Thursday, April 4, 2013

Shenanigans in Johnsburg?

Maggie Haney is a candidate for the elected office of president in the Village of Johnsburg. The Village was to hold a Regular Meeting of the Village Board was to be held tonight, Thursday, April 4, according to a press release from Haney.

The Illinois Open Meetings Act requires agendas to be published, when a public body maintains a website. Johnsburg maintains a website. There is no agenda on its website; the most recent agenda is for the March 21, 2013 meeting. Was there a meeting scheduled, for which an agenda should have (or was) published. If the April 4 meeting was canceled, should the agenda still remain on the website but notated as "Canceled".

Following is Haney's press release for today. She slams Johnsburg President Ed Hettermann, against whom she is running. [The emphasis is in the original.]





            As the elected officials and citizens of Johnsburg face numerous questions about a “Criminal Investigation” and Grand Jury Subpoena(s) issued to Hettermann’s Administration, any opportunity to ask questions, seek information, or to hear progress was shut as the Elected Officials received an email Tuesday night canceling the meeting.
            Every year, according to the Illinois Open Meetings Act, every public body is required to post all the meetings they will be holding. The purpose of these “Open” meetings is to allow Board deliberation, approval of expenditures (by the elected board of trustees), provide access to every citizen to freely participate, question, and speak during public discussion, and most importantly for the elected officials to act on behalf of their constituents in “Executive Session” to address serious matters if needed.
            Numerous residents have expressed concerns after the Village of Johnsburg released information on their own website about the investigation and Grand Jury Subpoena(s). Any opportunity for taxpayers to question or speak to the elected board of trustees and the President were “Canceled” as Hettermann slammed the door on the last scheduled Village Board Meeting before the election that was to be held tonight at 7:30pm. Attempts to hold a debate between the candidates running for President were “nixed” by Hettermann which slammed the door for residents to ask questions, hear both candidates’ platforms allowing them to make informed decisions before the election.  Mr. Hettermann also did not show up for the NWH Editorial Board meeting also skirting any possible questions by the news media.
            The serious breach of the Illinois Open Meetings Act has been a reoccurring event, as Hettermann’s Administration has canceled 4 Meetings since October 2012. How can any expenditure be made in the Village of Johnsburg without the elected officials approving the Disbursements? Even if there were no other matters on the Agenda, isn’t approving the disbursements for expenditures important? When is the Village Board of Johnsburg planning on approving the Budget for next year? The fiscal year is coming to a close and this budget is vital if for no other reason, adopting the Budget should be a priority.
            Recent information popped up on the Village of Johnsburg’s website, that all meetings were going to be videotaped and audio taped and then placed on the internet. That was a great move at the end of Hettermann’s Administration to appear “Transparent” but what good is the appearance of Transparency when he shuts the door, cancels the meeting, and refuses to officiate over the last Village Board Meeting before the election.
            Residents of Johnsburg have raised serious questions about the Criminal Investigation and Grand Jury Subpoena(s). Residents of Johnsburg who were planning on attending the April 4, 2013 meeting are shocked that once again they are being silenced, the issue is not being addressed, and no one is talking about it. The Elected Officials who are elected to represent the citizens of Johnsburg cannot even request an “Executive Session” to discuss matters surrounding this serious situation with the “Appointed Officials” who are involved in the “Criminal Investigation” because the meeting has been canceled. As of March 18th elected officials in the Village of Johnsburg have met with the Illinois State Police and this Criminal Investigation is Active and Ongoing. As a citizen of the Village of Johnsburg I am appalled that this abuse of power is being played at this crucial time in our Village. This “Code of Silence” is not Transparent, is not being Accountable, and is not GOOD GOVERNMENT!
            Maybe the investigative reporters can ask the questions that the elected officials and the Citizens in Johnsburg wanted to ask but were denied by the cancellation of tonight’s meeting:
1.      Why was the Village Board Meeting on April 4th really canceled?
2.      Why wasn’t the Budget for 2013-2014 presented for approval?
3.      How are any expenditures going to be made without the elected Village Boards’ Approval?
4.      According to the article in the Northwest Herald on the 17th of March, information provided by 2 Attorneys on behalf of the Village of Johnsburg stated the Grand Jury and Criminal Investigation was over. If that was true, why did elected officials in the Village of Johnsburg meet with the Illinois State Police on March18th?
5.      What Administrative Action has been taken to ensure that any appointed official involved in the Criminal Investigation has been removed from office while pending the outcome of the Criminal Investigation?
6.      Has the President of Johnsburg been questioned by the Illinois State Police and or the McHenry County States Attorney?
7.      Who did approve the appointment of a second Attorney for the Village of Johnsburg and how are we paying for him?
8.      Was there an Agenda posted for the April 4th Meeting?
9.      Did any elected official request an Executive Session for the April 4th Meeting?
10.  Was the April 4th Village Board Meeting canceled because Hettermann’s Administration knew that questions were going to be asked by elected officials and citizens about the Criminal Investigation and everything would be taped both audio and video and placed on the internet?
The April Fool’s Joke on all the residents was played out during this same week of cancelling the meeting. On Monday April 1st at the Johnsburg Men’s Club Hettermann participated in an “Open Forum” closed off to his opponent, Maggie Haney as well as the other Johnsburg Residents.

A very sad time for the Residents of Johnsburg,

Maggie Haney

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