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updated: 8/26/2011 5:46 AM

Ex-candidate named to Island Lake post, to get $30 a meeting

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  • Mary Piekarski

      Mary Piekarski

 
 

For the second time in as many months, a former Island Lake trustee candidate has been appointed to a paid committee post.

Mary Piekarski, who placed fifth in the April race for three seats on the village board, was appointed Thursday to a seat on the lake management committee. Last month, ex-candidate Allen Murvine was appointed to the town's liquor commission.

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Members of both committees are paid $30 a session to attend meetings.

Piekarski and Murvine, who placed fourth in the trustee race, ran on a slate with Trustee Chuck Cermak. Their team was supported by Mayor Debbie Herrmann.

Herrmann said Piekarski and resident Dave Woitas, who also was appointed to the lake committee Thursday, were recommended for the posts by the committee members. Both Piekarski and Woitas have attended meetings on their own and have expressed interest in the lake's upkeep, she said.

"Their participation and their desire to make the lake better (is) what we need," Herrmann said in an interview.

According to local statute, the lake management committee is charged with monitoring the town's lake, proposing ways to enhance its quality, and assessing environmental and economic aspects of the lake.

The committee consists of eight members who serve 4-year terms. Piekarski and Woitas were appointed to fill vacancies.

Committee members meet once a month. They also are paid $30 a session if they attend meetings of "outside agencies, commissions or governments" and can be reimbursed for travel expenses, the village statute reads. The committee's secretary is paid an additional $30 per meeting, and the group's representative to the village board is paid $30 for attending board meetings.

Other members of the lake committee include public works Director Willie Kootstra and building inspector Frank DeSort.

The pay and the number of members on the committee raised concerns for Trustee Shannon Fox. She suggested postponing the appointments so board members could consider reviewing the committee's makeup and possibly consider reducing its size.

"We have no other committees that have eight people on them," Fox said.

Other trustees defended the committee, its pay and its size.

"They're there because they care about the lake, not because they want to get rich off the meetings," said Trustee Connie Mascillino, a former lake committee member.

The board approved the appointments 4-0. Fox and Trustee Thea Morris abstained.

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