Evansville trustee calls out village president on policy violation

The tension in the room was high at Monday night’s Evansville board meeting as the board’s discussion became heated on the purchase of a diesel tank and a liquor license request.

For the diesel tank, at the board’s March meeting, Village President Erwin “Red” Becker had presented the board with a quote to replace the village’s diesel tank as they continue to have fuel issues. At that time, the board felt more bids were needed. So the plan was to get additional bids and decide at their April meeting.

On Monday night, Becker told the board that the diesel tank would arrive the next day. He added that he felt it was an emergency and had ordered the tank at a cost of $675. He elaborated that the fire department had needed fuel and had to go to Red Bud to get it.

Trustee Justen Kempfer was visibly upset by Becker’s actions.

“We all agreed to get a bid last month,” he told Becker. “It was not an emergency and it was a direct violation of city policy. You can’t spend more than $500 if it’s not an emergency. This is not your kingdom to declare an emergency. You disrespected the board by not getting the bids.”

Becker tried again to state the purchase was necessary and an emergency situation. 

“It was not an emergency,” Kempfer retorted. “If it was, then why was it on last month’s agenda. The board unanimously agreed to go for bid.”

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