Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County (ECWd) –
Consistent with what we have published for the past several months, Denise Williams was unqualified to serve on the Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County because she was not a Delegate of a legitimate Veteran Service Organization. It did not matter that the bylaws of the commission may have permitted it, bylaws cannot violate state law.
In an email forwarded to us, Commission Member Amanda Koch, who recently resigned from the Will County Board due to her own conflicts of interest, informed the Commissioners of the disqualification of Denise Williams.
As of a couple of days ago, Williams is no longer on the Commission.
We also brought up the bylaw requirement of a three-day notice for the commission to schedule a special meeting – which was ignored at the time during their last board meeting. They are now apparently realizing they were wrong and acknowledge the three-day notice requirement we pointed out during public comment at their last meeting.
Amanda Koch’s email:
“We have received a number of questions regarding our recent meetings on October 11 and October 14, 2022. Specifically, questions were raised about whether certain individuals are eligible to vote and whether timely notice was given for the October 14th meeting. We took these questions seriously and requested legal counsel to review them. It is the opinion of our legal counsel that we need to redo our officer nomination and election meetings.
There are two reasons for this. First, our secretary technically is not eligible to serve in that position because she is not a currently a delegate or an alternate from a military veterans’ organization chartered by the U.S. Congress or the State of Illinois. Second, two days’ notice of the October 14th meeting was given while our Bylaws require three days’ notice for a special meeting. While some meetings require only two days’ notice, that was not the case for the October 14th meeting.
While these conclusions in no way diminish the many contributions made by Denise Williams to the Veterans Assistance Commission or the ultimate fairness of our nomination and election process, they do mean that we did not have a quorum for our October 11th meeting. Our Bylaws require the presence of three elected officers. While three officers answered present for that meeting, one of those officers (i.e., the secretary) was technically not eligible to serve in that role. In the absence of a quorum, the Veterans Assistance Commission could take no action, including accepting nominations for officers. Additionally, not providing enough notice for the October 14th meeting means that the Veterans Assistance Commission could not act during that meeting.”
There is also a special meeting scheduled for October 31, 2022, at 9:00 a.m., an inconvenient time for those Commissioners who must work.
This is yet another example of Koch and others’ unwillingness to follow the law, their own rules, and accurate input from the public. This is also another example of why Koch has no business as the VAC President.
We would hope the commission complies with the Open Meetings Act as far as a required quorum – which is more than half of the delegates, not the lesser number their bylaws indicate, because, as previously noted, bylaws cannot violate state laws.