Friday, March 11, 2011

Trustees Nix Supervisor's Lawyer For Grafton Twp. Attorney

Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore Thursday proposed hiring John Nelson, her lawyer in a continuing suit against Grafton trustees, to be Grafton Township Attorney. Trustees voted it down without discussion.  The long-delayed audit of the Township's books looked to be stuck at the starting gate, too.

Nelson, whose office is in Rockford, had twice told FEN he wasn't interested in being Township attorney, if only because of the commute involved.  After Thursday's meeting, however, he said he'd changed his mind because the Township needed straightening out.  "The trustees don't want me," he said.  "The question is do they unreasonably withhold their confirmation?"  He said he'd ask Judge Michael Caldwell to settle that.

Following about an hour's work auditing Township bills in which trustees became increasing frustrated with Moore's bookkeeping, the Board tabled any work on a 2011-12 budget.  Moore said she'd been making manual adjustments to monthly bookkeeping reports because experts told her it was they only way to make the computer program work right.  "We have such a mixup in the figures, we'll have to have a special meeting," said Trustee Betty Zirk.

Debate degenerated into squabble over starting an examination of the Township's 2009-10 financial records by Woodstock auditors Brown & Company. Moore said she hadn't been contacted.  Trustee Rob LaPorta said yes she had but had told Brown she wanted the records for the Grafton Township Food Pantry audited, too. The Pantry's been a non-profit corporation separate from the Township since 2006.

Possibly inconclusive was a vote over where to have the Grafton Annual Meeting next month.  The Board last month chose to have it at the Park District but Thursday Moore proposed moving it to the high school.  Trustee Barb Murphy decided more people might show up than she'd first thought and argued for the idea, too.  Zirk and Trustee Gerry McMahon voted against it but at the vote LaPorta abstained. Since that was a tie, Moore announced, LaPorta's abstention counted as a "yes" vote so the motion passed.

"Where'd that come from?" shouted McMahon.

Roberts Rules of Order.

"I never heard of that.  We don't follow Roberts Rules around here," McMahon roared.

"No. You don't," called out LITH's Steve Harlfinger from the audience.

Trustees unanimously nixed including four agenda items for the Annual Meeting sought by petition. Three would have involved undoing the undoing of the sale of the Township Complex to the Township Road District which was approved at the last Annual Township meeting.  A fourth called for censuring the trustees.

LaPorta said Ancel-Glink, ex-Township Attorney firm and now special counsel to the trustees for court battles with Moore, thought the proposals were either too vague or beyond the powers of "electors" to be legal.  LaPorta said the advice came at no charge.

The fight between Moore and the trustees will continue this morning in McHenry County Circuit Court.

In the pic:  Trustee McMahon opposed agenda items on citizen petitions.


Anonymous said...

re:Woodstock auditors Brown & Company
When asked if she (Linda Moore) had attempted to contact the auditor, she claimed that she sent 3 communications via registered mail and that she hadn't received the confirmation of those being delivered yet. What is the likelihood that all three postcards would not have been returned to her? So either Linda is a lier or our postal service needs some serious help.

Anonymous said...

Am I reading this right? Linda is entering manual corrections to the bookkeeping in order to balance the books?

I hope I am misinterpreting that!

Anonymous said...

@anonymous - 10:44am ..

You are reading that exactly right. Moore is transferring money from one account to another. She does what she feels is appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Transfering money from one account to another is different from what I am thinking... I'm not expressing myself very well.

If you are trying to balance your checkbook at the end of the month, and your statement says you have $500, but your check registry only says you have $490, some people enter a "correction" entry of $10, so that their registry matches their statement. Is this what she is doing?

Anonymous said...

Or, does she simply not understand how to use Quickbooks?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps she is using the wrong program. She should be using Quackbooks. That she may understand.

Anonymous said...

What a dumb cluck: an abstention is exactly that - neither a "yea" or a "nay" and as such, a majority is not met and the motion fails. Unless it's "Moore's Rules of Order", it's Parliamentary Procedures 101. ELEMENTARY!

Also, just what kind of straightening is this legal-beagle talking about? Perhaps its about the dodgy books hidden under Moore's mattress for the last two years?

Anonymous said...

@11:11 - hard to tell what's going on or what accounting class Moore took in Dairy School. Heck, the books have been unaudited for TWO FREAKIN' YEARS! I shutter to think where money is being shuffled - and even the judge is in no hurry to address that!!

I thin Moore's attorney has seen the light and has come to realize just how much milk can come from the Grafton teat. Hence, the miraculous yet abrupt change of heart.

Anonymous said...

Question 6:
Do abstention votes count?

The phrase "abstention votes" is an oxymoron, an abstention being a refusal to vote. To abstain means to refrain from voting, and, as a consequence, there can be no such thing as an "abstention vote."

In the usual situation, where either a majority vote or a two-thirds vote is required, abstentions have absolutely no effect on the outcome of the vote since what is required is either a majority or two thirds of the votes cast. On the other hand, if the vote required is a majority or two thirds of the members present, or a majority or two thirds of the entire membership, an abstention will have the same effect as a "NO" vote. Even in such a case, however, an abstention is not a vote. [RONR (10th ed.), p. 387, l. 7-13; p. 388, l. 3-6; p. 390, l. 13-24; see also p.66 of RONR In Brief.]

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous at 1:42 regarding the abstention vote.

The Roberts Rule says, "if the vote required is a majority or two thirds of the members present, or a majority or two thirds of the entire membership, an abstention will have the same effect as a "no" vote."

I personally feel that the larger venue will be needed, but it's not my vote to cast.

Anonymous said...

LM looks at it as she is right and Roberts Rule is WRONG.

First Electric Newspaper LLC said...

There seems to be a comment en passant in Robert's that an abstention should be viewed as being grouped philosophically with the majority vote. From this, apparently, has come an erroneous but common conclusion that it actually counts as a "yes" vote. I've seen it done before but parliamentarians say it's wrong. However, the Grafton Board junked Robert's Rules in favor of a home-brewed set more than a year ago. I don't know what, if anything, that says about the matter.--ed.

Anonymous said...

Call it for what it is, Pete: "Linda's Rules of New World Order".

Anonymous said...

I think Linda sucks! I just hope someone with a brain runs against her in the the next election. The only thing she should collect from the tax payers is welfare. Vote her out.

The electorate meeting is joke what a waste of time. Last year Linda's buddies ran it and it really makes you think there is no hope for Grafton Township. 700 hundred irrational people yelling.
No thanks I plan to skip it.

Anonymous said...

@5:15 - you are too generous. The guy who moderated the meeting demonstrated his knowledge of Robert's Rules of Order by asking for a dessert before ordering the main course. He was a summa cum laude graduate of Clown College, propped up by his student body.