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June 19, 2024

Downers Grove – Ignorance Of The Law? – The New Normal?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On April 16, 2024

Downers Grove, Ill. (ECWd) –

After receiving information regarding the push by the Downers Grove Village counsel to remove an appointed library board member we quickly recognized they appeared to be ignoring the law governing the removal of volunteer uncompensated board members.

According to the Village’s resolution, the Village is asserting no law governs the removal of the board member.

“WHEREAS, board and commission members serve at the pleasure of the Village Council, the appointing authority and the removal of a member of the Library Board of Trustees is not governed by State law;” (emphasis added)

We do not know who is responsible for the drafting of the resolution but commonly it would be the Village Legal Counsel. Regardless, they might want to update themselves on applicable laws because their resolution is flat-out wrong as the removal of such board members is governed by state law and ironically we played a major role in getting that law drafted so it could become law.

50 ICLS 60-1This Act may be cited as the Local Volunteer Board Member Removal Act.

(50 ILCS 60/10)
    Sec. 10. Removal of volunteer board members.
    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the person or entity that appointed a member of a board may remove that member for misconduct, official misconduct, or neglect of office. (emphasis added) 
    (b) Removal under this Section is in addition to any other method of removal provided by law.
(Source: P.A. 102-602, eff. 8-27-21.)

The Village Ordinance was last updated in 2018 so it is clear whoever is managing their legal matters has not kept up with new legislation.  One of the purposes behind the bill was to stop the removal of board members based on nothing other than differences of opinion, which appears to be the case with the Village Library Board members.

Local citizens sent the following letter to the Village.  The letter appears to be very clear and on point: the Village is not following the law.

We urge everyone who is available in the Downers Grove area to attend tonight’s board meeting and speak during public comment and ask that the elected officials follow their oath, which is to uphold the laws of this state.  If they act on the outdated ordinance, then it is our opinion those who vote to remove the library board member have violated their oath of office.

The village meeting is at 7 pm tonight, Village of Downers Grove, 801 Burlington Avenue, Downers Grove, IL 60515.  A copy of the agenda can be downloaded at this link.

 

 

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2 Comments
  • Jack Tarleton
    Posted at 10:09h, 16 April Reply

    If the village attorney drafted this, then the village needs to NOT pay the legal fees and may want to reconsider the appointment of that attorney.

  • cynthia
    Posted at 10:48h, 16 April Reply

    The problem is we dont have laws to assign financial penalties to lawbreakers, harassers, and criminal bullies like these village board members, other Library Board members, etc, who demonize, cause harm, and create unsafe environments for elected officials who serve the people, were elected by the people and do so for free. I have been there and had that done to me on many occasions.

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