Tollway meeting canceled due to lack of quorum

  • Tollway Chairman Robert Schillerstrom talks to a visitor after Thursday's board meeting was canceled when not enough directors showed up.

      Tollway Chairman Robert Schillerstrom talks to a visitor after Thursday's board meeting was canceled when not enough directors showed up. Marni Pyke | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/22/2018 5:50 PM

Officials and visitors assembled for an Illinois tollway board meeting Thursday morning were out in record time.

That wasn't because of a light agenda. Rather, the absence of board directors meant the agency didn't have enough for a quorum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Six directors are required, and only four were there at 9 a.m. when the meeting was supposed to start. Board members present were Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, the Rev. Corey Brooks of Chicago, David Gonzalez, the mayor of Chicago Heights, and Craig Johnson, Elk Grove Village mayor. Director Earl Dotson arrived shortly after the meeting was canceled.

The board has been short one member since July 2017 when Director James Sweeney, president of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, was not reappointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

"I apologize but we can't meet without six directors and we will not get six directors here today," Chairman Robert Schillerstrom said at about 9:15 a.m.

Director Joseph Gomez was ill and Director Neli Vasquez-Rowland had a previously scheduled family event, officials said. It was not known why Director James Banks was absent and he did not respond to a request for comment.

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"This is unusual, it's unfortunate and it will not be a trend," Schillerstrom said.

Items on Thursday's agenda included a report from the tollway inspector general, a final update on the 2017 budget and numerous construction contracts such as a $50.1 million project fixing pavement and bridges on the Veterans Memorial Tollway.

The next board session is April 26.

Tollway directors are paid $31,426 a year.

Candidates for the vacant director spot are under consideration, a Rauner spokeswoman said. There are 11 directors but two are ex officio: the governor and the IDOT secretary.

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