Township Attorney Keri-Lyn Krafthefer led four members of the Grafton Township Board (Barb Murphy being absent) through a proposed agenda for the Annual Town Meeting on April 13th.
A list of the agenda items were not available to the public nor were they posted on the township’s web site prior to the meeting, as the Huntley School District, McHenry County College, McHenry County Board and Crystal Lake do with their board packets.
With the agenda items’ approval, the stage is set to undo Dan Ziller, Jr.’s court case, which some thought prohibited the township from acquiring a new township hall until after the November referendum mandated by Judge Michael Caldwell.
This all started with the township board’s (under former Supervisor John Rossi) selling the Township Hall to the Road District, a separate municipal corporation.
Under the agenda adopted the first two items to be voted upon “ratifies the sale by the township to the Road District, ratifies the prior actions” found illegal by Judge Caldwell.
So much for the Township Trustees having gotten the message that taxpayers don’t want new township offices.
Placed second on the agenda drawn up by the Ancel Glink partner are two motions that would unwind the sale.
Depending on how the first four motions are decided, there are motions five and six. These are needed only if the first two motions are passed to allow the township to keep the over $600,000 from selling the Town Fund’s part of the building to the Road Commissioner.
Resolutions 7, 8 and 9 have to do with the Haligus Road property bought from the Village of Lake in the Hills as a location for the new $3.5 million ($5 million with interest) Township Hall.
Seven would ratify the previously illegal action by John Rossi’s Township Trustees to purchase the land.
Resolution 8 would convey it back to the village.
Resolution 9 would keep the land and authorize the Township Board to sell it on the open market.
The Road District is now owed over $700,000. That includes the $611,000 sale price, plus 21 months of rent. That’s an additional $89,000.
As Township Road Commissioner Jack Freund, accompanied by his attorney Pat Coen again, pointed out,
“The purchase agreement wasn’t legal.”
Item 10 on the agenda would be a discussion with regard to the township hall and financing options.
Item 11 would allow motions to build the $3.5 million township hall, purchase the old industrial building Township Administrator Pam Fender found.
“Theoretically, someone cold make a motion…to approve one or the other,” Fender said.
“There are all sorts of financing options,” Krafthefer pointed out. She did say that selling bonds would require voter approval at a referendum.
Fender suggested that referendum approval would not be necessary if a loan were for less than ten years.
When Krafthefer suggested taking the agenda item that would allow the electors to approve new township offices, Fender said,
“No, I don’t want to do that.”
The meeting was hot prior to the agenda discussion with both Rob LaPorta and Krafthefer talking about a criminal investigation with regard to whatever Moore did to the computer system.
So far, $7,944 has been spent on Forensicion, a firm hired by the Trustees to figure out how the financial and bus records disappeared from the township computer and trying to recreate the records.
“We’re going to determine the criminal activity that took place,” LaPorta stressed.
“This is part of an ongoing criminal investigation and the Huntley Police and the State’s Attorney keeps asking what’s (been found).
Not much later, LaPorta said,
This meeting came the same day that the Trustees got what they requested, but not what they wanted from Judge Michael Caldwell. The Trustees were seeking continuation of a Temporary Restraining Order to keep Moore from transferring the phone lines to her home, where she had established her office after being kicked out of her office complex in the Township Hall.
The judge ruled that the phone lines would stay at the township office complex, but that Moore would occupy her old office, while both Moore, her employee and Fender would have access to the outer office. Article and court order can be found here.
At the end of the meeting I asked Supervisor Moore how much each Trustee got paid for each meeting.
“$100 a meeting,” was her reply.