By Chris Johnson


PECATONICA – During a Thursday night, Feb. 5 meeting of the Committee of the Whole, representing the entire Trustee body representing the Village of Pecatonica, a presentation was given by a former Village politician questioning why Trustees were getting paid for not attending meetings.

Ed Smith, whose oversight presented itself to Pecatonica in earlier days, distributed to the Committee of the Whole and all members, his proof of Trustees missing meetings and the pay received for those meetings.

The policy has been set so those who choose to donate their time and efforts in a public capacity would receive a certain amount of revenue. “Per diem” will be given, in so much as it is an allowance for the work that must be done.

With the number of missing meetings counting against the amount of money that was paid, one Trustee, who said he knows he has missed quite a few meetings, stated that even though those meetings were missed, he had still been busy acting in his capacity as Committee Member, Committee Chairman or Trustee.

The report submitted for record and presented by Smith to the members of the Committee of the Whole, which responds to and reports its findings to the Pecatonica Village Board, showed meetings missed and thousands of dollars paid out for meetings unattended.

In his document, Smith reported that Village President Dan Barber had not missed one meeting, either in a capacity as a Committee Member, Chairman or Village President. Of the 35 meetings calculated, Barber’s record was perfect.

Trustees Steve Eytalis and Zack Foster had reportedly missed only two meetings each during the same period of time. Trustee Ted Deppe had missed six meetings. Trustees Tricia Metz, Tom Heister and Bill Smull had missed a combined 39 meetings, for various reasons including weather, health, professional or other.

Smith said the issue was the Trustees were still paid, even though they never attended those meetings.

There was no financial proof submitted by Smith to the Committee of the Whole, with the exception of a document simply titled Trustee Attendance  – from July 2013 through Jan. 2015.

The Committee of the Whole exited its proceedings and entered into a Special Meeting of the Village Board for the approval of the Village Treasurer and Village Clerk’s warrants list.

The Committee of the Whole will submit its findings and recommendations to the Pecatonica Village Board when it meets next on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.

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