Watchdogs say Burgess must resign from DuPage board before he can be named supervisor
The Edgar County Watchdog (ECW) group has deemed the agenda order of a specially called DuPage Township meeting at which board member Ken Burgess was slated to replace outgoing Supervisor William Mayer a violation of state law.
Mayer recently announced he planned to resign from his post to pursue other interests and a Jan. 29 meeting, chaired by Trustee Maripat Oliver, was called primarily to accept his resignation and install Burgess.
“We have reviewed a copy of the DuPage Township meeting agenda for the special meeting,” ECW posted on its website. “While the first item is proper and should be voted on, our opinion is that the appointment of any trustee to be supervisor would violate state law.”
ECW officials cited the Illinois Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act, Section 2a, which stipulates that “no township trustee, during their term of office may accept, be appointed to, or hold any office by the appointment of the board of township trustees unless he or she first resigns from the office of trustee—or unless the appointment is specifically authorized by law.”
Trustees Alyssia Benford and Dennis Raga pointed to the same issues in voicing their reservations.
As the special meeting grew more contentious, Benford and Raga walked out, preventing the gathering from having a quorum and handcuffing remaining board members.
According to the Herald-News, because no one is now supervisor, Mayer said, he is legally obligated to continue fulfilling certain fundamental duties.
ECW argues what needs to happen to preserve order seems simple.
“There is one way around this statutory prohibition, such as the trustee resigning his position as trustee, the board accepting his resignation and then the board appointing him as township supervisor—but the acceptance of the resignation of the trustee would have to be placed on an agenda, and would have to be accepted by the board prior to the new appointment (that way the appointment would no longer be 'during his term of office')," the group noted.