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April 19, 2024

Rochester Fire Protection District Board Scheduled To Vote To Fill Vacancy That Does Not Exist

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On October 27, 2021

Sangamon Co. IL (ECWd) –

The Rochester Fire Protection District has called a special meeting for October 28th, 2021.  According to the agenda, the board is going to: “Discuss and take action on appointment of a new Trustee to fill upcoming vacant seat, the procedure to make such an appointment and the requirements of Section 5 of the Illinois Fire Protection District Act.”

Once again, Board President John Fox fails to comprehend the most basic application of the law.  Fox has announced he will be resigning due to his plan of moving out of the District and now he wants to appoint a person to fill a vacancy that does not exist yet.

(70 ILCS 705/5) “Sec. 5. Whenever a member of an elected board of trustees of a fire protection district ceases to be an inhabitant of the district, his or her office shall become immediately vacant. Whenever a vacancy in the board of trustees occurs, either by death, resignation, refusal to qualify, ceasing to be an inhabitant of the district, or for any other reason, the vacancy shall be filled as follows: (i) if the vacancy is in a 3-member, 5-member, or 7-member appointed board, by the appropriate appointing authority, and (ii) if the vacancy is in an elected board, by the elected board within 60 days after the vacancy occurs………”

From our experience, most people understand the only time you can appoint a person to fill a vacancy is when there is an actual vacancy, which just happens to also be what the law says.  Not the case with Fox.  In fact, even though the law spells out a 60-day timeline to fill a vacancy, the publication for applicants put a deadline for submission approximately a week after publication. With 60 days to fill a vacancy, it makes little sense to require applications to be received by the 28th of this month, especially since there is no vacancy which is what starts the 60-day clock.

We suspect Fox will tender his resignation the day of the meeting.

We will live-stream the meeting which is sure to bring legal action if there is no vacancy.




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  • Tracey Baker
    Posted at 12:43h, 27 October

    That is like our district, needs 2 members and is to be appointed by the county president; however, he formed a committee of three to choose the new members using unrelated questions.

  • PK
    Posted at 13:10h, 27 October

    Oh good.

    I stayed two days at the nearby KOA earlier this month. I believe the RFPD’s attorney would agree that there are persons in the area who are more qualified to serve. But I do wonder if a copy of the promised updated policy manual was ever given to review. Another pesky “oversight” perhaps if not?

  • PK
    Posted at 22:43h, 28 October

    Nevermind. It was my mistake to have stayed at the KOA in Rochester.