While attending a Carpentersville village board meeting last Tuesday, I thought it was strange that Trustee Paul Humpfer voted against former Trustee Judy Sigwalt's appointment to the village's planning and zoning commission.
"I need someone I can call and get a response to," Humpfer said at the meeting, revealing that the two are not on speaking terms.
Why not? After all, these two go way back.
They've been friends for years and even ran together on the same anti-illegal immigrant slate four years ago. Sigwalt also backed Humpfer during former President Bill Sarto's repeated attempts to throw him out of office over a domestic battery conviction. But they have since fallen out with one another.
After the meeting, Humpfer told me he and Sigwalt had a disagreement on the phone a few months ago over the last tax rate hike that paid for a new public works facility. Sigwalt, he said, promised him she wouldn't endorse it, but he had a feeling she'd approve it anyway. When he called to remind her of her promise, Sigwalt hung up on him, he said. When he tries to talk to her in person, all he gets is a grunt in response, he said.
"If I need to call someone, I'd like to have the ability to do that," said Humpfer, who is chairman of the audit and finance commission. "I don't think Judy would be able to return a phone call."
Sigwalt, who did not run for trustee in April's election, has a different story and it has nothing to do with the tax issue, she said.
In January, Humpfer accused Sigwalt of calling an executive session as a stall tactic, she said. The board had been discussing an issue at great length and it was coming to the agenda for a vote, when he got word of the closed session and called her about it.
"His temper scared me and he wouldn't stop yelling and screaming until I hung up on him," Sigwalt said via email, adding that she didn't know the session had been requested. "I couldn't understand why he would accuse me of something I didn't do and then blame me and treat me the way he did after all the support over the years I had given him."
Village Manager J. Mark Rooney confirmed Trustee Brad McFeggan requested a closed session to discuss Quadcom's collective bargaining demands, not Sigwalt.
"We looked into it and can't find a case where Judy asked for an executive session," Rooney said Friday.
I don't know whether this will settle the dispute, but Sigwalt says she will never speak to Humpfer because of that phone conversation.
She attended last Tuesday's board meeting with her husband Bud and witnessed Humpfer's objection to her appointment. Only Trustee Doug Marks, Humpfer's running mate in the April election, joined him in opposing her appointment, so it wasn't enough to keep Sigwalt off the commission.
If Sigwalt and Humpfer ever have to work with one another again on village-related issues, hopefully they can put their differences aside and do what's best for Carpentersville.
• Lenore T. Adkins covers Carpentersville, the Dundees, Huntley and Hampshire. To reach her, send an email to email@example.com or call her at (847) 608-2725.