One thing is certain. Grafton Township officials make enough use of law firm Ancel Glink’s services that readers of the legal fee invoices can discover a lot of what is happening on a day-by-day basis. Today’s bill covers the last half of March.
As we continue through the fourteen pages of Grafton Township’s law firm’s bill for the month of March, we see that the outside auditor selected without any Request for Proposal by the Township Trustees (Wally Brown is the name used) is the subject of consideration.
Again the agenda comes up. “Closed session minutes” also occupy the time of the attorney.
Perhaps readers get a clue when the idea for hiring a professional videographer was conceived On March 22nd, Township Administrator Pam Fender faxed a proposal to Keri-Lyn Krafthefer. It took a quarter of an hour to review, costing taxpayers $46.25. (Not the videoing of the meeting. That costs $250 a night.)
Preparing for and attending the special township board meeting at which Harriet Ford was appointed Township Clerk took 5.25 hours. Not quite $1,000 for the day’s work. Add the extra quarter hour for reviewing the March 11th closed session minutes and it gets really close, however.
And, it looks like someone other than I file Freedom of Information requests. I see one for General Assistance and Emergency Assistance that took three-fourths of an hour on two different days.
Getting ready for the new township clerk to take office took over a half an hour. At least it looks like more than a half an hour was billed.
The Annual Town Meeting appears commingled in a bill notation with Town Clerk research. As with the phone call with a Trustee on the first page of this “Corporate” section of the bill, the person asking the questions is unnamed.
Besides the almost $1,000 related to the Special Township Board Meeting on March 23rd, the final entry for 3.5 hours ($647) to prepare for and attend another Special Meeting on March 30th, plus meeting with Trustee Betty Zirk concerning “pending litigation” is next highest on this last page of the Corporate billing.
Also appearing for the first time are legal expenses related to property acquisition. The identity of the property is unclear. Ancel Glink attorney Paula V. Randall spent two hours reviewing file materials, conferring with Fender and looking at “contractual documents.”
Total for “Corporate?”
Five attorneys. 45.75 hours, all documented in quarter hour increments.
In addition, there are photocopy bills and fees for filing pleadings for lawsuits involving Linda Moore, which would seem to be better placed in the separate billing for “Linda Moore v. Grafton Township.” The total for these extras is $334.44, making a grand subtotal of $8,678.19.
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Although a videographer has been hired by the Township Trustees, I cannot find his work on the internet.
David Moore’s videos, on the other hand, can be found here.
I hope the meter is not still running at Ancel Glink for considering whether to return my phone call from two months ago. Township Administrator Pam Fender told me to call Keri-Lyn Krafthefer. Hey, when a Township Administrator tells you to do something, you do it; right? It wouldn’t have been “Pass the buck”, would it? With a quick message to KLK not to call me back?
Fender even gave me Krafthefer’s personal cell phone number. And call I did. Let’s see; if KLK ponders returning my phone call for 1/2-hour/day, that’ll be … All good billable time, of course. I think it’s called “research”.
I wonder if I can bill Grafton Township for 4-5 hours, while I try to remember why I called.
Frankly, no one should be told to call the Township’s attorney. I know that; you know that. The attorney should speak only with her client. But who really is her client at Grafton Township? The Supervisor? The Administrator? The Township? The individual Trustees should never be running up the legal bill by calling the attorney individually!
Grafton Township has become the Poster Child for why township government in Illinois should be abolished!