BY TOM KOCAL
TKocal@RiverReader.org
815-493-3065

CHADWICK — The Village of Chadwick has been without a clerk since the April election, since no one ran to fill the seat vacated by Clerk Jan Queckboerner. The village has been without a treasurer for several years.

At the June 5 regular meeting, based on the recommendation of Village President Kim Hinrichs, the board approved Chadwick resident Amanda Promenschenkel as temporary treasurer. Her past experience in the banking industry makes her more than qualified, Hinrichs said.

Initially, Hinrichs had suggested former trustee Jean Matheson to fill the void, but Trustee Larry Williams didn’t believe she was qualified.

Trustee Talea Nelson mentioned former treasurer Dawn Holland, who was in the audience.

“I told several board members that I would be glad to help if needed,” Holland said. “If you have someone else qualified that is willing to take the position, that’s fine, too. I just want to see the position filled, and the village move forward.”

Trustee Randy Newstrand agreed, wanting to bring her experience to the table.

Trustee Mick Morgan made the motion to appoint Promenschenkel, but Trustee Karen Lief asked why Holland would not be acceptable, since she was in the audience.

Trustee Greg Maddalone seconded Morgan’s motion, and Promenschenkel was approved by a 4-2 margin, with Williams and Lief casting the no votes.

Since Holland indicated she would do what she could for the village, Hinrichs asked her if she would serve as temporary clerk.

“Yes, I will help. But I’d rather it not be a long-term adventure. I just want to see the village move ahead,” Holland said.

After Lief’s motion and Newstrand’s second, and Holland confirming that there were no regular office hours, Holland was approved as temporary clerk — unanimously.

The temporary positions of treasurer and clerk will filled until the April 2019 election. Holland immediately took over for volunteer clerk Jan Parish.

Attorney appointment first – then Liquor Commissioner

Village Attorney Ed Mitchell told the board that normally, the village president serves as the liquor commissioner. But since Hinrichs is involved in a restaurant/bar business in Chadwick that holds a liquor license, “she can be the mayor, but she can’t be the liquor commissioner,” due to the conflict of interest.

Mitchell said state statutes indicate the next in line for liquor commissioner must be an attorney. Newstrand suggested it should be Mitchell, the village attorney.

“It’s never happened before. It can be, but doesn’t have to be me,” Mitchell said.

He also reminded the board that Hinrichs may be involved in any discussion surrounding the approval of village liquor licenses, but that she cannot vote on the measure.

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Morgan made the motion to appoint Mitchell in that role, and was seconded by Newstrand. But Williams, pointing out the agenda, said the board still needed to approve who the village attorney would be.

“We’re getting the cart before the horse,” said Williams.

Hinrichs then moved the discussion to Attorney Mitchell’s appointment, and Morgan made the motion, seconded by Maddalone.

In May, the board made it clear that their plan was to keep the attorney position fees at approximately $200 per month. Mitchell reminded them that the village was currently involved in two matters of litigation: the Schmidt building demolition, and the animal case, with Talea Nelson as defendant. This case was tried a few months ago, and is now on appeal.

“The appellant, Nelson, requested the 2nd Appellate District to review the matter, and they release a ‘briefing’ schedule,” Mitchell said. “First, she submitted a brief with her position. Then, the respondent – Chadwick – files a brief in reply. Our brief will be mailed tomorrow [June 6]. Nelson has an opportunity to reply to the village’s brief by June 20.”

Mitchell said the brief process is time consuming, and that his invoice for the quarter would be “substantial.”

“Will the board vote not to pay it? Will that be an issue?” said Mitchell.

Lief said her issue was Mitchell and the past board, and the Schmidt building litigation dragging on for several years.

“I don’t think you have the village’s best interest. There has been one continuance after another, and it seems like nothing gets done. I would vote no,” Lief said.”

Williams agreed, saying it could have been settled “a long time ago,” and that the board had refused to work with Schmidt. He quoted then-President Larry Miller as saying, “I’m never settling with Schmidt, no matter what.”

“The board was concerned with the time frame of Schmidt’s proposal. I did what the village officials recommended. We have been negotiating, but it was not my decision to make,” Mitchell said.

The board then told Mitchell to settle the matter with Schmidt, based on Schmidt’s last proposal.

During Mitchell’s report, he was directed to submit an Agreement to Settle to the court, with Nov. 30, 2018 as the tear-down deadline. The rear of the building will remain, and the lot will be cleaned up. The board – again – unanimously approved this action.

With Lief and Williams voting against Mitchell, he was approved as attorney.

The board then approved Mitchell as liquor commissioner, but the motion was amended to review the position in 3 months.

Publisher’s note: Village emails for new Trustees Randy Newstrand, Greg Maddalone and Larry Williams have not yet been issued and are not available at this time.

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