Algonquin Township trustees to take second vote on moving highway department

Board previously decided to boot highway commissioner from main office building

Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser talks about the township's new truck, a pink snowplow, April 27.[]

Algonquin Township trustees will take a second vote on whether to relocate Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser to another building on township property.

The second vote will come Monday after the Edgar County Watchdogs, a downstate nonprofit, filed a complaint with the Illinois attorney general alleging Algonquin Township violated the Open Meetings Act.

“In his request for review, Mr. [John] Kraft alleges that during the board’s April 11, 2018, meeting, it voted to move the Algonquin Township’s [Highway Department] office, a matter that was not identified on the meeting agenda,” said a April 19 letter sent to Supervisor Charles Lutzow.

The April 11 meeting agenda listed the relocation item as “reconfiguration of office space.” That detail was a problem for the Edgar County Watchdogs.

“Mr. Kraft contends that the agenda item ‘reconfiguration of office space’ did not adequately inform the public that the board would be voting to move the road district’s office,” the letter said.

Township officials wrote back to the Attorney General’s Office contending that the description was adequate, Lutzow said.

The office has not replied.

Trustees now will take a second vote on the agenda item, which now is listed as “Township building space allocation, office & storage space relocation, as well as records storage and consolidation. Relocation of highway commissioner[‘s] office by June 11, 2018.”

After a motion April 11 from Trustee Melissa Victor to move the highway department to a separate building and move all records into the township’s main building at 3702 Route 14, the township board voted, 3-2, in approval.

Trustees Dan Shea, Dave Chapman and Victor voted “yes,” while Trustee Rachael Lawrence and Lutzow voted “no.”

Victor said keeping the highway department and township as separate entities would eliminate tension brewing between Gasser and Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik.

Officials will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the township’s main building.