Employment of seasonal employee questioned by Evansville board

An update on Evansville’s emergency access road led to a question about when a village employee was supposed to have been laid off.

Village President Erwin “Red” Becker was giving an update to the village board about the access road, noting that work is continuing and village employee Roy Ford has been kept busy on the project.

Trustee Justen Kempfer raised a question about when Ford, who is a seasonal employee, was supposed to have been laid off and how he is being paid. Kempfer reminded the board that earlier this year, prior to the newly elected board members being seated, that the board had voted on a time period for Ford’s employment.

Becker said that he was unaware of when Ford was supposed to have been laid off.

Village Clerk Beth Wunderlich pulled the minutes from the March 2017 meeting and read that the board at that time had approved hiring Ford from March 14 through Oct. 20 of this year.

Kempfer stressed that he has nothing against Ford, but the board “can’t just do what we want.” He felt that continuing Ford’s employment beyond what was originally approved by the board was a “violation.”

He did suggest that the board could grant Ford an extension though. The rest of the board agreed to keeping Ford on as needed until the access road project is complete. As they were unsure how long that would be, the board decided to grant the extension to their December meeting, and review it again then.

Unfortunately, in trying to remedy one “violation,” the board may have accidentally committed another as approving the extension was not listed on the evening’s agenda.

According to the Illinois Open Meeting Act (OMA), any public body/board is allowed to discuss items not specifically listed on their agenda, they “cannot take action or make any decision with regard to items or topics not on the agenda of a regular meeting.”

For more from the Evansville board meeting, please see this week’s print edition.