes want a do-over. Also on the agenda is discussion and possible vote for reapportionment of the county.  Currently, there are 22 board members, which in our opinion is way too many.   A copy of the agenda can be downloaded at this link.

I wonder how many will turn in a claim to be paid for that meeting?  If so, such a claim would be a false claim as board members are not authorized to receive compensation for special meetings. (Compensation Resolution).

On the topic of compensation, to date, nothing has been done about the former Chairman Bruce Cannon turning in false claims in direct violation of the compensation resolution even though board members have requested action by the State’s Attorney to recover those funds.

While some continue to trivialize these matters, the public needs to understand there are plenty of serious problems in Shelby County that most would call corruption.

  • Shelby County has a Federal criminal investigation into the Highway Department Highway Engineer operating his business from county property.  While some of the board members saw nothing wrong with it, it appears the Feds think otherwise.
  • A completed Illinois State Police criminal investigation into the alleged Sheriff Payroll fraud and illegal gun sales which are awaiting charges by the Attorney General
  • Alleged insurance fraud in excess of $34,000.00, which to date, seems to keep being ignored by committee board members.

Nothing to see here folks, move along, It’s Illinois.

 

 

 

 

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10 Comments
  • jannie
    Posted at 12:52h, 22 May

    Great job Watchdogs! I think maybe it’s not so much they (Board members) don’t know – it’s more what can be get away with. I think it’s sad, I also think that when Board Members become to buddy buddy they look the other way – not saying that’s right, but maybe the tendency is such. Makes me wonder how long some of these Board members have been in office.
    It’ll be interesting to see the “do-over” farm lease mess.

  • Publius
    Posted at 16:01h, 22 May

    Where’s the notice of publication?

  • PK
    Posted at 16:22h, 22 May

    Kudos to the Shelby County Clerk!

    And to ECWd’s for having previously informed the Shelby County Board!

  • Dean Gulberry
    Posted at 10:30h, 23 May

    May 27th and the farm sits idle. Maybe I can dumb it down into Watchdog terms. There is a window to plant a crop and have that crop reach full yield potential , That window is nearing the end. Letting the farm set idle should not even be a potential option. However with wisdom of some sharp board members and with the coaching of some WatchDogz here we are. Then you start trying to make people look bad. Well you mangy Dogz fail to help the public on all fronts. Maybe you should be the watch pigs. You see when you wrestle a pig you both get filthy and the pig enjoys it. #KeepSpreadingYourFilth

    • PK
      Posted at 15:46h, 24 May

      There was a ECWd training event held in Shelbyville recently. As I understand, the full day training was done at no charge to participants and included lunch. It seems rather unlikely that the Open Meetings Act wouldn’t be covered. Don’t he Shebly County Board members know how to set-up a board meeting?….because the poor farm is not plowed yet? Wow!

  • Bryon Coffman
    Posted at 18:21h, 25 May

    This is the e-mail that was sent by the Circuit Clerk stating she takes the blame on not letting us know the proper avenue to request a special meeting. I did send a formal request after I was informed of the proper procedure.

    From: Shelby County Clerk – Jessica Fox
    Sent: Friday, May 21, 2021 8:40 AM
    To: [email protected]; District 8 – Denny ; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; Bryon Coffman
    Cc: Nichole Kroncke ; Bobby Orman
    Subject: Special meeting
    Importance: High

    I have published the notice for the special meeting that will run on Wednesday. In reviewing the statute regarding this special meeting it states:

    The request shall be in writing addressed to the Clerk of the board
    Shall specify the time and place of such meeting.

    I have 2 requests that meet this criteria. Tentatively this meeting is scheduled for Courtroom A, May 27, 7:00 PM. If you all want a special meeting than I need all of your request to state the above and I need them TODAY. Via email is fine, but it needs to be in correct format. This notice will go to print at noon. If I do not receive the above than the special meeting will be cancelled as your requests do not meet the statutory guidelines. 55 ILCS 5/2-1002

    Sorry, but since this falls on me, I have to have request that adhere to the statute I emailed yesterday.

    Thank you.

    Jessica Fox
    Shelby County Clerk/Recorder
    301 E. Main St. PO Box 230
    Shelbyville, IL 62565
    217-774-4421

    • John Kraft
      Posted at 18:55h, 25 May

      I saw nothing in that email indicating “she took the blame on not letting you know” – rather she was saying that the publication of the agenda falls on her, and she cannot publish an agenda if the statutory requirements are not met for its publication.

      • PK
        Posted at 11:31h, 26 May

        The “circuit clerk” and the “county clerk” are one-in-the-same in Shelby County, Illinois? Dang my own ignorance!

        • John Kraft
          Posted at 11:46h, 26 May

          No, they are not.

          • PK
            Posted at 16:30h, 05 June

            Yah, but the duty MUST be external to individual board members…therefore knowing how to call a special meeting just has to fall on the clerk; and either the circuit clerk or the county clerk are thus to blame.

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