Thursday night, the Grafton Township Trustees rejected Supervisor Linda Moore’s selection of Rockford’s John Nelson as Township Attorney.
Little surprise there, since Nelson’s representation of Moore led to the dismissal of both the Trustees’ favored law firm Ancel Glink, but also Township Administrator Pam Fender, whom the Trustees put in office to perform as much of the Township Supervisor’s duties as possible.
I didn’t look at the agenda and got to the Huntley Park District meeting room too late to get a board packet, so I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, after listening to the tedium of expenditure discussion, I asked someone why I had come.
“Don’t worry. They’ll start shouting at each other.”
And Gerry McMahon certainly lived up to that prediction.
More than once.
The person who was most disturbed for the negative impression made by McMahon’s outbursts is the Trustee who successfully moved to censure him in October of 2009, Barb Murphy.
At one point she said forcefully,
“I’m just telling you to shut the hell up for a few minutes so we can finish this damn meeting!”
The board reversed itself on selecting the 300-seat auditorium at the Huntley Park District headquarters in favor of returning to the Huntley High School gym.
Over 700 registered voters signed in at last year’s Annual Town Meeting.
The vote was 2-2 with Murphy and Moore voting for the move to the high school and Betty Zirk and McMahon voting to stay in the 300-seat venue.
Rob LaPorta abstained.
Moore ruled that abstentions would be counted on the positive side of the motion and moved onto the next item of business. And, my understanding is that under Robert’s Rules of Order, once the next item is taken up (video cameras for the Annual Meeting), it is too late to appeal the decision of the chair.
When I got home I looked up what Robert’s says about how abstention votes should be tallied and found the following on “The Official Robert’s Rules of Order Web Site“:
“In the usual situation, where either a majority vote or a two-thirds vote is required, abstentions have absolutely no effect on the outcome of the vote since what is required is either a majority or two thirds of the votes cast.”
But, as McMahon loudly proclaimed,
“We don’t follow Robert’s Rules!”
LaPorta, who abstained, said,
“I didn’t know about that. Guys from Lake in the Hills, what do you do?”
The reply from a village trustee:
“We follow Robert’s Rules.”
In another dispute, Moore asked permission to have the Electors vote upon trading the township van for a car which would ir easier for seniors to get into.
This was apparently the first time Moore has brought up the subject.
Moore pointed out that both bus drivers and seniors favored the switch.
Of the van. referring to the seniors, she said, “They hate it.”
“Send it to the (Transportation) Committee,” McMahon, a senior himself, said.
“It’ll take another year,” Moore replied.
“We don’t care,” McMahon retorted.
“We can’t be driving the bus all the time. It doesn’t look right to have one or two passengers in a bus.”
Moore pointed out that the bus used more gasoline than would a car and predicted that the price per gallon would exceed $5 this summer.
“I want to remove it from the agenda,” the other senior citizen on the panel said. “This is the first time it’s come up.”
And a majority of the Township Board took action that removes the possibility of trading the van for a car.
The final item I found of interest was that Ancel Glink is still providing legal advice.
A memo from Jeffrey R. Jurgens dated March 3, 2010, was used as the basis for rejecting all of the citizen-initiated resolutions.
Ancel Glink’s services as Grafton Township Attorney were ended by Judge Michael Caldwell.
Afterward, First Electric Newspaper Publisher Pete Gonigam asked about Ancel Glink’s continuing legal advice.
“The judge said we could still go to Ancel Glink at no charge,” LaPorta said.