Friday, October 28, 2011

Huntley Board Deadlocks On Nominee, Begins 2012 Budget

The Huntley Village Board deadlocked Thursday over filling the empty seat of  Trustee Paul Mercer who resigned last month to move to Arizona.  The vote was 3 to 3 on Mayor Chuck Sass's appointment of former Trustee Jay Kadakia.

Sass called Kadakia, who came in fourth in April's race for the three open seats on the Board,  the best choice among the handful who sought the empty chair or who were suggested to fill it.  "There's a difference between capable and qualified," said Sass who didn't name any of the other choices.

Trustees Harry Leopold and Nikko Kanakaris likewise favored Kadaka.  "Jay can hit the ground running without a learning curve," said Leopold.  "He really looks at the bill list which I don't do too often," added Trustee Nikko Kanakaris.

Trustee John Piwko was against the appointment, though. "All of us who were elected are here at the will of the people," he said.  "They chose not to put this person back in office," said Piwko.

Trustee Nick Hanson said he'd like a Sun City woman appointed to the Board.  "Not just for Sun City but for women in the Village," he said.

There's already a woman on the Board, of course, Trustee Pam Fender, but she was against the appointment, too.  "Personally I like Jay," she said but objected to Sass's selection methods.  "Fois gras comes to mind," she said.  "This is being stuffed down our throats the way they feed the geese."

Trustee's votes Thursday were unchanged from positions they reportedly voiced six weeks ago when Sass suggested Kadakia in closed session so the point of the exercise wasn't entirely clear.  Sass said afterwards he wouldn't try to appoint him again, though.

In other action, the Board took a first look at plans for Huntlely's 2012 budget.  Village Manager Dave Johnson proposed $4.9 million in capital projects and purchases. Among them were $1.9 million for starting the Village's I-90 interchange, $600,000 for resurfacing streets north Algonquin Road and west of Pinecrest, $300,000 to engineer the Kreutzer Road Extension and $110,000 for widening Dean Street.  Also on tap,  $450,000 to repaint two water towers and $200,000 to replace the lids on the Village's east wastewater plant digesters where the current 24-year old domes are cracking.

"For a community this size ($4.9 million is) a pretty significant expenditure to accomplish without borrowing," said Johnson who credited that to a village policy of putting one-time windfalls in the figurative bank rather than spending them.

In the pic:  Half the Huntley Board wanted to bring former Trustee Jay Kadakia back onto the dais again but half voted to leave him in the audience.

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