Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
The Shelby County Board held its regular meeting last night. Several noteworthy matters took place.
During the meeting, board member Mark Bennett referenced comments being made by Board member Carol Cole and others which indicated she saved the county farm from being sold. Considering the front page of the paper attributed that point to both of the Coles, it appears many believe it to be the case, however after Bennett’s comment that basically asserted the point is not true, Cole agreed, as in she has not saved the farm from being sold. We believe that is noteworthy in light of the fact she and her husband accepted an award which claimed something she has now confirmed is not the case, yet said nothing to that fact when receiving the award.
At the meeting in February 2021, at this link, former State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke confirmed she researched the matter of leasing the farm and confirmed that AG Opinions and case law indicate you can’t lease the property for private purposes. She was looking for alternatives. This is the one and only meeting where the selling of the farm was discussed, and a motion was made to vote to sell the farm. We note the motion and the second was made by two people who are no longer board members and in order to have a proper discussion on the matter, it requires a motion and a second to be made. The discussion provides context to the history and debunks the false narratives being pushed about the farm. We note that neither Jake nor Carol Cole attended meetings back when this took place. There has been no other board action to try and sell the farm, so we are confused as to how the Chamber of Commerce came up with a narrative that the Coles saved the farm from being sold.
Several comments were made over concerns about the State’s Attorney having records scanned. Those comments included concerns over the security of the records. We find those concerns interesting in light of the fact not one person raised any concern about missing records from the former State’s Attorney’s computers. We wrote about that matter in this article and have now confirmed, the missing records are part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
The other noteworthy comments are related to the sign-on bonus for a new county engineer. It appeared, based on the discussion and vote, no one had a problem dropping $30,000.00 as a sign-on bonus because it is an incentive to get an engineer, which the county needs. Sometimes it takes such an action to attract a person to public office. The reason this is noteworthy, this same logic has been ignored as it relates to the salary offered and accepted for the Assistance State’s Attorney. As it relates to the ASA, it took a bigger salary to actually get a person on board quickly, and rather than recognize that fact, the complaints are focused on the past salary for the position which was vacated. I wonder how many are aware the Coles County State’s Attorney has 4 vacancies (CORRECTED – 3 vacancies) in that position and has been unable to attract anyone due to financial limitations and benefits?
UPDATE: After an accusation of publishing falshoods pertaining to the Coles County vacancies in the ASA office as not being accurate, we have submitted the appropriate FOIA and will update you when they respond. The invitation for applications for an ASA has been on their website for some time so if the number of vacancies is not 4 but only 2 as the accuser claims, the point of the article does not change. It takes funding to fill key positions in government. That was the point of the article.
The video of this meeting can be viewed below.