East Dundee mayor working to fill board seat; trustee says there's 'no vacancy'
Both sides in the debate over who should occupy Scott Andresen's trustee seat in East Dundee believe the issue eventually will be decided in court, although Andresen and Village President Jeff Lynam don't know exactly what that process would look like.
Lynam said this week he'll continue to push for Andresen's seat to be declared vacant, and he'll follow state statute to appoint a new trustee in Andresen's place. Andresen -- who wishes to stay on the board even though he did not seek reelection in April -- remains in his seat based on supporting legal opinions from Village Attorney Greg Smith.
East Dundee is holding a special board meeting on Monday, and the agenda includes discussion items on trustee appointments of Frank Scarpelli and Jim Carlini.
"Legal counsel has been very clear in their guidance," Andresen said. "There is no vacancy."
Lynam disagrees, saying Andresen is making a "mockery of the board" by trying to remain. He added that independent counsel, which he said is being paid for "privately," is reviewing the issue.
The situation arose when only two candidates ran for three openings in April, and a fourth seat opened when Lynam shifted from trustee to president. Rich Treiber was sworn in to fill Lynam's seat on May 17.
"If it comes to a push, then it will go before a judge and someone else will decide," Lynam said. "If it's directed that I have to keep him on the board for another two years, so be it. And if it's decided that he's overstepped his bounds, then he will be duty bound to honor that as well."
Lynam said when the mandated 30-day window closes on his May 17 appointment of Scarpelli, an appointment the board did not vote on because five of the six trustees want to adhere to the village attorney's opinion, he'll appoint a second person. When that 30-day window expires, likely without board action, Lynam said state statute allows him to seat one of the two candidates.
"If (Andresen) wanted to remain on the board, he could have thrown his hat in the ring not even three months earlier but decided not to," Lynam said. "We didn't need Scott Andresen to come in and save the day."
Andresen doesn't disagree with the statute, but he said it's a moot point because Smith's legal opinions say holding over a trustee is allowed if none of the other outgoing trustees are interested. Andresen said he consulted the two sitting board members, the two new members and the two departing members and remained after receiving all of their support.
"The statute (Lynam) keeps pounding the table on that he has an obligation to fill this seat, it doesn't come into play," Andresen said. "If he has legal opinions that are counter to those issued by the village counsel, let's see them."