I was really zonked when I got home yesterday after the last of five tiring days of testimony which seemed to me could have been condensed into far less time. And staying up late to write up the fourth day of testimony and the County Health Department’s attempted money grab (shades of the Republican Party Cat Tax).
But, what do I know about what the attorneys were trying to prove?
Both sides certainly proved they didn’t like the other and can’t get along without a playground supervisor.
In fact, hall discussion at one point centered around the possibility that Judge Michael Caldwell might lay down rules and appoint a referee to enforce them. Maybe he could call it a “conservator” with the person’s goal being to conserve taxpayers’ money.
If there is any left.
During the morning Supervisor Linda Moore’s attorney John Nelson, who is also Winnebago County’s Harlem Township Attorney, led Trustee Betty Zirk down the township’s recent expenditure path.
He pointed out that Grafton Township’s levy is about a million dollars.
He then subtracted General Assistance, which is $80,000.
“That leaves $920,000, right?”
“True,” Zirk replied.
“There’s $200,000 for elected officials’ salaries, right?”
“That leaves you with $700,000.
“The assessor requires $540,000.
[That took the total down to $160,000.]
“Legal bills were $34,000.
Zirk: “I thought it was $39,000.”
“That’s for April. That’s $75,000 for the first two months of the fiscal year.
[The amount remaining was then at about $89,000.]
“Where do you think Grafton (Township is going to get enough money to get through the year)?”
“They’re going to be a deficit this year with all these legal bills we’ve been getting. It’s a disaster,” Zirk answered.
“The fund has approximately $611,000, but that’s money that is owed, true?”
“The township road commissioner has been left holding the bag on that. He’s paying the interest, right?”
Nelson then spoke of the April 13th Annual Town Meeting at which the electors put the kabosh of the Trustees’ and Administrator’s desire to procure new township office space.
Both Trustee Rob LaPorta and Zirk had testified that, as electors, they voted with the (overwhelming) majority. (But they don’t look happy at the results in the photo above.)
“I voted with them (the electors) that we were to (unwind the sale of the township hall to the road commissioner).”
“(You voted) to remove building a town hall from the agenda?”
“You never really voted against the town hall, just about removing it from the agenda.”
Nelson then turned to the amount borrowed from the township’s road fund.
“The amount actually owed is a $700,000 figure.”
“There’s an $89,000 dispute with the road commissioner,” Nelson continued. “Let’s say the road commissioner wins that dispute.
“$160,000 minus $75,000 minus $89,000, if (the Board) lost that dispute.”
“We should have had a $700,000 carryover,” Zirk said.
“Didn’t you just testified that we just got $611,000 net?”
“That’s why…It’s because we’re having a dispute over the figures,” Zirk replied.
“(That’s) why we want an audit. We’re having problems with our figures and we’re not sure about the actual amount in the bank and (can’t) really figure out where we are.”
Taking a new budget tack, Nelson said,
“Last year (you spent) $86,000 on legal services that (results) from litigation against (the suit brought by Dan Ziller, Jr., et al which stopped the building of a new township hall) and an extra $40-44,000 taking it up on appeal and losing, right?”
“It looks like you and the board are looking at deficit spending?
“We will be with all these legal bills, right,” Zirk agreed.
The next township board meeting is Thursday, June 10th at 7:30 PM at the Huntley Park District Recreation Building.