Blackberry Township to talk about supervisor replacement March 11
Blackberry Township trustees will talk about appointing a new supervisor next week, Trustee James Michels said Monday.
The board meets at 7 p.m. March 11 at the town hall, 43W390 Main Street Road near Elburn.
It needs a new supervisor because Dennis Ryan, who was elected in April 2013, quit in mid-February.
"We did not agree on a lot of things," Ryan said of his relationship with the board.
He disagreed with the board over whether the supervisor's office should be off-limits to other people. Ryan said he would often arrive to find his office door open, and that at least three people had keys to the office, which contains workers' personnel files. He said the township clerk would sometimes use the supervisor's computer.
"They (the board) did not see anything wrong with it," Ryan said.
He also disagreed with the board's efforts to lease land for athletic fields for youth sports. The township's $1 yearly lease for the McNair Field baseball field on Bateman Road had expired in April 2013. The township leased the land on behalf of the Elburn Youth Baseball League. The township is renegotiating that lease, but is also working on a proposal to buy five acres just to the south, where the baseball league and Kaneland Youth Football could play. Ryan opposed the idea, saying it amounted to the township forming a park district without voters' approval.
But "the real frost" came in December when the board voted to stop renting a post office box at the Elburn post office.
The township also has a rural route roadside mailbox in front of the hall. Ryan said he was worried important mail, including checks from the state, could be lost if the township just used the mailbox. He cited a time in November when, after a Sunday storm, he came in Monday to find the mail wet. A worker told him it had blown out of the mailbox.
"If there had been checks, we would never have known it," he said. Minutes of the December meeting, however, show Ryan voted in favor of closing the P.O. box.
Worrying about all this kept him awake at night, Ryan said. Heeding the advice of his wife, who was worried about his health, he quit.
"I can't put up with this anymore," Ryan said.
Trustees Jim Feece and Harley Veldhuizen have not returned calls for comment. Trustee Tim Norris could not be reached; a message on the phone number listed for him on the township's website said the number might be disconnected.
The website's list of officers is not up to date. It still shows Dave Richmond as supervisor, even though Richmond did not run for re-election, and has since moved out of Kane County.
The website lists the 2014 regular meeting dates for the board. No agendas or minutes are posted.
The board has until mid-April to appoint a new supervisor. The new supervisor must be a Republican because Ryan was a Republican.
In the 2009 election, Ryan was opposed by independent Fred Dornback.