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Richmond board redefines important government issues
November 22, 2003

by Greg Cryns

Four motions were presented to the Richmond Village Board at the regular
meeting on November 19, 2003. All motions concerned the Richmond Municipal
Code and all were voted on and passed.

1. the appointment of committees - from now on the board itself will be
creating village government committees instead of the president

2. the duties, powers and term of the Village Attorney - redefines the
duties of the village attorney

3. the appointment of a Village prosecutor - defines how a village
prosecutor is to be appointed

4. the appointment of a special legislative counsel - opens the door for
additional legal opinions

These changes are very important for the future of Richmond's government.
Taken together they point to a transfer of power from the president to the
board.

This point was not lost on President Kevin Brusek who protested vehemently
in the long discussions which ensued. Brusek was angered by the involvement
of attorney Mike Blazer in the lawsuit against the village. He called this
participation a "conflict of interest." However, village attorney, John
Roth, told the board at a previous meeting that there is no legal conflict
of interest in this issue. The board voted to have Roth send any
correspondence  to Blazer for consultation. Brusek also blamed the lawsuit
against the village on the new trustees who are also being sued. The
audience clearly did not agree with this assessment as many protested
audibly when the statement was made.

In public comments, Rommy Lopat suggested that the village newsletter could
be used to disseminate more important information to the citizens. She said
that the sewage treatment plant financing could be made more understandable
to the public. Lopat asked village engineer, Timothy Hartnett, to bring
information regarding the status of the physical plant and how a new plant
would be paid for. Lopat also suggested that the lawsuit by Tamarack LLC
against the village "is causing great anger in the community" and that
people do not thoroughly understand the lawsuit. "The public has an absolute
need to know what is going on," said Lopat. Tripp Wilson suggested that
photos of historic buildings could be used to fill up the newsletter if
needed.

Deb Nelson asked how she could obtain more information about what the
village meetings would be about before the meeting started. Brusek stated
that the information would have to be  obtained by the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) through village hall. The charge is 25 cents per
page. However, trustee Charles Schultz motioned that a "complete board
packet" of information be made available at the Nippersink Library for the
public to read. This motion was approved.

Hartnett said that the total cost of the new sewage plant will be around 5
million dollars. According to Hartnett, the 1.7 million grant from the state
is slated to be sent to the village but the state recently froze all grant.

Brusek said, "The cost of the sewer plant is zero to the villagers." Brusek
said that the plant will be paid by a loan and that the grant would not be
needed.


 

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Towns in McHenry County, Illinois
(click for more info about each town)
Algonquin Cary Crystal Lake Harvard Hebron Huntley Johnsburg
Mchenry Marengo Richmond Spring Grove
Woodstock Wonder Lake