Avon Township's elected officials have something else to do Saturday besides scurry for last-minute gifts on Christmas Eve.
Supervisor Sam Yingling and four trustees will hold a special meeting at noon. Yingling said there may be a recommendation to appoint Trustee Chris Ditton as the township's new assessor for the next two years. The job has a base salary of $79,302 in 2012.
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Yingling said the unlikely Christmas Eve session was necessitated by the resignation of interim assessor Robert Glueckert, effective Dec. 31, and the fact township attorney Gerald Dietz will be out of town next week.
Bryce Carus, who started as assessor in January 2010, cited health reasons when he resigned in June 2011. After Glueckert was named to the post on an interim basis, the board voted 3-1 to send Ditton to seek certified Illinois assessing office certification.
Glueckert doesn't live within Avon Township's boundaries and couldn't be appointed to the office that is up for election every four years.
Yingling headed the Avon Forward political slate in 2009 that included Ditton and Carus. He said research by Dietz shows state law governing how township elected official vacancies can be filled requires the assessor be appointed from the same political party as Carus.
Considering Ditton is the only Avon Forward official who now has the proper training to be assessor, Yingling said, there appears to be little choice for the appointment. Trustee William McNeill is the lone township official from the opposition Avon One party.
"Again, this just goes to my tangent on how complicated the township code is," Yingling said Friday.
Interpretation of legal advice regarding how local political parties govern the appointment of officials at Avon Township led to controversy in late July 2010.
Yingling recommended the appointment of Thomas Brust as highway commissioner, which passed by a 3-2 board vote. Brust, who ran with Yingling's Avon Forward party when he tried to become highway boss in 2009, replaced Avon One's Patrick Anderson, who retired.
Former Trustee Sherry Ridge argued she interpreted legal advice at the time to mean Brust didn't represent Avon One, so he could not be appointed to Anderson's job. Anderson defeated Brust in the 2009 election.
However, Yingling said Friday the difference this year is that Avon Forward's Ditton wants to take over Carus' former job as assessor. He said no one from Avon One asked to be highway commissioner to take Anderson's place in 2010, so it became open for anyone to be considered.
Avon Township encompasses all or part of Grayslake, Hainesville, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park, Round Lake Heights, Third Lake and unincorporated Lake County.