Jenkins could get full term on Island Lake fire and police commission

A politically connected Island Lake woman who filled a vacancy on the village's fire and police commission in April could be appointed to a full, three-year term Thursday.

The village board will vote on Debra Jenkins' nomination to the paid position when it meets at 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave.

The commission's primary responsibility is hiring new police officers. Jenkins said she's enjoying the work.

"We are in the process of hiring two new officers right now and have some incredible candidates on our list," she said Wednesday. "I am so grateful for this opportunity and am honored to be considered for a three-year term."

Jenkins said she donates her stipend back to the village.

Jenkins and her husband, Greg, donated nearly $21,000 to Mayor Charles Amrich's campaign committee last year, state records show.

The slate included trustees Keith Johns, Mark Beeson and Tony Sciarrone and Clerk Teresa Ponio.

Debra Jenkins also served as the campaign committee's treasurer for a while after Amrich took office in May 2013.

Shortly after Amrich and his allies took office, Greg Jenkins settled a libel lawsuit against the village last summer for $20,000. His complaint focused on a political website a supporter of former Mayor Debbie Herrmann had created.

Greg and Debra Jenkins also have given money to the village to purchase police equipment and food for community events.

Debra Jenkins replaced Laurie Rabattini on the fire and police commission.

Rabattini, a former trustee, was appointed to the panel last year but resigned early.

Trustees Thea Morris and Shannon Fox voted against Jenkins' appointment in April. Before the vote, Fox publicly criticized Jenkins for comments she had made at previous meetings and for some personal issues, earning a rebuke from audience members.

On Wednesday, Fox said she again intends to oppose Jenkins' appointment.

"I do not think she is a good representative for Island Lake," Fox said in an email.

Jenkins was named the three-member panel's secretary this week.

Members of the commission are paid $30 for each meeting they attend. The secretary is paid an additional $30 per meeting.

Jenkins has pledged to donate whatever pay she receives for the job to the village's police pension fund, which was dramatically underfunded during a previous mayoral administration. She repeated that promise this week.

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