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May 25, 2022

Shelby County Meeting Video and Commentary –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On September 10, 2021

Shelby County, IL. (ECWd) –

The Shelby County Board held its Sept 9, 2021, meeting last night.

Watch the video below – ECWd livestreamed the meeting last night.

One of the first items “acted on” was denying a board member’s electronic attendance prior to the meeting starting. Shelby County State’s Attorney recited the appropriate provision of the Open Meetings Act, which requires that in order for a public body to permit attendance electronically, they must first have a policy authorizing electronic attendance. Shelby County has no such policy. See the AG’s August 2, 2021 Opinion (HERE).

The Board appointed Brian Kaufman as Chairman of the County Board, it appointed Gary Patterson as Vice-Chairman.

The Board took public comments, there were several Deputy Sheriffs in attendance, in uniform, politicking for their preferred candidate to be appointed to the vacancy in the Office of Sheriff of Shelby County. I voiced my opinion that deputies in uniform should not be campaigning for a political appointee.

The Board appointed a new member to the vacancy in District 11.  There is still a vacancy in District 4.

The Board later voted to appoint Sean McQueen to the office of Sheriff, even though the last primary ballot he pulled was Republican, the office he was appointed to was required to be filled by a Democrat (since the retired Sheriff was a Democrat).

Approved EMA director’s duties, responsibilities, and terms of employment, without reciting any of the general provisions of the action.

Ratified AFSCME contract through August of 2024.

The GATA Coordinator issue: See our previous article (HERE). Passed Resolution “requiring” County Treasurer to certify the GATA application no later than Sep 13, 2021 at 3 p.m.

  • Issues Shelby County has in relation to the GATA certification paperwork as verified through previous FOIA responses:  NO procurement policy, NO fraud awareness program,  NO ethics and standards of conduct training, NO anonymous process for reporting fraud which includes whistleblower protections, and NO instructions to employees on what to do when they find fraud, waste, and abuse. Previous certifications answered those questions in the affirmative, which means the county was untruthful in its previous certifications.

Voted to approve a contract with Paylocity for payroll, timekeeping, and human resources – even though some of that is the statutory duty of the Treasurer. Maybe board member Williams should have suggested “it’s a law, the law’s the law in the state of Illinois”

Mark Bennett removed his item requesting approval to custom farm the county’s farmland.

Took no action on the Noxious Weed complaint against the county’s farmland – we suggest there is no complaint since the notice of the complaint was not served on the county properly, according to Section 21 of the Illinois Noxious Weed Law. Lynn Williams did say they should follow the law (“it’s a law, the law’s the law in the state of Illinois”) – something he has not advocated for other issues the county has faced. We agree – follow the law, for everything, not just those that you agree with.

During discussion of the noxious weed complaint, some members of the board circled back to the issue of leasing out the farmland again (even though state law does not permit it) – Maybe board member Williams will suggest “it’s a law, the law’s the law in the state of Illinois” when the leasing issue surfaces again?

Made appointments to various committees, and boards.
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4 Comments
  • E. Norma Stitz
    Posted at 14:39h, 10 September

    Thanks for keeping the residents of Shelby county well informed of your opinions. Top shelf journalism. I really look forward to your berating the new chairman of the board. The Dogz will be sniffing out anything that smells off. With the changing of the guard of the sheriff I’m sure they will find some wrongdoing there. #Pitbullbarkchiuahuabite. #topshelfreporting #CNNlike

    • PK
      Posted at 20:12h, 11 September

      Thanks to Illinois Leaks, I’m not ignorant of Shelby County, Illinois government. But your stupid sarcasm causes me to ask again: How many other Illinois counties don’t have or maintain a web-site?

      • PK
        Posted at 09:16h, 20 September

        82 of Illinois county governments have and maintain an official web-site. Shelby county is among 20 other counties which do no have or maintain an official government web-site.

        Of theses 20, 9 have a commission form of county government. Shelby county is unusual among the 11 other township forms of county government and unique among ALL three forms of county government in the state in that ALL of their immediate neighbors have and maintain an official government web-site. All of Shelby county’s immediate neighbors have a township form of county government also.

        Illinois counties that utilize an official web-site provide information required by the OMA. Half of the counties with an official web-site provide for a single menu pick (or less) from their home page to more information on FOIA.

  • PK
    Posted at 19:54h, 11 September

    Lengthy meeting/video.

    Since the lack for a remote attendance policy was identified when a member attended by phone during a vote for chairperson Cannon’s replacement, I wonder if the board discussed the matter prior to it happening again at this meeting. I’ll guess dysfunction.

    I concur with Mr. Kraft’s opinion and believe he provided a good service in noting and commenting about the agenda item ordering. In belaboring, the corrections officer inadvertently made Mr. Kraft’s politicking point clearer.

    I’m also in agreement with folks who commented about the board throwing in the towel on the newer payroll system in lieu of convenience spending. Perhaps abandoning a goal to work the kinks out of the newer system was discussed in committee previously.

    The Illinois Leaks August 12, 2021 news report raised the issue of financial stewardship of grants. Accordingly, as previously indicated on the GATA compliance documentation, Shelby County may or may not have the fraud awareness programming; ethics and standard of conduct training; and a process to protect whistle-blowers in their respective organization’s procurement policies and procedures.

    Given the many Shelby County, Illinois issues reported on here; I don’t trust their grantee administration and would suggest filing a lawsuit to obtain the procurement procedures and policies that were “confirmed” to have not in answer to the FOIA request. Such a FOIA lawsuit could provide better lighting if nothing else.

    Also, it would be unconscionable for the Shelby County State’s Attorney to indicate that the county’s grantee organization to have procurement procedures and policies on a GATA form when, in fact, they may or may not actually have those. It would be unethical for the Shelby County State’s Attorney to process faulty GATA documents to another county officer.

    Finally, board members motioning that the treasurer; dubbed in her GATA role by Ms. Kronke, be given until Friday, 3:00 pm to perform a non-statutory function seemed shallow and somewhat retaliatory. It was good to hear another board member comment with a more reasonable time-frame in her stead.

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