Wauconda board puts limits on mayor's e-newsletter

  • Frank Bart

    Frank Bart

  • Doug Maxeiner

    Doug Maxeiner

Posted5/20/2015 5:30 AM

Unhappy with the content of some of Mayor Frank Bart's electronic newsletters to residents, trustees on Tuesday approved a plan to reduce their frequency.

The Mayor's Messages now will be distributed every other week instead of weekly.


The board members also agreed that draft copies of any mass communications -- including the Mayor's Message -- should be delivered to all elected officials for prior review.

Additionally, Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner was tapped to handle any complaints about content.

The changes will be in place until more permanent rules for external communications can be created at a future good-government summit.

As part of that discussion, officials also will seek to develop a code of conduct for all of the town's elected leaders.

Those rules will "expressly establish the operational expectations that the mayor and board have with each other," Maxeiner wrote in a memo ahead of Tuesday's meeting.

"I think that's our long-term fix," Maxeiner told the board Tuesday night.

The Mayor's Messages have been published weekly via email, Facebook and the village's website.

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Bart and the trustees have been at odds with each other on a variety of issues since he took office two years ago.

During the recent municipal election, the relationship strained once again as Bart used the Mayor's Message to criticize some candidates and their supporters.

In April, Trustee Lincoln Knight publicly refuted statements Bart made about the village's finances in an earlier Mayor's Message.

Then, at the April 21 board meeting, Knight said he wanted an editorial committee to oversee the publication of the Mayor's Message. Knight also called for Bart's messages to be published quarterly rather than weekly.

Knight, who led Tuesday's board meeting because Bart was absent, said he was pleased with the new regulations.

"I think this is a step in the right direction," Knight said.

The changes were adopted without a formal vote. None of the trustees objected to the plan.

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