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updated: 3/23/2011 5:07 PM

Trustees still going after Island Lake mayor

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  • Trustee John Ponio

      Trustee John Ponio

  • Mayor Debbie Herrmann

      Mayor Debbie Herrmann

  • Trustee Laura Rabattini

      Trustee Laura Rabattini

  • Trustee Don Saville

      Trustee Don Saville

  • Trustee Donna O'Malley

      Trustee Donna O'Malley

 
 

Island Lake trustees will continue their campaign to erode Mayor Debbie Herrmann's powers at Thursday night's village board meeting.

Previous efforts have resulted in a lawsuit from the mayor against the four trustees who recently formed a new majority coalition on the six-member panel. But that isn't stopping them.

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The trustees plan to discuss overriding Herrmann's March 10 veto of a proposed ordinance change that would, if successful, eliminate her ability to unilaterally suspend or fire village employees.

The trustees also will discuss repealing a section of the village code giving the mayor supervisory powers over all executive officers and employees of the village. The repeal also would eliminate the mayor's ability to inspect all books and records kept by village employees and take away the mayor's power to resolve questions about the duties or powers of village officers.

The board also will consider repealing a section of the village code that says any appointed officer of the village shall stay on the job until May 1 or until a successor is named. The section also defines how vacancies are filled.

Additionally, the board will discuss changing a part of the code that defines how the village attorney is appointed and establishes the attorney's duties.

The meeting agenda identifies Trustee John Ponio as the primary proponent of all three proposals. He refused to comment on any of them.

Herrmann declined to comment.

Thursday's meeting is scheduled as a nonvoting committee meeting at which no final action can be taken. It's set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave.

Following that session, the four trustees who've recently gained the majority on the board -- Ponio, Don Saville, Laurie Rabattini and Donna O'Malley -- plan to have a closed-door meeting to discuss pending litigation.

The agenda for that gathering specifically identifies that foursome as participating in the session. It excludes Herrmann, Village Clerk Pam Miller and trustees Don Verciglio and Connie Mascillino.

In an e-mail sent to village officials and the media, village attorney Stewart Diamond said the quartet cannot legally exclude other trustees from a closed-door meeting to discuss pending litigation.

"They can ask other trustees to leave the meeting, but they cannot compel those trustees to do so," Diamond wrote. "They are elected officials entitled to remaining at a properly called closed session meeting of the village board."

Last week, Herrmann -- represented by Diamond's firm -- sued the four trustees in Lake County court to stop them from taking away some of her mayoral powers.

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